David Amado & Ansel Norris Talk Masterworks III

Earlier this week, Maestro David Amado and guest artist, Ansel Norris, met over Zoom to discuss the upcoming Masterworks III.

Trumpeter Ansel Norris has gathered acclaim throughout the world as a soloist and orchestral musician of diverse taste and enthusiasm. His sound has been heard on NPR’s Performance Today, From the Top, and on Medici.tv, as the first-ever American prizewinner in the International Tchaikovsky Competition’s Brass division. He was also twice named first prize in the National Trumpet Competition USA.

In this interview, Amado and Norris discuss Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto as well as the history and advancements of the trumpet as an instrument and its role within an orchestra.

David Amado begins the interview by expressing his fondness for the trumpet, and his excitement for the upcoming concert. Amado and Norris have not met previously and were excited to get to know each other better through this zoom meeting before they meet in person this following week.

Norris was introduced to classical music when he began playing the violin at the young age of 4. Although he did not continue with the violin, he found the experience to be tremendously valuable in setting him up for a musical life and career.

Norris began playing the trumpet in the 6th grade and was blessed with learning from a great teacher who was also a former player with America’s Brass Quintet and had vast experience as a soloist and chamber musician, Norris mused that “He had me playing great solo music from the earliest time that we worked together – a lot of people who play trumpet classically quickly align themselves in the direction of obtaining a position in an orchestra – but I was very lucky that I had a teacher that was very interested in solo repertoire and was encouraging of me to pursue competitions – to eventually put me in the position that I am in today to be a soloist.”  At Rice University, Norris also had the honor of mentoring under Barbara Butler and Charlie Geyer, a well-established married trumpet duo.

Norris’s experience with Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto began when he was introduced to the piece at 14 years old. He began to study it more seriously at age 17, and this will now be his 5th time playing the concerto, to which Amado pointed out will actually be his 5th through 8th performance, as he will perform the concerto with the ACO over the course of four concerts!

Amado and Norris continue to touch on the unique changes that happened to the trumpet over the ages, and on how it is a less frequently featured solo instrument. Discussion includes the use of the trumpet before it had a chromatic scale and the advancements that have been available since the introduction of the changes made to it by Weidinger. Touching on the fact that this invention is what has allowed the rise of popular American music and musicians such as Loui Armstrong. “The evolution of the instrument has allowed for so many more possibilities – it would be wonderful for Hummel to hear it now.”

Amado’s remarked on the wonderful opportunity it is to take this instrument that’s so often relegated to the back of the stage, and bring it front and center!

We hope that you will enjoy learning more about the upcoming concert and Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto. More information on the upcoming concert and how to purchase tickets can be found by clicking here.

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