An Interview With Ethan Bensdorf…

The current ‘new’ generation of classical trumpeters out there is very strong globally. These young guys are competing internationally with the very best out there. Their overall game is more complete than ever. Of course, it is easier than ever to get around and undertake study with the very best teachers in the world and also communication between ourselves is so much stronger via the internet etc. Such resources as relatively cheap travel and the world web were not so readily available only a generation of trumpeters ago. I think that work is scarcer now than when I was freelancing, many moons ago! These young guys know this and they are hungry for the opportunity to practice the art of trumpet playing professionally. The standard of preparation is excellent and so is the attention to detail. It just goes to show: there is always room at the top for the very best players, irrelevant of age.

The New York Philharmonic Orchestra have made two appointments to their trumpet section. Ethan Bensdorf on second trumpet and Matt Muckey on third trumpet. Both only in their twenties and fairly recently finishing full time study: products of the successful Chicago school of brass playing, they are now playing in one of the world’s great orchestras. The Principal Trumpet of the New York Phil, Philip Smith (who is English by the way!) has announced he is retiring. What bets are there that one of these two young superstars or someone entirely new will succeed him…

Anyway, the interview…

I found the recorded interview on a site called ‘The Practice Of Practice, an excellent resource site. The site is headed by Jonathan Harnum. There is also some great advice on there about practice from the great Wynton Marsalis.

“… Ethan Bensdorf: NY Philharmonic Trumpeter on Practice
Posted on June 16, 2011 by Jonathan Harnum
Ethan Bensdorf, NY Philharmonic trumpeter
You have to be beyond your instrument and hear, really hear what comes out the other end. If you’re just practicing for the sake of practicing, for getting better, that’s part of it, but also you have to hear what you’re practicing. You have to be a completely active listener while you practice.
~Ethan Bensdorf, from the interview
NY Philharmonic trumpeter Ethan Bensdorf is a superb classical trumpet player. We talked over the phone and he told me the story of how he landed the gig with the New York Philharmonic, playing with principal trumpet legend Mr. Phillip Smith, including a week Ethan spent getting his chops together on the rotary valve trumpet before heading back to New York for another round of final auditions. Ethan also shared his thoughts about practice and had a lot of great things to say. Hope you enjoy.”

Ethan Bensdorf on practice (mp3)

About brendanball

Professional Trumpeter: Soloist, Orchestra Player, Chamber Music, Contemporary Music & Education.
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