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163 Years Of Retiring Musicians

Posted by Geoff Edgers  May 2, 2008 07:15 AM

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From this week's Boston Symphony Orchestra program book:

Three members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra will retire from the BSO following the 2008 Tanglewood season—trumpet player Peter Chapman (lives in Bedford), after 24 years of service to the BSO; horn player Daniel Katzen, after 29 years of service, and principal trombone Ronald Barron (Newtonville), after 38 years of service. Two members of the orchestra retired during the course of the 2007-08 season—trombonist Norman Bolter (West Roxbury), who departed in January after 32 years of service, and cellist Jerome Patterson (Natick), who retired in December after 40 years of service. We thank them all for their dedication and many years of service to the BSO (163 years total) and to the musical community of Boston, and wish them well in all their future endeavors.

A member of the BSO trumpet section since July 1984, PETER CHAPMAN was named second trumpet of the BSO and assistant principal trumpet of the Boston Pops Orchestra in 1988. Born in Montreal, he received both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Boston University and first performed with the BSO while still a student at Boston University in 1966. As a student he won the “BU Night at Pops” Concerto Competition and performed Johann Nepomuk Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Orchestra. Numerous Pops solo appearances followed, with Arthur Fiedler, Harry Ellis Dickson, and John Williams. A Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center for four summers beginning in 1964, Mr. Chapman was the first recipient of the TMC’s C.D. Jackson Master Award, and he was selected by Leonard Bernstein for the original production of Bernstein’s Mass, which opened the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Before joining the BSO, he was a member of the Boston Pops Orchestra and principal trumpet of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra. He has also been principal trumpet with the Opera Company of Boston, Boston Ballet, Grand Teton Music Festival in Jackson, Wyoming, and Boston Musica Viva. Mr. Chapman currently teaches at the New England Conservatory.

Horn player DANIEL KATZEN leaves the BSO following the 2008 Tanglewood season to become Associate Professor of Horn at the University of Arizona School of Music in Tucson. He is perhaps best-known to BSO audiences as the practitioner of the Alphorn demonstrations at Tanglewood on Parade since 1984. Mr. Katzen joined the BSO as second horn on April 29, 1979, after playing 48 professional auditions across the United States (probably a record). He played his first BSO concert in the Pops’ fiftieth-anniversary celebration of Arthur Fiedler’s tenure as Conductor, a concert that was televised live nationwide. The following Tanglewood season concluded with a tour of the European summer festivals of Montreux, Lausanne, Lucerne, Salzburg, Edinburgh, London, and Berlin, the first of sixteen tours he made with the orchestra. Before moving to Boston, Mr. Katzen held the positions of fourth horn in the San Diego Symphony, second horn in the Grant Park Symphony, and second horn in the Phoenix Symphony. He has also played as extra and substitute horn in the Chicago Symphony, the Los Angeles, Rochester, and Munich Philharmonics, and the Israel Chamber Orchestra. In 2005 he was invited to perform with the Super World Orchestra in Japan.

Mr. Katzen’s musical education started early, when he picked out tunes on the piano as a small child, followed by piano and cello lessons before settling on the horn. Jazz bass, harpsichord, and harp also played peripheral roles in his studies. He graduated from high school with a diploma from the Eastman School Preparatory Department “with honors”; from undergraduate school at Indiana University School of Music “with distinction”; and received a master of music degree in horn performance from Northwestern University. A junior year abroad brought him to the Salzburg Hochschule für Musik. His teachers were Milan Yancich, Morris Secon, Michael Höltzel, Philip Farkas, Dale Clevenger, Peter Damm, and Fred Fox. On the faculties of Boston University and the New England Conservatory since 1980, he has taught more than 200 students in private and group studies. He helped develop the Brass Orchestral Repertoire Class, which he ran for a decade, and instituted the series of orchestral wind/brass sectional rehearsals in 1985. Fifty of his students currently work professionally on their instruments throughout the world. His series of Jordan Hall solo recitals have featured performances of his own transcriptions of Bach’s suites for unaccompanied cello; his final recital there, this Sunday night, March 16, will include the last of the six suites. Danny hopes not to be a stranger in Boston. “Instead of the academic ‘publish or perish’ dictum,” he reports, “at the U of A School of Music it’s ‘perform or perish.’ So I hope to be back in Boston before too long, taking part in local concerts.”

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, NORMAN BOLTER began his formal trombone studies at the age of nine with Ed VonHoff of the St. Paul Public School System. He later studied with Ronald Rickets and Steven Zellmer of the Minnesota Orchestra and John Swallow at New England Conservatory, and also includes former BSO principal bassoonist Sherman Walt as one of his teachers and artistic mentors. Prior to the BSO, Mr. Bolter was principal trombone with the Boston Ballet orchestra, Opera Company of Boston, and Springfield Symphony, and trombonist with the Cambridge Brass Quintet. A former Fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, where he won the C.D. Jackson Award, he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1975 at age 20, becoming the youngest member of the orchestra at that time. He is also principal trombone of the Boston Pops Orchestra and was a member of the Empire Brass Quintet, which won the prestigious Walter H. Naumberg Award in Chamber Music, the only brass ensemble ever to win that award.

