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Benjamin Wright enjoys a varied career, performing as a member of the Boston Symphony, as a soloist and chamber musician, and teaching. Wright joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra trumpet section in July 2002 as fourth trumpet. From 2006 to 2009, he was acting assistant principal trumpet of the BSO, and in 2010 became second trumpet.
Wright began playing the violin at age three, and the trumpet when he was ten. He hails from a long line of musicians going back to his great-grandfather, a bandleader and cornetist in Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show. Wright studied at the Interlochen Arts Academy and received his bachelor’s in music at the Cleveland Institute of Music. In 1996 Wright won the International Trumpet Guild and National Trumpet competitions, as well as the Cleveland Institute of Music Concerto Competition, and was awarded the Bernard Adelstein Prize for trumpet performance upon graduating in 1997.
Following two years as a member of the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Wright spent two years as fourth trumpet in the Chicago Symphony. He has performed with the National Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra. His appearances as guest principal trumpet with the San Francisco Symphony included performances of Mahler’s Eighth Symphony.
Benjamin Wright has given masterclasses at the Manhattan School of Music, Juilliard, Yale, University of Maryland, University of Michigan, University of Arizona, Temple University, Mannes, SMU, Baylor, Yale, and Interlochen Center for the Arts. He has been a guest faculty member for the Bar Harbor Brass Institute, the National Orchestral Institute, and, since 2003, faculty at the Tanglewood Music Center.
His students have performed as members of the Atlanta, Dallas, Utah, Sarasota, and Seattle Symphonies, as well as the Los Angeles Philharmonic and orchestras in Asia.
Mr. Wright is a Yamaha Performing Artist.
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Register here for the NEVTS Navy Band audition seminar.

 

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Teaching

Wright’s former students have held positions as members of the Navy Band, Dallas Symphony, Seattle Symphony, Utah Symphony, Sarasota Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony, and the LA Phil. His students have won the National Trumpet Competition 4 times including 2015 and 2016, as well as the MTNA Young Artist Competition, and the New England Conservatory Concerto Competition.

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Zoom Lessons

I am available for lessons via Zoom. I use an external microphone (Apogee Mic), external speakers, and a high speed Ethernet connection all of which make zoom a highly effective platform for teaching and learning.







  • (for example “January 1- January 6 evenings, Singapore time, work best”)

Philosophy

Teaching someone to play a musical instrument relies heavily on what the teacher learned from his or her teachers. In fact, most of what music teachers teach hasn’t been original material for hundreds of years. The only thing I view as original in my teaching is the way this information is combined, and when and how it is presented. I owe a huge debt to my teachers for all the information they gave me. It is from this background that I pull a lot of my ideas about teaching. When I left school, Mark Gould encouraged me to go through the process of taking all the information I learned from my teachers and lay it out like a set of tools. Use the tools that work well now and check back often to see if any of them come to be more useful later. I try to take the tools that helped me most and use them interactively with my students. I continue to learn which tools work for which students. My wife Miriam, an excellent cellist and teacher, taught me that each student has a different learning style. I try to teach this way.

