Joseph Alessi

From Academic Kids

Joe Alessi is Principal Trombone for the New York Philharmonic Orchestra and is also one of the world's leading brass soloists. In recognition to his influence in the field, in 2002 he was winner of the International Trombone Association's annual award.

His father, Joseph Sr., was a professional trumpet player and his mother sang in the Metropolitan Opera chorus, so fine music was heard from an early age at home. Lessons from his father on trombone led to a winning an audition to play with the San Francisco Ballet orchestra at the tender age of 16 and then came a place at the Curtis Institute of Music (Philadelphia) a year later.

In his third year at Curtis, he was asked by one of his teachers (M Dee Stewart) to fill his place in the Philadelphia Orchestra as 2nd Trombone while they auditioned for the permanent job. Joe won the position permanently and stayed for another couple of years, followed by a season at the Montreal Symphony before winning the audition for principal trombone at the New York Philharmonic in the of Spring 1985.

As a soloist Joe has performed several times with the NY Phil, firstly in 1990 the Fantasy for Trombone by Creston and in 1992 the world premier of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Christopher Rouse concerto which they also recorded on CD. He has also recorded several CDs of important repertoire for trombone and piano ("Slide Area" and "New York Legends"), as well as teaming up with other similar sounding trombonists for two trombone quartet albums ("Four of a Kind" and "Take Me Out to the Ball Game").

Joe has devoted a portion of his time to teaching, holding a faculty position at the Juilliard School, New York, numerous appearances as clinician and runs a 10 day intensive trombone workshop in the summer, known as the "Alessi Seminar".

Joe's playing is often noted for the particularly rich sound quality and complete technical control. He embodies the American style of a full, almost euphonium-like tone with plenty of vibrato in the solo works.

This heavy approach to the sound is helped with a large instrument (Edwards 0.547") and mouthpiece (his own design, but similar to Bach 3G).

The music he chooses to play encompasses the complete repertoire including aurally challenging 20th works as well as more easy going new works, through to jazz styles and the romantic show-pieces, whilst dabbling in the baroque.

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