Geographic Connection to Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh, Allegheny County
Grammy-winning trumpeter George Vosburgh founded the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass.
Awards: Grammy Award
George Vosburgh is a native of Woodmere, New York. He studied trumpet performance at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, New York. He began his symphony career with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra and the Rochester Opera Company as principal trumpet. In 1978 he became a member of the Chicago Symphony. Vosburgh won a Grammy in 1985 for his recording of Stravinsky’s L’Historie du Soldat. Vosburgh won the Principal Trumpet position for the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1992. Currently, he is the trumpet professor at Carnegie Mellon University and Duquesne University. Vosburgh founded the brass quintet named Pittsburgh Symphony Brass.
George Vosburgh was born in 1965 and is a native of Woodmere, Long Island New York. He attended college at the Eastman School of Music in New York for trumpet performance. While at Eastman he was the principal trumpet and featured soloist with the Eastman Wind Ensemble. At the age of 19, he became a member of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, led by David Zinman, and held the assistant principal chair. He was also the principal trumpet for the Rochester Opera Company. When he graduated from the Eastman School of Music, he started his professional career in 1978 by winning a spot in the world-famous brass section of the Chicago Symphony. The symphony was under the direction of the late Sir Georg Solti. The Chicago Symphony is universally known for its brass section’s powerful sound. He was 23 when he started playing with the symphony, and became the youngest member of the brass section. Vosburgh served as the second trumpet player of the Chicago Symphony for 12 years. Vosburgh worked full time with the Symphony and when he was not playing with them he was a free lance trumpet player who recorded commercials for radio and television. Trumpet playing is very taxing, but Vosburgh amazed and outperformed many other professional trumpet players with his incredible stamina. Vosburgh stated, “I needed to play, even on days when I wouldn’t have anything with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. I’d practice in the hall for three to four hours then take a nap and play the show. Some people thought I was absolutely out of my mind, but you couldn’t argue with the results.” He recorded some of the most famous commercials that featured the trumpet; the advertisement for the Beef Council that featured him playing Aaron Copland’s Rodeo and the Black and Decker commercial for a cordless screwdriver that featured him playing Flight of the Bumble Bee. He also recorded commercials for McDonald’s, Coca-Cola, and United Airlines. Vosburgh did not use the recording studios just for commercials. He was also working on recoding his own albums that featured him playing trumpet solos. He has done solo work with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and has recorded with the Koss Classic, American Gramophone, and Reference Recordings labels. In 1985, he was awarded a Grammy for “Best New Classical Artist” by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences a Grammy for his recording of Igor Stravinsky’s L’Historie du Soldat. He was the Bavarian Radio Music International competition prize winner as well as the recipient of a gold record for the work that he did with the famous music group Mannheim Steamroller. Vosburgh, already a well-known virtuoso trumpet player, retired from his position at the Chicago Symphony, and won the spot of principal trumpet for the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1992. He succeeded Charles Hois in that capacity. He won the position based on his audition and his performance of Richard Strauss’s An Alpine Symphony with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Andre Previn. Vosburgh felt at home and comfortable accepting the position stating, “I think the feeling among the players is that they’re out to build the orchestra, so it’s an exciting time to be there. I liked the management very much. They were very nice to me. They appear to have a very good and easy relationship with the orchestra.” He received the Martha Brooks Robinson Chair and currently serves on many of the Orchestra’s Committees. Vosburgh has toured all over the world, performing in concerts with the Bonn Festival at Rolandsek, The Ravinia Festival and the Curs Internacional de Musica in Valencia, Spain. In 2003, Vosburgh was invited to become the principal trumpet for the World Orchestra, a great honor. In 1992, Vosburgh founded the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass, a brass chamber ensemble that features some of the world’s greatest orchestral brass players. The ensemble consists of Vosburgh on first trumpet, Neal Bernstein on second trumpet, William Caballero on the French horn, Peter Sullivan on the Tenor trombone, Murray Crewe on Bass Trombone, Sumner Erickson on tuba, and Roger Hamrick on the tenor trombone. The group is best known for their rendition of The Art of Fugue. Other albums by this group include A Christmas Concert recorded at the East Liberty Church and in 2002 The Bach Choir of Pittsburgh. The group has won national attention and has been featured on National Public Radio. Vosburgh currently is a Trumpet Professor at Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University, both located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has taught at a number of universities across the United States: Northwestern University, University of Michigan, and UCLA. He has lectured at many prestigious events such as the International Trumpet Guild. He has recently published a new edition of the Bohme Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra in E minor through the LeDor publishing company. Vosburgh has been internationally acclaimed for his virtuosity of trumpet playing as well as being a teacher. He currently plays with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, teaches at Carnegie Mellon and Duquesne University, and continues to perform solos with world renowned orchestras, and play with the Pittsburgh Symphony Brass.
Igor Stravinsky’s L’Historie du Soldat -The Soldiers Tale. Reference Recordings. 1992.
Façade. Reference Recordings. 1993.
Telemann Trumpet Concerto in D Major/ Haydn Concerto in E flat Major/ Hummel Concerto in E flat Major/ Mozart Concerto in D Major. Jvc/ Xrcd. 1997
Bach: The Art of Fugue. Four Winds Entertainment, Inc. 1998.
A Christmas Concert. Four Winds Entertainment, Inc. 2000.
Trumpet Masterworks. Four Winds Entertainment, Inc. 2001.
Four Trumpet Concerti. Four Winds Entertainment, Inc. 2002.
The Spirit of Christmas. Four Winds Entertainment, Inc. 2003.
Trumpeter’s Heritage. Four Winds Entertainment, Inc. 2004.