I was lucky to have great teachers

Though my first trumpet teacher was Jim Bursen, it was my father, David Wright, an excellent clarinetist and college music teacher, who was truly my first teacher. I grew up hearing him practice at home and occasionally going to concerts. His brother (and my uncle), Stephen Wright is a great trumpet player in the Minneapolis area and was the inspiration for my quitting the violin and making the switch to trumpet. When I started to play the trumpet my father would come in my room as I practiced and make me go back and fix errors I was making. He was particularly picky with rhythm and intonation. He also made sure that I studied with the best teacher possible in my home town. Jim Bursen, who taught and played with my father at the University of Evansville (IN) and The Evansville Philharmonic was extremely patient and kind with me when I started trumpet at 10. He had a gorgeous sound and it really stuck in my ear. When he retired, Stan Curtis, now a member of the Navy Band in DC, was my teacher. Stan introduced me to a higher lever of technique, playing recitals, and most important, the world of orchestral recordings. I remember being in his office and hearing Mahler’s fifth symphony for the first time (Zubin Mehta and the New York Philharmonic). Stan really stoked the fire that led me to want to play in an orchestra. I spent a year with John Lindenau at Interlochen -a kind and generous man, and a great teacher. It was an idyllic year, spent playing in as many recitals and concerts as humanly possible. Michael Sachs showed me the highest standard of the orchestral trumpet player through his playing in the Cleveland Orchestra, playing in my lessons and his shrewd analyses of mine. He discouraged me from taking professional auditions before I was really ready. It was annoying at the time, but in hind sight, I am extremely glad I didn’t start auditions any earlier than I did. Chris Gekker showed me that trumpet players should be artists who can sound like any instrument in the orchestra, and that being well-read in all areas of history and literature leads to a better life AND better trumpet playing. His calm demeanor combined with his ability to do anything in any style on the trumpet was a new kind role model for me. It was primarily from Chris, who was constantly referencing information he gleaned from his teachers, that I learned how important that legacy really was. Roger Voisin was an incredible teacher the two summers I spent at Tanglewood as a student. The first day that first summer, I had 8 hours of rehearsals capped with a Britten 4 Sea Interludes brass sectional coached by Roger. I was playing the 3rd trumpet part on piccolo trumpet and he kept yelling at me “C natural!! C natural!” I was sitting there thinking, “Gee, I thought that was what I did”. My friend, Kevin Finamore, leaned in close and said, “SI-natural as in B natural. Solfege, BABY!” In graduate school, Mark Gould taught me how to teach myself what I hadn’t already learned – a process that will continue until I stop playing trumpet. Everyone knows Mark for his Way of the Blade videos and Pink Baby Monster and I know that side of him too. He is, at times, just plain old crazy. That being said, Mark is the best teacher I have ever seen reading the personality and needs of his students. When I started studying with him, he knew what I needed and how to help me get there WELL before I did. Mark taught me the value of singing to fix virtually any issue, and that most things were simpler than I was making them out to be. I also spent time with others who helped me including Dave Bilger, Charlie Geyer, and Bill Lucas. The biggest and most comprehensive education occurred when I started working. Roger Voisin told me that I wouldn’t REALLY learn to play softly until I had a music director demanding for it. He was right about that! But more than that, you just learn so much listening to your colleagues in orchestras like the CSO and the BSO. I am extremely lucky to listen and play alongside some of the best musicians in the world when I go to work. It would be impossible to quantify what I have learned working with my colleagues at the Washington Opera, Chicago Symphony, and Boston Symphony. In particular, sitting with my friend, Tom Rolfs, since 2002 has improved every aspect of my playing and musicianship. More recent members of the trumpet section, Tom Siders and Mike Martin bring to the section different backgrounds, a wealth of information, and a LOT of laughter!

 Masterclasses

This year, I returned to running the bi-weekly trumpet masterclasses at New England Conservatory. In 2014, I will be giving masterclasses at Juilliard, Yale, and Mannes, in addition to my regular work at the Tanglewood Music Center. Below are some of the papers I have written for my NEC classes.

Download – Making Audition Recordings

Download – NEC Trumpet Class Routine Fundamentals

 To set up a masterclass at your school or organization please contact me here.

Contact Me

Study at New England Conservartory

I have been on the faculty at NEC since 2003. NEC has become a great place for trumpet players. It is the only conservatory in America where every member of the trumpet section of the resident orchestra teach on the faculty of the same school. Symphony Hall is one block from NEC and our students regularly attend rehearsals and concerts – it is an integral part of their training. It isn’t just that though. We are all friends and regularly go over our students’ progress. Lesson swaps amongst the studios are common – we want the students to get what they need when they need it. In addition to the BSO section of myself, Tom Rolfs, Tom Siders, and Michael Martin, trumpeter Steve Emery is an excellent player and teacher. We work well together, coming from different backgrounds but with similar musical goals

Visit My NEC Page

      charlier 2-ben-wright – Ben Wright

      bitsch 5-ben-wright – Ben Wright

      petrouchka-ending – Ben Wright

      don quixote low_ben_wright – Ben Wright

      don quixote first page_ben_wright – Ben Wright

      bartok concerto for orchestra finale _ben_wright – Ben Wright

      Bartok concerto for orchestra second trumpet – Ben Wright

The above clips were recorded without any internal editing in Ozawa Concert Hall in Lenox, MA using an Edirol R-09 with a Sony stereo microphone.

