Let the trumpets sound! Foxburg’s Memorial Church of Our Father will be the exquisite Holiday setting for the 6th annual performance of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble on Sunday, December 20 at 7:30 PM. The intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics of this stone church will resound with traditional Christmas favorites performed by some of the most celebrated brass musicians in the world.
ABOUT THE CONCERT
Foxburg’s beautiful neo-Gothic Memorial Church of Our Father constructed by Hannah Fox of the Fox family, Foxburg’s namesake, will resound with glorious strains of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble on Sunday, December 20 at 7:30 PM. The stone church, boasts an intimate atmosphere and superb acoustics, made more compelling by the poinsettias adorning the sanctuary – an ideal environment for this concert of traditional Christmas favorites performed by some of the most celebrated brass musicians in the world. Join us for “The Song of Christmas”, an auspicious beginning of Christmas week.
You will be uplifted and touched by the elegant arrangements of Christmas favorites from the PSO Brass’ Christmas CDs. Their concerts have been described as been referred to as “Holiday cheer delivered with virtuoso flair.” AND you will be entertained! Audiences are familiar with the friendly and jovial spoken introductions the PSO Brass offers before embarking on a Holiday musical journey in styles ranging from the traditional to Spike Jones. It promises to be a holiday favorite you will want to make an annual tradition.
Join us for the closing concert of ARCA’s 2015 season, keeping your joyous spirits high for Christmas-only six days later! Indeed, let the trumpets sound!!
For the December 20 concert of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, parking will be in the AC Valley Medical Center, opposite the AC Valley Schools, up the hill from the church, one-half mile, on route 58. Shuttle service to the church will begin an hour before the performance, at 6:00 PM.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Brass Ensemble is comprised of Principal Players in the Pittsburgh Symphony including George Vosburgh, PSO Principal Trumpet; Neal Berntsen, PSO Trumpet; William Caballero, PSO Principal Horn; Peter Sullivan, PSO Principal Trombone; and Craig Knox, PSO Principal Tuba.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Brass was organized by George Vosburgh in 1994 with an emphasis on featuring some of the world’s finest orchestral brass musicians playing in chamber ensemble. The result has been a unique blend of virtuosity with brilliant sonority usually associated with orchestral brass. The ensemble, all of whom are members of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, endeavors to stretch the limitations of performance and explore a wide range of musical expression rarely achieved in brass music.
The American Record Guide described the ensemble’s first compact disc, J.S. Bach, The Art of Fugue for the Four Winds record label as “Magnificent, an extended example of first rate playing, with beautiful tone qualities, impeccable intonation, and polished execution.” The ensemble’s second recording, ” A Christmas Concert”, has been described by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette as, “Holiday cheer delivered with virtuoso flair.” At a recent concert for the Frick Art and Historical Center, Mark Kanny, music critic for the Tribune-Review, described the concert as “impressively polished.” After a concert for the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society the Tribune-Review wrote, “Full of brilliance and power, but also stunning in subtle artistic qualities made possible only by masterful control”.
The Pittsburgh Symphony Brass released a third compact disc in 2002. This recording, Cantate Hodie for the Clarion label is in collaboration with the Bach Choir of Pittsburgh and features contemporary works based on Christmas themes for mixed chorus, brass, and organ. The groups fourth and fifth recordings, The Spirit of Christmas (2003) and A Song of Christmas (2008-both for Four Winds) again received great reviews. Music performed by the PSO Brass can also be found on The American Girl’s Christmas, Music of Christmas Past. The groups association with the American Gramophone label has resulted in partnerships on that label’s Holiday Musik II and Renaissance Holiday recordings.
The group’s featured performance on National Public Radio’s Performance Today is replayed annually on NPR stations throughout the United States. The PITTSBURGH SYMPHONY BRASS has performed in Italy, Canada and the United States.
George Vosburgh, trumpet
Neal Berntsen, trumpet
William Caballero, horn
Peter Sullivan, trombone
TBA, bass trombone
Craig Knox, tuba
George Vosburgh, celebrated soloist and lecturer is internationally acclaimed for his virtuosity on the trumpet in recordings, concerts and recitals, as well as many guest artist performances in such locales as the Bonn Festival at Rolandsek, Germany, the Ravinia Festival, Chicago, and the Curs Internacional de Musica in Valencia, Spain. In 1992 he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Principal Trumpet.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences awarded George Vosburgh a Grammy as Best New Classical Artist in 1985 for the Reference recording of Stravinsky’s L’Histoire du Soldat with Chicago Pro Musica. He is a Bavarian Radio International Music Competition prize winner and a Gold and Platinum Record recipient for his work with the New Age music ensemble Mannheim Steamroller. In 2003 he was invited to become Principal Trumpet of the World Orchestra for Peace under the direction of Valery Gergiev. The orchestra has since performed on tour across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East, and produced many recordings and television programs.
