Guest Clinicians 2017 / 2018
Christopher Gongos (Associate Principal Horn, Toronto Symphony Orchestra)
Sun. Jan. 28th 10am-12pm – South Building, UofT Faculty of Music, 90 Wellesley St. W., Upper Jazz
Sponsored by Yamaha
Christopher Gongos is one of Canada’s most respected horn players. Originally from Edmonton Alberta, he has been a member of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra since 1998, where he holds the position of Associate Principal Horn. Before moving to Toronto, Christopher had been a member of the Winnipeg Symphony, the Hamilton Philharmonic, the Kitchener Waterloo Symphony and the Canadian Chamber Ensemble.
In addition to his work with the TSO, Christopher is an avid chamber musician and soloist.
Christopher received his formal education at the University of Alberta where he earned his Bachelor of Music degree in Performance, as a student of Kay McCallister. He then pursued graduate studies at McGill University where he studied with John Zirbel. He was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and a Fellow at the Tanglewood Institute.
As a dedicated teacher, Christopher maintains studios at the University of Toronto, Faculty of Music and the Glenn Gould School. He has also given masterclasses at universities across the country, and has been on the faculty of Domaine Forget in Quebec.
Christopher Gongos is Yamaha Performing Artist.
James Gourlay – low brass masterclass
Fri. Feb. 16th 10am-12pm U of T Faculty of Music, EJB room 216
James Gourlay was born in Scotland where, at an early age, he was volunteered to play in the local school brass band. He made rapid progress and soon became Scottish National solo champion at junior and senior levels.Gourlay later studied tuba performance at the Royal College of Music, London, but left after a short time to take up a full time position in the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Three years later, he became principal tuba of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in London.It was in that city that Gourlay became involved with the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, sharing the tuba chair with John Fletcher. At that time, he was also active in the film industry, performing on the sound tracks of Superman II and III, Batman and Yentl, to name but a few.
After 10 great years at the BBC, working with some of the world’s greatest conductors, Gourlay was invited to become the solo tubist of the Zurich Opera House Orchestra in Switzerland. It was there that he developed his skills as a conductor, attending master-classes with Ralph Weikert, and working with the Brass Band Berner Oberland, with which he won the Swiss National Championship 5 times and the Swiss Open Contest 4 times, record that has yet to be beaten. After nine years at the Zurich Opera, Gourlay was invited by the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, England, to become the Head of its Wind, Brass and Percussion department, following in the footsteps of Timothy Reynish. Later, another invitation, this time from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, took Gourlay back to his native Scotland, to become Deputy Principal (Music) of that institution.
Today, James Gourlay is the General Director of Pittsburgh’s own River City Brass, the world’s only full-time professional brass band, performing 70 concerts annually all over the USA, and Director of Instrumental Music and University Bands at Wheeling Jesuit University, West Virginia. Gourlay holds a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Salford, a MMus from the University of Leeds and is a Fellow of the Royal Northern College of Music (FRNCM) and the London College of Music (FLCM). Gourlay has also been honoured by the Worshipful Company of Musicians, which conferred upon him the John Henry Isles Medal for services to the brass band movement.Gourlay’s repertoire is extensive, ranging from the avant-guard to rock and pop music. He has commissioned more than 50 solo works for tuba and piano, tape, band and orchestra. As a conductor, he works with some of the world’s leading brass groups, but also with orchestras such as the Sinfonica in Campinas, Brazil, the Orquestra Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal. He is a regular guest conductor of the National Youth Wind Orchestra of Great Britain (NYWO), which he will tour Switzerland in the Summer of 2013. He has made 5 solo CDs, including the acclaimed ‘British Tuba Concertos’ and more than 20 CDs with brass bands and wind bands.
Jim Thompson (Professor of Trumpet, Eastman School of Music)
Sun March 11 10am-12pm masterclass at 90W with pre-class body warm-up at 9:30am with Leslie MacDonald – Pilates instructor
sponsored by: Yamaha and University of Toronto Faculty of Music
James Thompson is Professor of Trumpet at the renowned Eastman School of Music. He came to this position having played Principal Trumpet in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra since September 1990. He has held corresponding positions with the Phoenix Symphony, the Orchestra of the State of Mexico, the National Symphony of Mexico, and for 14 years, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He is in addition currently Solo trumpet of the Orchestra Toscanini under the direction of Loren Mazel.Born in Frankfurt, Germany, he was raised in Phoenix, Arizona where he began trumpet studies at the age of ten. His principal teachers included Richard Longfield and Roger Voisin.
