Meet The Performers

Chicago Symphony Orchestra - Brass

Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s brass section has long been known for its matchless brilliance, mighty sound and spectacular power, contributing to the Orchestra’s legendary and distinctive “Chicago Sound.” With its rich brass sonorities complemented by virtuosic wind and string playing, the music making of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra continues to elicit worldwide admiration.

Over the years, Chicago has become a sure destination for those who love great brass playing. Among some of the CSO’s renowned principal players have been Adolph “Bud” Herseth (trumpet), Philip Farkas (horn), Frank Crisafulli (trombone) and Arnold Jacobs (tuba), who are still internationally recognized as some of the greatest brass players in history. Today’s brass section numbers 14: horns Dale Clevenger, Daniel Gingrich, James Smelser, David Griffin, Oto Carrillo and Susanna Drake; trumpets Christopher Martin, Mark Ridenour, John Hagstrom and Tage Larsen; trombones Jay Friedman, Michael Mulcahy and Charles Vernon; and tuba Gene Pokorny.

The CSO brass—the full symphonic ensemble en masse, not just a standard brass quintet—started giving occasional concerts independently in the 1970s; now the group regularly performs in Orchestra Hall and beyond, demonstrating its mastery, depth and range outside the orchestral repertory on which its original fame was based.

CSO Brass Live CD and SACD Now Available >

Please note: Biographies on the CSO website are based on the information that was most recently provided to the CSO by the artists or their representatives. More current information may be available on the artists' own websites or those of their representatives.