Recordings featuring George Vosburgh include Trumpeter’s Heritage, music by Bach, Böhme, Tomasi, Fasch, and Neruda with the Czech Philharmonic and Arnie Roth conducting, Trumpet Masterworks, pieces for trumpet and piano with Alaine Fink, and Four Trumpet Concerti, works by Haydn, Hummel, Telemann, and Leopold Mozart with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and Gerard Schwarz conducting. All recordings are featured on the Four Winds label.
In 1994, Mr. Vosburgh organized the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, a unique brass ensemble featuring some of the world’s finest orchestral brass musicians in chamber ensemble. Since 1998, the Brass has enjoyed a flurry of recording and performance activity, releasing five CDs, including Bach’s The Art of Fugue on the Four Winds label.
As an educator, Mr. Vosburgh has appeared in universities across Europe, Asia, and the United States, including Northwestern University, University of Michigan, UCLA, and Tokyo Music Academy, as well as the Tanglewood Fellowship program. He has lectured at the International Trumpet Guild’s annual conference and recently published a critical edition of the Böhme Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E minor published by Vosburgh Music Inc. He is currently on the faculty of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University.
Mr. Vosburgh is a graduate of the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, where he was Principal Trumpet and featured soloist with the famed Eastman Wind Ensemble. He began his career as an orchestral trumpeter at age 19 as third trumpet and assistant principal of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of David Zinman. After three years with the Rochester Philharmonic, he joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Sir Georg Solti as the youngest member of the orchestra’s world-famous brass section. George Vosburgh holds the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Martha Brooks Robinson Chair and is an active member of various Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra Committees.
Neal Berntsen joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra trumpet section in March 1997, having been appointed at the invitation of Music Director Lorin Maazel in 1996. He is a native of Tacoma, Washington. He began his musical studies at age five playing the violin under the tutelage of his mother. By age eight he advanced to the trumpet and ultimately received a B.M. from the University of Puget Sound and a M.M from Northwestern University. A former member of the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra and the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, Neal has also performed as principal trumpet for the Ravinia Festival Orchestra and the Bamberg Sinfoniker in Germany. Other orchestral performances have included the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Active as a chamber musician, Neal is a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass whose recently released recordings, “Bach: The Art of Fugue” and “A Christmas Concert” were described as “…Awhirl with color and rhythmic vitality – quite irresistible on every count” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Berntsen is also a founding member of the award-winning Asbury Brass Quintet, about which Fanfare magazine stated, “Not only expert but musical…undeniable virtuosity.” In June 2005 Mr. Berntsen toured Japan with members of the Chicago Symphony brass section with the Chicago Brass Soloists. As a soloist he recently performed the Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Other solo engagements have included the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 at the Sedona Chamber Music Festival in Arizona. Mr. Berntsen’s performance of Copland’s “Quiet City” was called a highlight of the 2005 season by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Mr. Berntsen’s solo recording Trumpet Voices will be released in November 2005.
Neal Berntsen was a finalist in both the Maurice André International Trumpet Competition in Paris, France and the Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Competition. His wide ranging discography includes the Orchestras of Pittsburgh and Chicago, Manheim Steamroller, the American Girl Doll Christmas album and Michael Jackson.
As an educator, Mr. Berntsen is on the faculties of Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University. He previously served on the faculty of Valparaiso University in Indiana. He has been publiched in The Instrumentalist magazine, and the International Trumpet Guild Journal. Mr. Berntsen has presented master classes and recitals around the world.
Mr. Berntsen is an active studio musician and was featured on a national series of commercials during the broadcast of the Olympic games in Atlanta. His performance on “America” sung by Diana Ross opened the women’s final tennis match of the 2001 U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York.
Neal Berntsen has studied with Adolph Herseth, Vincent Cichowicz and Manuel Laureano. He resides in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania with his wife, Karen, and three children, Molly, Jacob, and Charlie.
During the Pittburgh Symphony Orchestra’s 2011 European Festivals Tour, William Caballero – and the horn section he leads – received rave reviews. Michael Church of The Independent called Caballero “a principal horn whose pianissimo is simply miraculous,” and Guy Dammann wrote in The Guardian, “The horn section – led very much from the front by their excellent principal William Caballero – is one of the best in the business.” In its September 2012 review of the Pittsburgh Symphony’s Exton recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 5, Gramophone magazine wrote, “Pittsburgh’s first horn is as spectacular as any on disc.”
