My Top Ten Orchestral Trumpet Players Today

This is my personal top-ten list of some of the finest orchestral trumpeters that are playing today. Please comment and let me know your favorites.

  1. Philip Smith, principal, , since 1988.
  2. Chris Martin, principal, , since 2005.
  3. Michael Sachs, principal, Cleveland Orchestra, since 1988.

  4. Thomas Hooten, principal, Los Angeles Philharmonic, since 2012.
  5. David Bilger, principal, Philadelphia Orchestra, since 1995.
  6. Thomas Rolfs, principal, Boston Symphony Orchestra, since 2006
  7. Mark Inouye, principal, San Francisco Symphony, since 2008
  8. Giuliano Sommerhalder, principal, Concertgebouw Orchestra, since 2011

    Gábor Tarkövi, principal trumpet, Berlin Philharmonic

    Gábor Tarkövi, principal trumpet, Berlin Philharmonic

  9. Gábor Tarkövi, principal, Berlin Philharmonic, since 2004
  10. Philip Cobb, principal, London Symphony Orchestra, since 2009
Philip Cobb, principal trumpet, LSO, with former principal, Maurice Murphy

Philip Cobb, principal trumpet, LSO, with former principal, Maurice Murphy

11 thoughts on “My Top Ten Orchestral Trumpet Players Today

  1. I definitely agree with your selection of the players on your list that I know of as far as top orchestral trumpet players. Two of my favorite trumpet players in general are Dizzie Gillespie and Wynton Marsalis. Gillespie is from South Carolina like me. Marsalis received the first Pulitzer Prize for Music for a jazz recording.

  2. Hi Stanley,

    My name is Gertjan Loot, solo trumpet player of het Nederlands Philharmonisch Orkest in Amsterdam and trumpet professor at the Conservatorium Of the Haque, NL.
    I would love to contact Philip Cobb for a masterclass on our school. Do you have an idea how I can reach him?
    Best regards Gertjan

    • Dear President Obama (!), I played briefly with Paul in 1992 or so, in the New World Symphony Orchestra (in Miami). I was personally very impressed with his amazing playing. Especially his lovely articulation and tone.

    • Thanks so much, Tim. I do feel that this post is now too dated, since there has been movements in the careers of Philip Smith (now a teacher at University of Georgia) and Giuliano Sommerhalder (who left the Concertgebouw in 2013). I think Mark Inouye maybe moving to NY (?). I’m not updating my blog as frequently as I would like, because I am trying to compose more these days.

  3. I would like to add to your list trumpeters the very impressive Jan Hasenohhrl of the fabulous Czech National Symphony Orchestra!

    • Well, Henry, I, for one, think old school is good school. Fantastic players. I’m particularly amazed at the quality of Glantz’s playing, in those early recordings.

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