Interview with Baroque Trumpeter, Barry Bauguess

Barry Bauguess
Barry Bauguess

Barry Bauguess is one of North America’s most sought-after Baroque trumpet concert and recording artists. He has served as principal trumpet with Apollo’s Fire, Bach Collegium San Diego, The Portland Baroque Orchestra, Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, Opera Lafayette, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, and the Magnolia Baroque Festival Orchestra. Barry also frequently appears with other ensembles including Chatham Baroque, Tafelmusik, Tempesta di Mare, Folger Consort, Houston Bach Society, Washington Bach Consort, American Bach Soloists, and was a member of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra for fourteen years. He is currently a Kulas Visiting Artist in the Historical Performance Program at Case Western Reserve University and serves on the faculty of the Baroque Performance Institute at Oberlin Conservatory.

Barry is also the owner of The Baroque Trumpet Shop in New Bern, North Carolina and is publisher of  Music for Natural Trumpet, performing editions of  17th– and 18th-century works for natural trumpet. He holds a BM and MM from the NC School of the Arts and  has recorded for Harmonia Mundi, Teldec, Koch International, Conifer Classics, Nonesuch, Sine Qua Non, PBS and NPR. When not physically attached to the trumpet, Barry can usually be found either in his kitchen cooking with his wife, Baroque Dance Soloist Paige Whitley-Bauguess or on the back roads of North Carolina racing his bicycle. You can visit Barry at


Barry Bauguess, recital at International Trumpet Guild Conference
Barry Bauguess, recital at International Trumpet Guild Conference


  •   Baroque – Egger B-9
  •   Classical – Egger KSE-6
Natural C/D Trumpets:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2012, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. Made from Nuremburg brass
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2012, after Michael Nagel, Nuremburg, 1657. Made from Nuremburg brass
  • Natural F Trumpet:  Markus Raquet, Bamburg, 2009, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1740.
Barry Bauguess trying coiled trumpet with Ed Tarr at Bad Säckingen Museum
Barry Bauguess trying coiled trumpet with Ed Tarr at Bad Säckingen Museum

Coiled Trumpet:

  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2007, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1688.
Baroque Trumpets:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2013, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. 3-hole trumpet made from Nuremburg brass with seamed, conical crooks
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2010, after J.W. Haas, Nuremburg, c. 1700. 4-hole trumpet, “Historic” Solo Model.
Keyed Trumpet:
  • Rainer Egger, Basel, 2004, after Alois Doke, Linz, c. 1823.
Classical Trumpet:
  •  Richard Seraphinoff, Bloomington 2003, after C. Missenharter, Ulm, mid 19th century
Barry Bauguess trying natural trumpet with Ed Tarr at the Bad Säckingen Musem
Barry Bauguess trying natural trumpet with Ed Tarr at the Bad Säckingen Musem


  • French Besson, Paris, 1862.






Interview with Barry Bauguess, Baroque Trumpeter. 

The interviewer is Stanley Curtis.

SC: What was your early education in music like and how did you get interested and started in early music?

The famous Nonesuch recording of Edward Tarr, "Baroque Masterpieces for Trumpet & Organ" released in 1973
The famous Nonesuch recording of Edward Tarr, “Baroque Masterpieces for Trumpet & Organ” released in 1973

BB: When I was in high school I was lucky enough to study with a great teacher, Eddie Bass at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He introduced me to early recordings of Don Smithers and Ed Tarr.

In undergraduate school at the North Carolina School of the Arts, both of my teachers, Ray Mase and Allan Dean played early music. That led me to purchasing my first cornett and Baroque trumpet. On my senior recital, I played a lot of contemporary music along with some Baroque trumpet and cornett. I then went on to graduate study with Fred Holmgren in the Early Music Program at the New England Conservatory.

SC: What are some of your most memorable performances?

Organ loft at St. Thomaskirche, Leipzig
Organ loft at St. Thomaskirche, Leipzig

BB: My most memorable performance have more to do with location than music. Playing Bach Cantatas in Leipzig and Weimar in the same spot that Bach’s trumpet players stood was pretty exciting. Performing Spanish/Mexican music with Chanticleer in Missions all along the California Coast was spectacular. Playing in my backyard while looking at the Blue Ridge Mountains is my favorite place to practice!

 SC: Could you share some of your recordings?

BB: I don’t have much on YouTube except where I’m playing in an orchestra somewhere. I’m on most of Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra‘s Handel Oratorio recordings, American Bach Soloists‘ BWV 51 and B-minor Mass, and all of Apollo’s Fire‘s recordings between 2000 and 2012.

SC: Let’s listen to the “Patrem omnipotentem” from Bach’s B-minor Mass with the American Bach Soloists. Nice high “D”!

Note: these recordings require Adobe Flash and Java plugins in order to hear them.