The 2013-2014 Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra season represents Caballero’s 24th year as its principal horn. Before joining the Pittsburgh Symphony in May 1989, Caballero previously held principal horn positions with the Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera and Hartford Symphony. He held third horn positions with the Montreal Symphony, Montreal Opera and acting third horn with the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops. He has also performed as guest principal horn with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the St. Louis Symphony.
Born in New Mexico and reared in Wisconsin, Caballero’s early horn studies included working under Larry Simons, Barry Benjamin and Basil Tyler, as well as studying the piano and pipe organ. Caballero graduated from New England Conservatory in Boston where he studied with Richard Mackey and Thomas Newell, both former members of the Boston Symphony. Currently, Caballero is the associate teaching professor of horn at Carnegie Mellon University School of Music. Previously, he held teaching positions at Indiana University Bloomington, Rice University in Houston, Texas and Duquesne University. He has been invited and presented master classes throughout the world including Northwestern University, Colburn School of Music, New England Conservatory, University of Indiana Bloomington, Cleveland Institute of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony and the Beijing and Shanghai Conservatories.
The past two summers Bill joined the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival as performer and teacher. For the previous seven summers, Caballero was on the faculty and performed at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. In January 2012, Caballero began collaboration with the Internet music teaching company ArtistWorks.com based in Napa, California. His teaching website was released in September 2012 as the only complete horn teaching curriculum available via the internet for horn students worldwide.
Caballero is also in demand as a chamber musician collaborating with musicians such as violinists Gil Shaham, Joseph Silverstein and Philip Setzer, and pianists André Previn, Christoph Eshenbach, Orli Shaham and Andre Watts. Caballero also has performed and worked with jazz musician and composer Chris Brubeck, as well as ensembles that include the Tokyo String Quartet, Trio Johannas, Principal Strings of the Berlin Philharmonic, Center City Brass, Bay Chamber Concert Series, St. Barth’s Music Festival and the Grand Teton Music Festival. He also is a member of the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, which includes fellow colleagues of the Pittsburgh Symphony brass section.
Recent chamber music performances include performing Brahms’ Horn Trio in E-flat major with Gil and Orli Shaham in Zankel Recital Hall, Carnegie Hall, New York and appearing several times live on National Public Radio’s “Performance Today” in NPR’s Washington, D.C. studios.
This season is Caballero’s second appearance as soloist with Maestro Manfred Honeck. His first solo collaboration with Honeck was in September 2012 performing the Pittsburgh Symphony premiere of Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 1. Previous solo performances with the Pittsburgh Symphony have included Richard Strauss’ Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flatwith Maestro Lorin Maazel; Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flatwith Maestro Andre Previn; Mozart Concerto fragments with Pittsburgh Symphony Concertmaster Andres Cardenes; Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings with Maestro Stanislaw Skrowaczewski and tenor Anthony Griffey; Schumann’s Konzertstück in F, for four horns and orchestra with his Pittsburgh Symphony horn colleagues under the baton of Maestro Sir John Elliot Gardener; and the John Williams Horn Concerto under the baton of Maestro Leonard Slatkin.
Other recent solo appearances outside of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra have included performances in Montenegro with Maestro Ronald Zollman and with the Carnegie Mellon Philharmonic at New York City’s Carnegie Hall under the baton of former principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra Dale Clevenger. In May 1992, Caballero premiered Benjamin Lees’ Concerto for Horn and Orchestrawith the Pittsburgh Symphony under the baton of then-Music Director Lorin Maazel. Following the performances in Pittsburgh, he performed Lees’ Concerto in Spain, Germany and England with the Pittsburgh Symphony on tour. In May 1996, Caballero recorded the concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony and Lorin Maazel for New World Records. William holds the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s Anonymous Foundation Principal Horn Chair.
Principal Trombone Tom and Jamee Todd Chair
In the fall of 1999, Peter Sullivan was appointed Principal Trombone of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra by Mariss Jansons. Canadian-born Sullivan came to Pittsburgh following a long and fruitful tenure as Solo Trombone with the Montreal Symphony under Charles Dutoit.
Sullivan has performed as a soloist on many occasions with several orchestras including the Pittsburgh and Montreal Symphonys. In 2006, he performed the world premiere performance of Jennifer Higdon’s Trombone Concerto with Sir Andrew Davis and the PSO.
