Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic in the spring of 1985. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr. As a high school student in San Rafael, California, he was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony before continuing his musical training at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. Prior to joining the Philharmonic, Mr. Alessi was second trombone of The Philadelphia Orchestra for four seasons, and principal trombone of L’Orchestre symphonique de Montreal for one season. In addition, he has performed as guest principal trombonist with the London Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall led by Pierre Boulez.
Mr. Alessi is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber music performer. In April 1990 he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic, which commissioned the work for its 150th anniversary celebration. His most recent appearance with the Philharmonic as soloist was in world premiere performances of William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto in the winter of 2017. Mr. Alessi also has appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic in performances of concerti by Kazimierz Serocki, Bramwell Tovey, and William Grant Still. In June of 2021 he will give the world premiere of the Chick Corea Trombone Concerto.
Joseph Alessi has recorded and performed extensively with four prominent trombone quartets; The New York Trombone Quartet resulting in the only recording of Bartok’s 4th String Quartet, Four of a Kind Trombone Quartet, the World Trombone Quartet, and Slide Monsters Trombone Quartet.
Other solo engagements have included the New Japan Philharmonic, Nagoya Philharmonic, Orchestra of Teatro Bellini, Mannheim National Theater Orchestra, Hauge Philharmonic, Helsinki Philharmonic, and the Colorado, Alabama, Santa Barbara, Syracuse, and Puerto Rico symphony orchestras.. Mr. Alessi has also participated in numerous festivals, including the Festivale Musica di Camera in Protogruaro, Italy; Cabrillo Music Festival; Swiss Brass Week; and Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. He was featured in the 1997 International Trombone Festival in Feldkirch, Austria, and the International Meeting of Brass Instruments in Lille, France. In 2002 Mr. Alessi was awarded an International Trombone Association Award for his contributions to the world of trombone music and trombone playing, and in 2014, was elected President of that association.
Mr. Alessi is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School; his students now occupy posts with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S. and internationally. As a clinician for the Eastman-Shires Instrument Co., he has also given master classes throughout the world and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist. He has performed as soloist with several leading concert bands, including the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own), and the U.S. Marine Band (President's Own). In addition, he has performed with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, the Village Vanguard Orchestra, and has recorded with jazz greats, J.J. Johnson and Steve Turre.
Mr. Alessi’s discography includes many releases on the Summit record label, including the Trombonastics, and a disc with New York Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith entitled Fandango; he also recorded New York Legends on the Cala label. His live recording of the Rouse Concerto with the New York Philharmonic can be heard on Volume II of the recent release, An American Celebration, on New York Philharmonic Special Editions, the Orchestra’s own recording label.
Mr. Alessi was invited by the International Trombone Association to record a solo disc of newly composed works, which was distributed to the Association’s membership of 5,000 trombonists. in early 1999 and is now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. Recently, his recording of George Crumb’s Starchild on the Bridge record label, featuring Mr. Alessi as soloist, won a Grammy Award for 1999–2000. Other recordings featuring Mr. Alessi are with the Canadian Brass (Sony Classical and Philips Records). Further information about Mr. Alessi can be found on his website, www.slidearea.com. Mr. Alessi plays exclusively on a Shires-Alessi model trombone.
Joseph Alessi Sr.
1965 - 1968Jospeh Alessi Sr was born in 1915 in Brooklyn, NY. He began studying trumpet with his father, Joseph Alessi at the age of eleven. He received a scholarship to the Juilliard School where he studied with Max Schlossberg. After Schlossberg's death, Alessi continued his studies with William Vacchiano. Winning the Ossip Gabrilowitsch Memorial Scholarship gave him the opportunity to study for two years with Harry Glantz. Alessi received his orchestral training with Leon Barzin at the National Orchestral Association in New York City. He has performed with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra, the New York City Symphony and Opera under the direction of Leonard Bernstein, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, and the Goldman Band. He has a B.M. degree from the Manhattan School of Music and M.A. degree in performance from California State University at San Francisco. Mr. Alessi is the original designer of the Alessi/Vacchiano mute and the Jo-Ral series of mutes.
1968 - 1970Barry Ehrlich has been a member of the music faculty at Shoreline Community College in Seattle since 1978, where he teaches music theory, jazz history, class piano and trombone. He is an active freelance player in the Puget Sound area. Prior to moving to Seattle he was the band director at Awalt High School in Mountain View, California in addition to freelance work in the Bay Area.
