My own journey: learning at the Sweelinck Conservatorium

Peter Masseurs, former principal trumpet of the Concertgebouw Orchestra

At the Sweelinck Conservatorium in Amsterdam, my primary course was baroque trumpet with Friedemann Immer. But I also took modern trumpet lessons from Concertgebouw Orchestra principal trumpeter, Peter Masseurs. He was a very good teacher, advocating for a lot of declamatory expression in trumpet solos like the Arutunian Concerto.

The second-most important course I took at the Conservatorium was a baroque chamber course with continuo professor, Veronica Hampe. She was a wonderful and interesting teacher, originally from Germany. She told the story of how her father, in post-WWII reconstruction Germany, had spent about a month’s salary on tickets for his family to see Mozart’s Magic Flute. She lived in a tiny apartment to the side of the Oude Kerk (“Old Church”), and she kept her complete works of various composers all around her apartment, even under her bed. She loved music, and transmitted that love to her students.

Baroque violinist, Daniel Elyar

In Ms. Hampe’s class, we played music that mostly included cornetto mixed with strings and continuo, but we also did some pieces for baroque trumpet. And at the end of the year, we performed the Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 by Bach. I have kept up a friendship and also a professional relationship with one other student in that chamber music course–American baroque violinist, Daniel Elyar.

I also took some jazz trumpet lessons from American expat, Charles Green, and even tried to learn medieval chant, but had to give up on these, because I started to get busy outside of the conservatory doing gigs.  More on that later…


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