National Brass Ensemble In Concert
John Williams

National Brass Ensemble In Concert

The newly created National Brass Ensemble, a collection of musicians from across the country featuring 26 leading brass players and two percussionists from the nation's most prestigious orchestras, presents a concert inspired by the Grammy Award-winning recording, The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli, culminating an inaugural residency that, in future years, will combine teaching and performance by the nation's foremost brass players.

The June 12 program includes excerpts from Venetian composer Giovanni Gabrieli's innovative work Sacrae symphoniae (1597), arranged for the National Brass Ensemble by San Francisco Symphony principal trombonist and SFCM faculty member Tim Higgins, and the world premiere of a new work composed by Academy Award and Grammy Award-winning film composer John Williams, who has composed some of the most recognizable film scores of all time: Jaws, Star Wars, Schindler's List, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and more.   

This landmark collaboration is proudly presented by the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and the Green Music Center, and is generously supported by Oberlin College alumnus Dr. Joseph and Phyllis Markoff

The residency concludes at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, where the Ensemble will record a commercial CD including brass arrangements from Gabrieli's Sacrae symphoniae and the recording premiere of Williams' new composition. 

 "We are delighted to welcome a project of this caliber to our campus," said Zarin Mehta, co-executive director of the Green Music Center. "This residency marks a fantastic unity of our new performing arts center with two institutions I hold in the highest regard - the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and Oberlin Conservatory of Music. I look forward to witnessing the artistry that emanates from this exceptional collaboration."

"A project years in the making, the inaugural concert and recording of the National Brass Ensemble is not only an extraordinary achivement in its own right but an opportunity both for our students and for the world beyond to experience brass playing at the very highest level," said David H. Stull, president of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. "I am honored to have these musicians with us, and I look forward to developing an ongoing relationship with the National Brass Ensemble in an annual residency offering outstanding brass instruction and world-class performances in the San Francisco Bay Area."

Andrea Kalyn, dean of the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, said, "The Gabrieli project embodies high artistry, vision, and creative collaboration, and so models in a tremendously powerful way the very qualities we seek to instill in our students. We are deeply grateful to Dr. Joseph Markoff (Oberlin class of 1965) for making this endeavor possible. We also want to thank composer John Williams for contributing a world premiere composition to celebrate the birth of this new ensemble. It is a privilege to work with the National Brass Ensemble, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the Green Music Center on this truly remarkable undertaking."

Event Details

Thursday, June 12, 7:30 pm
Weill Hall


National Brass Ensemble

Program & Information


Selections from Giovanni Gabrieli's Sacrae symphoniae (1597)
John Williams, world premiere composition


Joseph Alessi
Principal trombone, New York Philharmonic

David Bilger
Principal trumpet, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Jeffrey Curnow
Associate principal trumpet, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Marc Damoulakis
Principal percussionist, The Cleveland Orchestra

Nitzan Haroz
Principal trombone, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Randall Hawes
Bass trombone, Detroit Symphony Orchestra

Tim Higgins
Principal trombone, San Francisco Symphony, and SFCM faculty

Thomas Hooten
Principal trumpet, Los Angeles Philharmonic

Mark J. Inouye
Principal trumpet, San Francisco Symphony, and SFCM faculty

Richard King
Principal horn, The Cleveland Orchestra

Massimo La Rosa
Principal trombone, The Cleveland Orchestra

Adam Luftman
Principal trumpet, San Francisco Opera and Ballet Orchestras, and SFCM faculty

James Markey
Bass trombone, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Chris Martin
Principal trumpet, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Michael Martin 
Trumpet, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Jennifer Montone
Principal horn, The Philadelphia Orchestra

Michael Mulcahy
Trombone, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Gene Pokorny
Principal tuba, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Thomas Rolfs
Principal trumpet, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Mike W. Roylance
Principal tuba, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Michael Sachs
Principal trumpet, The Cleveland Orchestra

James Sommerville
Principal horn, Boston Symphony Orchestra

Yasuhito Sugiyama
Principal tuba, The Cleveland Orchestra

Robert Ward
Principal horn, San Francisco Symphony, and SFCM faculty

Gail Williams
Former associate principal horn, Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Paul Yancich
Principal timpani, The Cleveland Orchestra