1970 - 1973
Ned Meredith was born on April 8, 1923 in Altoona, PA- From age seven to twelve, Ned was an Episcopalian choir boy- The traditional vocal music nourished his love for music- At thirteen, he was introduced to the trombone and began studies and later played in the Pennsylvania Railroad Band, and by age sixteen was jobbing at the local German Clubs. Membership in the Union came at that time and study with Ottavio Ferrara, former principal trombone in the Pittsburgh Symphony. This study necessitated a 200 mile round trip by Greyhound which helped make this study invaluable. He graduated from Altoona High School in 1941, and it was during his senior year as member of the Trombone Choir, that he subbed two nights for Vernon Brown with Muggsy Spanier's Orchestra. Musicians included George Wettling, drums; Mel Powell, piano; Dean Kincaide, baritone sax; Peanuts Hucko, tenor sax; an All-Star band- This was the highlight of an early adventure with the trombone.
Ned served in the military overseas in the invasions of Sicily, Salerno and Anzio and was reunited with the trombone in Naples, Italy where he served in the 112th Army Ground Forces Band. Upon returning to civilian life, Ned entered the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music where he studied with Ernest Glover.During his junior year, he met and later married Mary AnnYoder, a talented cellist. They are proud parents of three daughters-Carol, Marlene and Jill- As scholarship recipients, Ned did graduate work at Juilliard under Roger Smith and Mary Ann at Manhattan with Diran Alexanian. As a regular sub at Radio City Music Hall in New York, Ned was influenced by Armen Ruta, James Thompson, Dick Hixson and Can Repole.
Ned won the audition for the principal position in the New Orleans Symphony succeeding Ed Erwin. In that section was, Glenn Dodson, Dee Stewart, and Ross Tolbert. Alexander Hilsburg was the illustrious conductor. While in New Orleans (1955), Ned and Mary Ann toured the Caribbean, Central and South America with the New Orleans Symphony, sponsored by the State Department. In 1959, Ned toured Central and South America with the National Symphony as alternate first under the direction of Howard Mitchell. In 1960, both Ned and Mary Ann were engaged by Maurice Abravanel in the Utah Symphony. They can be heard in many recordings including Mahler III, VIII, IX symphonies. Ned also had the distinction of performing with Lionel Hampton for two engagements(1963). Ned auditioned for Maestro Josef Crips in San Francisco (1964) and for 25 seasons played second trombone in the San Francisco Symphony- That section included Mark Lawrence, John Englekes and Floyd Cooley. Mary Ann joined the Oakland Symphony as Associate Principal Cellist. During Ned's tenure with the San Francisco Symphony, he played under Krips, Ozawa, de Waart , and Blomstedt- Ned was also principal trombone in the San Francisco Opera for 16 years, - Even though Ned "retired" in 1986, he toured Europe with the San Francisco Symphony, and again in 1999 to the Far East. In 1990, he was invited to play in the Minnesota Orchestra and opened the following symphony season with Steve Zelmer, principal trombone and dear friend, now deceased. Ned and Mary Ann both played in the Santa Fe Opera over a number of seasons. Friendship with Lewis Van Haney began in 1951 in New York City and remained steadfast until his unfortunate and sudden death in Tucson in 1991.
Presently, Ned and Mary Ann reside in Tucson, where they have enjoyed the Southwest for the past nine years. Ned is a proud friend and teacher of many students including Joseph Alessi, New York Philharmonic; Mike Brown, Phoenix Symphony; Jon Etterbeck, Galicia, Spain; Bruce Fowler, Hollywood; Hall Gough, San Francisco Ballet; Mac Dowell Kenley, San Francisco Opera; Don Kennelly, San Francisco Opera;William McElheney,Vienna Philharmonic; Zack Spellman(tuba),San Francisco Opera; Steve Witser, Cleveland Orchestra; and Russ Widener, Wichita Symphony.
1972 - 1975
Miles Anderson was born in Oakland CA in 1937. He was a graduate of the College-Conservatory of Music in Cincinnati and of the University of Southern California where he studied trombone with Ernest Glover and Robert Marstellar. Miles Anderson was the former principal trombonist with the San Francisco symphony and former member of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra from 1964-1971 He was a founding member of the Los Angeles Brass Quintet and was also formerly with the Les Brown Big Band.
1975 - 1977
Mark H. Lawrence is the Principal Trombonist with the San Francisco Symphony, a position he has held since 1974. He has also been principal trombone with the Denver Symphony and a member of the Empire Brass.
Born in Ames, Iowa, and raised in the Detroit area, Mr. Lawrence received his early musical training on piano and cello. While living in Detroit, he became, at age sixteen, the youngest musician ever to play with the renowned Detroit Concert Band, under the direction of the cornet virtuoso Leonard B. Smith. Mr. Lawrence attended the University of Michigan and The Curtis Institute of Music, where he received his bachelor of music degree.
Mr. Lawrence is an active soloist, clinician, chamber musician, and teacher. He has performed at the International Brass Conference, the International Trombone Conference, and is a frequent recitalist in this country and abroad. He has been soloist with the San Francisco Symphony on several occasions, and has been guest artist with many other orchestras as well. Mr. Lawrence is a founding member of Summit Brass, an ensemble compromised of outstanding brass players from across America. In addition he is a frequent performer with Chicago's Music of the Baroque.