Besides his recordings with the BSO, Boston Pops, and Empire Brass, Mr. Bolter can be heard as principal trombone on recordings with the Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, and as trombonist and conductor on four recordings of his own compositions—“Experiments in Music,” “Anew at Home,” “Occurrences,” and “In Living Continuance.” In addition to his numerous trombone solos, he performed the tenor horn solo on the BSO recording of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 and played euphonium on the Minnesota Orchestra recording of Richard Strauss’s Ein Heldenleben.

Mr. Bolter has also won critical acclaim as a composer, both in the United States and abroad. In the past twelve years he has written more than 200 compositions not only for trombone, but for all types of brass, as well as for orchestra, wind ensemble, brass band, and mixed chamber ensembles of all kinds. His works have been commissioned by numerous organizations and individuals, and his compositions appear on recordings by trombonists Joseph Alessi, Ronald Barron, James Miller, and Douglas Yeo. A renowned teacher whose former students hold major positions in orchestras, chamber groups, and universities around the country and abroad, he serves on the faculties of the New England Conservatory and Longy School of Music. In addition, he is co-author, with his wife Dr. Carol Viera, of several papers and booklets including “Methods of Effective Practice,” “High Range Exercises,” “Metronome Meditation,” “It’s Not All in the Air,” and “Reading at the Speed of Sight.” Since retiring from the BSO, Norman continues to expand and deepen his playing, giving solo recitals, teaching, composing, writing, giving workshops about music as a living thing, and intensifying his spiritual practice.

BSO principal trombone RONALD BARRON joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra in 1970, after two seasons as a member of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. He was principal trombone of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1970 until 1983 and in 1975 was named principal trombone of the BSO. He studied primarily with Ernest Glover at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati. In 1974, Mr. Barron shared the highest prize awarded for trombone at the Munich International Competition and appeared as soloist with the Bavarian Radio Orchestra. He has been soloist on many occasions with the Boston Pops and with regional New England orchestras and bands, and has conducted master classes and performed recitals across the United States, Europe, and Japan. In addition to numerous recordings with the BSO and Boston Pops, he has recorded with the Canadian Brass, Empire Brass, and Summit Brass, and he has nine solo recordings—volumes I and II of “Le Trombone Français,” “Hindemith on Trombone,” “All American Trombone,” “American Showcase,” “In the Family,” “An Evening from the 18th Century,” and “The Return of the Alto” on the Boston Brass Series label; and “Cousins,” an American Band solo recording with cornetist Gerard Schwarz on Nonesuch, which was named a 1977 “Record of the Year” by Stereo Review.

Mr. Barron taught at Boston University for more than thirty years and has been a faculty member for the International Trombone Workshop, the Keystone Brass Institute, and the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute. He currently teaches at the New England Conservatory of Music and the Tanglewood Music Center. He participated in the Georg Solti Project at Carnegie Hall in 1994 and has served as a jury member at the international competitions of Munich and Toulon. He received the 2005 ITA Award from the International Trombone Association “in recognition of his distinguished career and in acknowledgement of his impact on the world of trombone performance,” and is currently on the ITA’s Board of Advisors. His retirement from the orchestra will give him time to work on the book he has been researching for three years. His research for Saint-Saëns, Stewart, and the BSO began when he came into possession of the original copy of Saint-Saëns’s Cavatine for tenor trombone and piano, Opus 144, dedicated to George W. Stewart, an original member of the BSO trombone section in 1881. The BSO is a big part of this story, which centers around the orchestra’s trip to the San Francisco World’s Fair in 1915. Being chairman of the Orchestra Committee and researching this book have brought him a deeper understanding of the BSO’s history and current status, as well as its role in the evolution of the symphony orchestra as a cultural institution in our society.

Beyond his music-based activities, Mr. Barron’s study of and affinity for wine have led to his recently being recognized a “Certified Specialist of Wine” by the American Society of Wine Educators (he hopes to become a “Certified Wine Educator”). For the past twenty-two Tanglewood seasons, he and his wife Ina have operated a B&B—“Echezeaux” (a recognized great name in wine)—just a few minutes from Tanglewood, in Richmond. Following his retirement from the orchestra, Ron and Ina will continue to welcome guests at Echezeaux, perhaps expanding their business into spring and fall. They also plan to remain at their Newton residence for the foreseeable future, staying in touch with everyone at the orchestra. Ron extends his thanks to those both on stage and off for a lifetime of memorable music.

Born in New York City, cellist JEROME PATTERSON studied at the Juilliard School and Hartt College of Music; his teachers were Luigi Silva, Aldo Parisot, and BSO principal cello Jules Eskin. In 1963 he was a fellowship student at the Tanglewood Music Center, where he was awarded the Piatigorsky Prize. Before joining the BSO in 1967, Mr. Patterson played with the symphony orchestras of New Haven, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and Puerto Rico. Locally, in addition to his activities at Symphony Hall, he has performed with the Brockton Symphony, the Worcester Symphony under Joseph Silverstein, the Newton Symphony under Ronald Knudsen, the Wellesley Symphony, and the Framingham Symphony under Alfred Schneider.


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About Exhibitionist Geoff Edgers covers arts news for The Boston Globe..

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