Recently declared the 2013 recipient of the Chamber Music America’s highest tribute — The Richard J Bogomolny National Service Award, for significant and lasting contribution to the field — American Brass Quintet is considered an icon in the brass world.
The ABQ’s rich history includes performances in Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, Australia and all fifty of the United States; a discography of over 55 recordings, and the premieres of over 150 contemporary brass works.
Newtown Friends of Music (NFM) will welcome American Brass Quintet to town on Sunday, March 16. The quintet will perform at 3 pm on the stage of Edmond Town Hall as part of NFM’s 2014-2015 season, its 36th year of presenting classical music.
Many concertgoers will fondly when the American Brass Quintet gave a concert in Newtown on October 6, 2002, for NFM’s 25th anniversary year. The quintet received outstanding reviews from both audience and press including Travilla Deming (The Newtown Bee), who in part: “Silver trumpets, silver flugelhorns, golden trombones and French horn … The near capacity audience, with many young children and smattering of high school band students in attendance, anticipated this concert with special pleasure. Serious brass music is not often heard in the framework of a chamber music series.”
In addition, ABQ spent the night in Newtown and gave a School Outreach Program to the Newtown High School Band Students on the following morning.
Equally dedicated to the promotion of brass chamber music through education, the American Brass Quintet has been in residence at The Juilliard School since 1987 and Aspen Music Festival since 1970. Since 2001 ABQ has offered its expertise in chamber music performance and training with a program of mini residencies as part of its regular touring season. Designed to offer young groups and individuals an intense chamber music experience over several days, the program has been embraced by schools and communities around the world.
In the last five years, the ABQ’s Emerging Composer Commissioning program has brought forth new brass quintets by Gordon Beeferman, Trevor Gureckis, Jay Greenberg, and Shafer Mahoney. In commemoration of the its 50th anniversary in 2010, ABQ released its Summit label ninth recording, a double CD of new works written for the ABQ in the last decade called State of the Art — the ABQ at 50.
Committed to remaining a quintet, members may have changed during the past half-century but the group has always been committed to finding outstanding musicians, both as performers and teachers, for its line-up.
Trumpeter Kevin Cobb became a member of the ABQ in the fall of 1998. Prior to his joining, he had been a member of the Manhattan Brass Quintet and Meridian Arts Ensemble. Currently Mr Cobb serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, SUNY Stony Brook, The Hartt School, and Aspen Music School. He performs regularly with such organizations as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, and is co-principal trumpeter of Aspen Festival Orchestra.
Trumpeter Louis Hanzlik is a member of the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and other significant ensembles. He is a member of The Juilliard School’s faculty. Mr Hanzlik also frequently performs with the Caramoor International Music Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He is currently Associate Professor of Music (Trumpet and Chamber Music) at the University of Connecticut.
David Wakefield, horn, joined ABQ in 1976 while a doctoral student at The Juilliard School. He also served as Associate Dean for Performance Activities at The Juilliard School. A member of Aspen Music School faculty since 1976, the Juilliard School faculty since 1987, and Hartt School since 2011, he also served as Associate Dean for Performance Activities at The Juilliard School.
Principal horn of The Little Orchestra Society, Michael Powell performs on the tenor trombone and has been an ABQ member since 1983. He is on the faculties of The Juilliard School, SUNY Stony Brook, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and Aspen Music School. Mr Powell commissioned, premiered and recorded Sonata for Trombone and Piano by Eric Ewazen, with the composer as pianist.
Bass trombonist John Rojak joined ABQ in 1991. Among other engagements, he served as bass trombonist for the 16-year run of Les Miserables on Broadway. He is on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Bard College Conservatory of Music, and Aspen Music School.
The quintet’s concert on March 16 will include works from the 16th, 17th 19th, 20th and 21st Centuries. An informal reception following the concert will offer concertgoers the opportunity to meet and mingle with the musicians.
Tickets are $25, and may be reserved by sending check and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Newtown Friends of Music, PO Box 295, Newtown CT 06470-0295. Reservations are strongly encouraged.
On the afternoon of the concert the box office will open at 2 pm. Remaining tickets will be available for cash or check only.
Students K-12 are admitted free of charge when accompanied by a ticket-holding adult.
Parking is free behind Edmond Town Hall. The facility is handicapped accessible.
For information regarding this and other concerts and to print out an order form, visit newtownfriendsofmusic.org. The website also includes details about the March 16 planned program, the artists, NFoM’s School Outreach Programs, and reviews of past concerts.