[audio:|titles=Barry Bauguess playing “Patrem omnipotentem” with the American Bach Soloists]

SC: Now let’s hear you play the Trumpet Shall Sound with Apollo’s Fire. I really like this recording, because it has a lot of personality, from the cellos to Jeffrey Strauss and you!

[audio:|titles=Barry Bauguess playing trumpet solo on “The Trumpet Shall Sound” with Apollo’s Fire, Jeffrey Strauss, baritone soloist]

SC: I really want to hear one more track from that awesome recording–“Worthy Is the Lamb.” Okay, I guess one reason is because I’m playing second trumpet on it. But the other reason is the flexible, yet crafted feeling of the ensemble!

[audio:|titles=Barry Bauguess and Stanley Curtis play “Worthy is the Lamb” with Apollo’s Fire]

SC: Your favorite recordings and performers to listen to are…

Bach's B-minor Mass, conducted by Rifken, with Fred Holmgren and
Bach’s B-minor Mass, conducted by Rifken, with Fred Holmgren and

BB: One of my favorite recordings is the 1984(?) recording of B-minor Mass with Joshua Rifkin. The trumpets are Fred Holmgren, Jessie Levine, and Ray Mase. It was my first exposure to the repertoire of Bach and the trumpet playing is still amazing today. My favorite players to listen to are Friedemann Immer, David Staff, Crispian Steele-Perkins, Per-Olav Lindeke, Fred Holmgren, and of course now, Jean-François Madeuf.

Baroque Trumpeter, Friedemann Immer
Baroque Trumpeter, Friedemann Immer


SC: What are your personal insights and ways you approach the baroque trumpet?

BB: I think of myself as an early musician who happens to play the Baroque and natural trumpet. I approach the Baroque trumpet from a musical standpoint instead of from a physical feat. If I can’t make music in an historically-informed way, I’ll find something else to do. I like to play everything on natural trumpet first, and then if I have to, play it on a vented trumpet with the same articulations, phrasing, and performance practices as on the unvented instrument. I’m a real believer that if you can’t do it on a natural trumpet, you have no business trying it on a vented one. Some conductors and circumstances may require a vented trumpet, but you should still be able to do it without moving your fingers. Isn’t it amazing that “natural” trumpet players today practice fingering!!

SC: How would you advise a trumpeter interested in learning baroque trumpet in this day and age?

Barry Bauguess with Deidre Pelletier and Norman Engel
Barry Bauguess with Deidre Pelletier and Norman Engel

BB: Get the best instruments you can afford, then go study with the most historically-informed musical player you can find. Any good modern player can learn to operate the vented Baroque trumpet, but only a few can make music.

SC: Tell me about your research, editing and scholarship.

BB: I’ve done quite a bit if research into original equipment and original editions. I like to play from facsimiles when possible – it just feels right. Much of my research and editing has been dedicated to French Baroque dance music for performances by my wife, Paige Whitley-Bauguess spending countless hours in the UC Berkeley library poring over Lully, Rameau, and Campra opera scores.

SC: Your business, The Baroque Trumpet Shop, perhaps one of the most important baroque trumpet retail shops in the world, has been a big part of your life. Why did you start this business?

BB: I started the Baroque Trumpet Shop in 2004 (10th anniversary next April) to offer players the opportunity to try instruments and mouthpieces and choose the best that’s available from the best makers. When I started playing, the best one could do is order a trumpet of some kind from Europe and hope it worked. At the shop, I try to have one of every Egger no-hole, 4-hole, 3-hole, and keyed trumpet in stock to try out. Having played professionally for over 30 years now, I can usually make some pretty good suggestions for trumpets and mouthpieces for players.

SC: Barry, I agree–you’re fantastic at helping trumpeters figure out the best equipment for them.

A final questions: how do you see the future of baroque music making (especially considering the baroque trumpet) evolving?

Barry Bauguess performing at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute
Barry Bauguess performing at Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute

BB: I’m really not sure. I used to be more optimistic than I am now. With the world economic problems, there just isn’t as much support for early music (or modern music for that matter) as there needs to be. The lack of work for modern trumpet players, as well as other modern musicians, has led to many players entering the field for the wrong reasons. They seem to regard it as just another income stream, not as a musical quest. There are some really good trumpet players out there today who can play the pants off a vented trumpet, but not many of them take the time to study the performance practice and live the music.

Barry teaching at the Baroque Performance Institute
Barry teaching at the Baroque Performance Institute

I am heartened by many students at Oberlin’s Baroque Performance Institute and at Case Western University’s Historical Performance Program.

The interest in learning to play early music on all instruments in an historically-informed way at these schools is truly amazing. Over one-hundred trumpet players have gone through BPI since I started teaching there and they’ve all be a real inspiration to me. I really hope the economy improves so these talented young players can make a great living while pursuing their true passion.


One response to “Interview with Baroque Trumpeter, Barry Bauguess”

  1. Luis Roberto Avatar
    Luis Roberto

    Interesting interview. In my country natural trumpetrs don´t exist.

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