My Top Ten List of Classical Trumpet Soloists Living Today

I wanted to pay tribute to the trumpeters whose solo talents open our ears and heart with their playing. They are perhaps the ones who work the hardest to raise the reputation of this instrument from its military beginnings to become as equal as possible with violinists, pianists and singers who concertize internationally. This list is for classical trumpet soloists who are still alive and playing today.

The Amazing French Trumpeter, David Guerrier

The Amazing French Trumpeter, David Guerrier

 

1. David Guerrier, French trumpeter AND hornist. Incredibly versatile (trumpet, horn, and baroque trumpet, keyed trumpet, natural horn), I once heard from Niklas Eklund that he hardly is known to practice! While this surely can’t be true, he is definitely naturally talented. This is a video of David playing the Arban “Carnival of Venice” on an antique cornet. In the same concert, he also plays keyed trumpet and hand horn!!

 

 

2. Håkan Hardenberger, Swedish sensation of the 1990’s, he still plays quite a bit. Håkan has played a wide variety of repertoire, including avant-garde music, and has recorded dozens of albums.

Here’s a nice documentary about Håkan from 1992. 48 minutes long, it has some nice audio in between the talking:

 

 

English Trumpeter, Alison Balsom

English Trumpeter, Alison Balsom

 

 

3. Alison Balsom is one of my favorite soloists today because of her obvious authenticity when it comes to baroque music. From England, she has recorded numerous albums and has even devised a theatrical work where she plays trumpet on stage! Here she is talking about a period instrument recording project:

 

 

4. Philip Smith–I know, he’s an orchestral trumpeter, but he solos so frequently and he has recorded so often, and, most importantly, he sounds so amazingly when he solos, that I have to include him on this list! Here he is playing the music that he obviously loves so much. That sound is heavenly.

 

 

Boston University Professor of Trumpet, Terry Everson

Boston University Professor of Trumpet, Terry Everson

 

6. Terry Everson, here’s a thinking man’s trumpeter who also can really “sing” on the instrument. Check him out on this very difficult sonata by Jan Krzywicki.

 

 

 

 

7. Jens Lindemann, multiple-prizerwinner, chamber musician and soloist from Canada. Here he is doing what he does best:

 

8. Tine Thing Helseth–Norwegian trumpeter, Tine has recorded numerous albums. Here’s a performance with an all-women orchestra in Norway.

 

Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Symphony

Ryan Anthony, Principal Trumpet of the Dallas Symphony

 

9. Ryan Anthony, one the most naturally gifted trumpeters I know, Ryan has spent a lot of time in quintets (like the Center City Brass Quintet and the Canadian Brass Quintet), but he is an amazing soloist. Here he is at Lindenwood Christian Church performing with organist Gary Beard. No complete takes here, but you can get the idea. He’s a virtuoso!

 

 

 

10. Matthias Höfs, is one of my favorite German trumpet players (and I have many!).  I thought I would offer up this “Spanish Christmas” video with his strange two-bell trumpet (one for mute). He has played with the German Brass since 1985. His piccolo playing is also amazing.

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20 thoughts on “My Top Ten List of Classical Trumpet Soloists Living Today

  1. Would it be possible to obtain the cd you refer to in your practice routine. I use the James stamp routines but would like to try your practice routines and use your cd recording you mentioned for the warmup,

    Many thanks

  2. Interesting. thanks for the post. Curious, was this list based on all trumpet players or narrowed down to some category? I’m wondering why you list, for instance, . Ryan Anthony. Have you heard Maurice Andre play the same passage? It seems not even a close match. have you heard Wynton play Hummel or carnival of Venice? Perhaps you have an age restriction or were just listing up-and-coming, lesser known trumpeters?

    • Dirk–thank you for your comment!! This list is just my own observations. It is a list of living trumpeters, so, unfortunately, Maurice Andre cannot be on this list.
      About Ryan: I wished that I had more usable footage/audio from some of his more serious work, but much of this is restricted because of copyright issues, I suspect. Ryan is very much one of the most technically gifted trumpeters ever TO WALK THIS PLANET, in my opinion. My opinion is based on being at the same school with him for a year and also sharing a suite with him during a summer festival. Most of the time that I heard Ryan, I was dumbfounded! He is also a great musician in terms of interpretation, but his main reason for being on this list is his ability to play lyrically, to play with great endurance, to play with a great sound, to play high and to play with great technique.
      I do agree that Wynton would be great on this list. He is also a jaw-dropping trumpeter.

  3. Thanks for these delightful Gifts!
    Well, Top Ten List are only Ten; but it would be nice to mention Wynton Marsalis, although not fully classico, his ability is outstanding

    Best regards

  4. hi Stan,

    you mentioned to love a lot of german trumpet players. One of the older guys, Heinz Zickler, is living close to my place and I enjoied taking some lessons from him.
    He is now 95 and still in good shape, born and studied trumpet and organ in Dresden, later engagements in Mainz.

    Just to let you know. If you like to meet a witness of german classic trumpet and organ music ( Master of Bach interpretation) I could be of help.

    Keep going,
    Frank

    • Vielen dank, Frank! I do not know much about Heinz Zickler, but I did find this on YouTube–a movement from a recording he made in the 1960s. This is Hertel, Concerto in D for trumpet, 2 oboes and 2 bassoons. I like his playing very much!
      https://youtu.be/2ddUtYrvMMw

  5. This is a wonderful list, however there are a few you missed:

    Markus Stockhausen, Marco Blaauw, Daniel Rosenboom (Googel his videos), Mark Gould, Gabrielle Cassone, Urban Agnas, are just a few.

    The work being done at Chosen Vale in New Hampshire is amazing, as well. It’s run by my former teacher, Edward Carroll, and it’s an incubator of incredible talent. Carroll, Cassone, Tom Stevens, Hardenberger (he’s probably the leading soloist out there right now), and others of their caliber on faculty each summer.

  6. Hi, you really have to add James Morrison to the list! Have you heard him play? He is outstanding. Perhaps take out one and add him in! Morrison must be on there.

  7. Nice to know these players. But nobody mentions such as Ludvig Güttler from Germany, still performing. Also Maurice André from France, who is already passed away, was skillfull.

  8. Alison Balsom is always my favourite trumpeter! I am a student who plays trumpet in Hong Kong and I love listening to her performance of concertos so much!!!!!

  9. I think there is someone missing….. I would put Wynton Marsalis in that list. If you watch him play the Carnival of Venice directed by John Williams, just amazing and incredible. Unquestionable one of the best trumpetist of this age

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