Joan and Bill Goldstein Chair
The sound of Rodney’s trumpet has reverberated throughout the world. Whether playing baroque piccolo trumpet or interpreting works commissioned especially for him, his artistry has been enthusiastically enjoyed inside of the United States and in such countries as France, Spain, Germany, England, Greece, Rumania, Japan, Taiwan, and Korea. He has been praised by music critics from Fanfare Magazine, American Record Guide, Records International Catalog, and other international publications for his evocative interpretation, impeccable virtuosity, and beauty of sound.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, Rodney Marsalis has worked under the guidance of world renowned conductors such as Leonard Bernstein, Michael Tilson Thomas, Gerard Schwarz, James DePreist, John Williams, Jesus Lopez- Cobos and Christopher Hogwood. He was awarded a fellowship at the Tanglewood Music Center where he was invited to return for a second summer during which he was awarded the Seiji Ozawa Award for Outstanding Musicianship.
Mr. Marsalis was born in New Orleans, Louisiana where he began his musical studies at the age of six. When he was eleven years of age, he began taking classical trumpet lessons with his cousin, Wynton Marsalis. Referred to as a “trumpet prodigy” his solo debut was at the age of fifteen with the New Orleans Symphony. After having won various solo competitions, he received national attention at the age of nineteen performing as soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He has also performed as soloist with the San Diego Symphony, the Tenerife Symphony, the Orquestra Sinfonica de Barcelona i Nacional de Catalunya, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and many orchestras throughout the United States and Europe.
Mr. Marsalis has made several world premiere recordings including “Sonata for Trumpet and Piano” (Albany Records) by Adolphus Hailstork and “In Our Own House”(Albany Records) by composer Alvin Singleton with saxophonist Branford Marsalis.
In 1998 Rodney Marsalis made the premiere and critically acclaimed recording of Franz Waxman’s “Carmen Fantasy for Trumpet and Orchestra” with conductor Lawrence Foster on the Koch International record label.
Rodney’s debut solo trumpet CD “Spirit of the Trumpeter” (Albany Records) has been dubbed as a “best seller”. It is a compilation of some of the most popular recital works for trumpet and piano. Regarding “Spirit of the Trumpeter,” former cornet virtuoso and renown conductor Gerard Schwarz says, “Rodney is a superb trumpet player and musician. I have no doubt that this CD will make an important addition to the catalogue of sublime trumpet performances.”
In the course of his more than twenty years as an orchestral musician, Mr. Marsalis was the winner of several national and international competitions for titled orchestral chairs including positions with The New Orleans Symphony, The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, The San Diego Symphony Orchestra, The Orquestra Sinfonica de Tenerife, The Barcelona Symphony, and The Richmond Symphony. After completing a one year trial period he was awarded the Principal Trumpet position with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia. During his tenure as Principal Trumpet with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra Mr. Marsalis was appointed head of the trumpet department at the Escuela Superior de Musica de Catalunya (ESMUC) Spain’s leading music conservatory. He has recently been invited to give master classes at the Julliard School, The North Carolina School for the Arts, the National Trumpet Competition and the International Trumpet Guild Conference. He has also been invited to teach at the Eastern Music Festival and the Interlochen Music Academy.
Rodney can be heard as Soloist and Principal Trumpet on more than thirty different recordings with labels such as Decca, Naxos, Koch International Classics, and Albany Records. His year is split between his duties as Principal Trumpet with Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and various master class and solo engagements in the United States and abroad.