Apart from his activities in Pittsburgh, Sullivan performs regularly across North America, Europe and Asia as soloist and chamber musician alongside the world’s leading brass players. He is a regular visitor to Japan, playing and teaching at the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, the Suntory recital hall in Tokyo, the Hamamatsu Summer Academy, as well as performing solo recitals in Osaka. In China, Peter is involved with the Canton International Summer Music Academy and performed and gave master classes at the Tian Jin and Beijing Conservatories in April of 2006.
Aside from countless orchestral performances in the great concert halls of Europe, Sullivan has performed at the Ascoli Piceno Brass Festival in Italy, and was featured in Christian Lindberg’s Trombone Concerto in Bunol, Spain with the composer on the podium. Sullivan was also the first prize winner in the 1990 Umea International Solo Competition in Sweden.
Here at home, Peter Sullivan has given concerts and clinics from coast to coast, including master classes at the Juilliard and Manhattan schools in New York City, The Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, the Glenn Gould Academy in Toronto, coaching at the New World Symphony and the Banff School and tours with the Summit Brass and the Music of the Baroque in Chicago. He has been heard across Canada in recital on CBC radio and on NPR with his colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass.
Presently, Sullivan serves on the faculties of Duquesne and Carnegie Mellon universities in Pittsburgh, following 15 years as adjunct professor at McGill University in Montreal. For the past few years, he has been working with the Yamaha Corporation on the development of their new line of orchestral trombones, the prototype of which he plays every week with the PSO.
Craig Knox joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as principal tuba in 2005. His previous orchestra positions included acting principal tuba of the San Francisco Symphony as well as principal tuba of the Sacramento Symphony and the New World Symphony (Miami). Prior to his appointment in Pittsburgh, he was in demand as regular guest artist with many other major American orchestras, including those of Philadelphia, Cleveland, Chicago, Detroit and Minnesota. Since 1995, he has spent part of each summer as co-principal tuba of the Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyo.
Since joining the Pittsburgh Symphony, Knox also performs with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass. He has been an active chamber musician for many years, having co-founded the Center City Brass Quintet, which has performed in recital throughout the United States and Japan, and been heard numerous times on NPR. Its five recordings on the Chandos label have met with critical acclaim, the first being described by American Record Guide as “one of the all-time great brass quintet recordings.” In addition, he played for several seasons with the Chicago Chamber Musicians Brass Quintet — with which he recorded for the Naxos label — and has toured with the Empire Brass. In January 2012, Knox released his first solo recording, A Road Less Traveled, of music for tuba and piano. As a soloist, he has performed with the U.S. Army Band (Pershing’s Own) in Washington D.C., the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the New World Symphony and the Carnegie Mellon University Wind Ensemble, in addition to recital performances at universities and music festivals around the world. In March 2012, he performed the world-premiere performances of Andre Previn’s Triple Concerto for Trumpet, Horn and Tuba with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, and the composer on the podium.
In 2008, the Albany label released a CD recording featuring Knox and his colleagues in the Pittsburgh Symphony low-brass section. Featuring chamber music, orchestral collections and original compositions for three trombones and tuba, the album — titled From the Back Row — was called “hauntingly beautiful” and “hair-raising” by the American Record Guide.
Knox is artist lecturer of Tuba at Carnegie Mellon University, adjunct professor of tuba at Duquesne University and faculty at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. He previously served on the faculty at Kent State University and California State University-Hayward, as well as the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where he was director of the Brass Chamber Music program. He has presented master classes, seminars and recitals at universities, conservatories and festivals around the world, including the Music Masters Course in Kazusa (Japan), the International Brass Symposium (Italy), Tainan National University (Taiwan), the Bruckner University of Music (Linz, Austria), Stuttgart Conservatory (Germany), the National Orchestral Institute (University of Maryland), the National Youth Orchestra of the U.S.A. (Carnegie Hall) and the New World Symphony, as well as the University of Michigan, Indiana University, Yale University and the Curtis Institute of Music, among many others.
A native of Storrs, Conn., Knox began formal musical studies on the classical guitar at age six, and took up the baritone horn in the fifth grade. At age 11, while attending a summer music camp, he was so enamored of the student orchestra that he switched to tuba so he could pursue a life in music as an orchestral performer. His first teachers included Gary Ofenloch, Samuel Pilafian and Chester Schmitz, and he attended the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Paul Krzywicki of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and earned a Bachelor of Music degree.
Please visit craigknoxtuba.com for more information about Knox and his activities.