Mr. Thompson has been active both as a soloist and a teacher. He has taught trumpet and Brass Ensemble at Northern Arizona University, the National Conservatory of Music in Mexico City, and McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He has also performed as soloist with orchestras in North and South America as well as Europe. In 1979 he competed in the first Maurice Andre International Trumpet Competition and was a prizewinner. He has made recital tours to Japan, Australia Canada, Spain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, and Latin America. He has also been a guest artist with the Summit Brass, a brass chamber ensemble made up of members from America¹s finest orchestras, and Chicago¹s Music of the Baroque. At the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Opening Ceremonies he was seen performing a jazz/gospel trumpet solo on television more than 3 billion people. In the last year he has performed as guest Principal Trumpet with the New York Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as well as the Baltimore Symphony.
Mr. Thompson has also actively encouraged new compositions for the trumpet. In 1987 he performed the world premiere of Malcolm Forsyth¹s Concerto for Trumpet, which was written for him and the Montreal Symphony.
He has recorded this concerto with the Kitchener-Waterloo Orchestra for CBC Records in May 1992. In 1990 he performed the Quebec premier of Jacques Hetu¹s Trumpet Concerto, and in March of 1992 he gave the world premier of the Glenn Buhr Concerto for Trumpet, also written for him and the Montreal Symphony.
Mr. Thompson can be heard on London Decca recordings with the Montreal Symphony, and Telarc¹s Atlanta Symphony releases. He has also recorded on the Chandos Label in performances, which include, Vivaldi¹s Concerto for Two Trumpets, and the critically acclaimed Shostakovich Concerto #1 for Piano, Trumpet and Strings. In addition he has recorded with the Eastman Wind Ensemble new works for trumepet and Wind Ensemble entitled Danzon.
Mr.Thompson is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
Karen Donnelly (Principal Trumpet, National Arts Centre Orchestra)
Sunday, March 25th 10am-12pm – South Building, UofT Faculty of Music, 90 Wellesley St. W., Upper Jazz
Sponsored by Yamaha
Following three successful seasons (1996-1999) as Acting Principal Trumpet of the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Karen Donnelly was unanimously appointed Principal Trumpet in October 1999, and continues to enjoy each year with this wonderful ensemble.
A native of Regina, Saskatchewan, Karen picked up a trumpet for the first time in her elementary school band program and she was hooked. Her formal training includes a Bachelor of Arts in Music program at the University of Regina and later a Master’s of Music from McGill University.
Karen held the position of Principal Trumpet with Orchestra London (Canada) from 1994-1996, and performed with many ensembles in southwestern Ontario during her time there.
Since she burst on the Ottawa scene in 1996, Ms. Donnelly has done concerts and interviews for CBC (French and English), performances with the Ottawa Chamber Music Festival, Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet, and the large ensemble, Capital BrassWorks. In 2008, Capital Brass Works released its third album, “Gabriel’s Sister” featuring Ms. Donnelly as soloist.
Karen has been featured with professional orchestras, community amateur orchestras, and many local school bands. These include the National Arts Centre Orchestra, Thirteen Strings Chamber Orchestra, Kington Symphony, Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra London, Hannaford Silver Street Band, Maple Leaf Brass Band, Parkdale Orchestra and the Regina Catholic Schools Honour Band.
Music education has always been, and continues to be, very close to Karen’s heart. Her work with the Rideau Lakes Brass Quintet and Capital BrassWorks creates opportunities for educational concerts and workshops in schools. Through the NAC Music Education programs, Karen has given master classes in Switzerland, Mexico, China, United States, United Kingdom and Canada from coast to coast. Ms. Donnelly joined the teaching staff at the University of Ottawa in 2002, and since 2009, Karen has been assisting with the Leadingnote “Orchkidstra” program.
Peter Sullivan (Principal Trombone, Pittsburgh Symphony)
- Stay tuned for date and location!
Sponsored by Yamaha
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.
Joe Alessi (Principal Trombone, New York Philharmonic)
- Thurs. April 5 1:30-4 – Walter Hall, Faculty of Music, U of T
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 Bolcoms’ Trombone Concerto in the summer of 2016.
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 Edwards 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 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.