Mr. Lawrence has given masterclasses worldwide, been on the faculty of Boston University, The Tanglewood Institute, the Music Academy of the West, and currently teaches at the San Francisco Conservatory, and the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute. Many of his former students have successful orchestral careers in the U.S. and in Europe.
Mr. Lawrence's discography includes recordings with the San Francisco Symphony, Summit Brass, Empire Brass, and these recent releases from Summit Records: The Golden Age of Brass Volumes I and II, featuring the music of Arthur Pryor and others with concert band accompaniment; The Complete Brass Music of Paul Hindemith, featuring the Trombone Sonata; two trombone quartet recordings: Four of a Kind, and Trombones Under the Tree, and his latest CD on dNote records entitled "Trombonology."
1975 - 1976
Mitchell Ross was principal trombone of the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra and was also acting Principal Trombone of the San Francisco Symphony for the 1968-69 season. He was a very prolific teacher to so many students in the San Francisco Bay Area.
1976 - 1977Dan Livesay serves as principle trombone of the Oakland East Bay Symphony. His extensive background has included performances with the San Francisco Symphony, Opera, and Ballet Orchestras as well as performances under the direction of Nelson Riddle, Arthur Fiedler, Hubert Laws and Maynard Ferguson. He also served for many years as principle trombonist with the Carmel Bach Festival and Cabrillo Music Festival Orchestras. As a soloist, he has received critical acclaim for his appearances with the Oakland Symphony, Cabrillo Music Festival, Bay Bones Trombone Ensemble and with the Arch Ensemble For Experimental Music in New York, Stuttgart and Cologne. He has recorded with various ensembles for CRI, CTI, Sony Classics, and Fantasy Records. He is professor emeritus at California State University at Hayward.
1977 - 1979
M. Dee Stewart, trombonist, has demonstrated his superb performance and teaching abilities around the world. As a member of the internationally renowned Philadelphia Orchestra for 18 years, he played under the direction of Eugene Ormandy and Ricardo Muti. Mr. Stewart is a two time Grammy award winner and Gran Prix du Disque recipient for his recordings as a member of the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble. In recent years, special appearances with the New York Philharmonic (Kurt Masur), the Chicago Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra keep his reputation in the forefront of brass performance circles.
Recent recordings with M. Dee Stewart include Stewart Sounds, and the Christmas trombone quartet CD Trombones Under the Tree with Joe, Mark Lawrence, and Carl Lenthe. He has also appeared with the Summit Brass at the Rafael Mendez Institute, the International Tuba and Euphonium Conference, the International Trombone Festival, Minneapolis Orchestra, Honolulu Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, and the Phoenix Symphony.
To credit are his numerous recordings, concert tours, and telecasts as well as significant manufacturing and pedagogical contributions to his field. Mr. Stewart patented the Stewart Stand for euphoniums and tubas which frees the performer from the burden of holding the instrument, thereby greatly assisting with breathing and tone production. He compiled and edited two books published by The Instrumentalist on two of the definitive brass performers and teachers of our time: Arnold Jacobs: The Legacy of a Master and Philip Farkas: The Legacy of a Master.
With programs featuring alto trombone, tenor trombone, bass trombone, and euphonium, Mr. Stewart's recitals are full or variety and showmanship to satisfy many musical tastes. His audiences experience a wide range of repertoire and musical emotion in pieces like the stately "Bydlo" from Pictures at an Exhibition on euphonium, an entertaining tenor trombone rendition of Bougeois' Trombone Concerto, and the reflective Four Serious Songs of Brahms performed on Bass Trombone. He tops it all off with encore show-stoppers like Blue Bells of Scotland which transports his audience back to the era of the great Sousa band concerts.
Professor of trombone and euphonium at Indiana University School of Music since 1980, he also served ten years on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music. Mr. Stewart is an acclaimed teacher and clinician for master classes and brass workshops around the world, and he has been instrumental in the development of many outstanding trombonists.
M. Dee Stewart is a United Musical Instruments artist.
1979 - 1980
Glenn, a native of Berwick, PA, began his music training at age nine. After high school, he attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, then joined the Marine Band in Washington, DC as trombone soloist. In 1956, he started a nine year stay with the New Orleans Symphony, which presented the opportunity to play jazz with Al Hirt and Pete Fountain. During that time, he also spent six seasons with the Santa Fe Opera Orchestra. He joined the Chicago Symphony in 1965, and while there, was also active in commercial studio work. In 1968, Glenn moved to the Philadelphia Orchestra as principal trombonist. In addition to teaching private students, Glenn served as Instructor of Trombone and Brass Ensemble at the Curtis Institute. Glenn retired from the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1995 and from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1998, but he continues to coach and play in many jazz groups including his own Raz-Jaz Dixie Band.