Videos

“He possesses a beautiful clear sound and a commanding grasp of a wide range of diverse repertoire. Ben Wright is a great player who promises to have a sterling and well-deserved career.”

John Williams – Boston Pops Director Laureate and Academy Award winning composer

“Ben is the consummate trumpet player. He possesses impeccable tone and an incredible command of phrase. Ben is without doubt a world-class musician.”

Robert Moody – Music Director, Memphis Symphony and Arizona Music Fest

“…brilliant playing from trumpeter Benjamin Wright”

Jonathon Blumhofer – Artsfuse.org

12-week intensive: “Up Your Game”

This spring I will be teaching a 12-week online seminar for trumpet players who want to up their game and take their playing to the next level. The ability to teach myself new concepts is the most valuable skill I’ve ever learned. We MUST strive to continually improve – it’s just what successful performing musicians do.  “Up Your Game” will start YOU down that path.

Here’s the plan:

  • February 8-May 7 
  • 12 Weekly lessons
  • 12 Weekly studio classes 
  • Practice Partners
  • “Practice-Window” coaching
  • Roundtable Trumpet Talks

“Up your Game” will explore new ways to approach: 

  • Audition prep – study and prepare recent and upcoming audition lists
    • Analyze an audition recording 
    • How to overcome nerves in auditions and other performances 
    • Preparation timeline
    • Mental focus skills for peak performance
  • Fundamentals Bootcamp
    •  Clarke, Arban, Schlossberg, Gekker, Arnold Jacobs, Shuebruk, and more
  • Alexander Technique – A cornerstone for longevity playing the trumpet
  • The physical demands of the trumpet
  • Solo repertoire- Haydn, Hummel, Honegger, Tomasi

“Up Your Game” is for you, if you are…

  • Committed
  • Motivated
  • Determined to reach your potential
  • Open to new ideas
  • Ready to take your playing to the next level
  • Excited to join a new community 

Cost for participants $3,600

Cost for Auditors $500 (includes live access to all group sessions)

I’m ready to Up My Game – where do I start?

Book A Call With Me Here

FAQs:

What’s a practice window?

  •  Recording  a video clip of your practice session for review and feedback to increase efficiency in your practice. 

How does the practice partner system work?

  • You and another participant will be paired to share progress and compare notes on weekly practice.

What is a “Roundtable Trumpet Talk”?

  • It’s just a fancy way to describe chatting with  you and guests about a career playing the trumpet.

Will the lessons be recorded?

  • Yes – they are yours to download, watch, and save.

What if I miss a class? (only for participants)

  • Classes will be recorded for download.

How do I apply?

  • Book a call with me. We’ll talk and possibly do some playing. That’s it!

What is the age range?

  • 18 and up

What kind of tech do I need?

  • Ability to connect to wifi with a bandwidth of at least 1.5 mbps. I recommend 5 Mbps or more. Ethernet connections are ideal but not required. 
  • External Microphone and headphones
  • Ability to log in to Zoom for all sessions

How and when do I pay?

  • Pay via Square: $1,000 deposit to secure your spot, balance due Jan. 25, 2021 

How does scheduling work? 

  • Private lessons are scheduled at a time that works for you. 
  • Class times TBD
  • If you need to miss a class, you will always have access to the recording. 

Have more questions?

Book A Call With Me Here

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If you are interested in lessons or a solo performance please fill out the brief form and I will get back to you about your inquiry shortly.