Rolf Smedvig is one of the world's great trumpeters, a dazzling virtuoso acknowledged as a soloist and chamber musician of international renown. He has played as soloist with many orchestras, among them the Boston Symphony, National Symphony, Chicago Symphony, and the New Japan Philharmonic, performing there under the direction of Seiji Ozawa. He has made guest appearances with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, National Symphony of Mexico, the Sydney Symphony performing the Berio Sequenza for the Australian Broadcasting Company, and is a frequent guest at such festivals as Tanglewood, Wolf Trap, Chautauqua, the Pacific Music Festival, Marlboro Bach Festival, and the Casals Festival in Puerto Rico.
Mr. Smedvig's CD of virtuoso trumpet concertos with the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the first release under an exclusive contract with Telarc Records, earned a Grammy nomination. Mr. Smedvig has also toured North America as soloist with the orchestra. The American Record Guide praised the CD as containing "absolutely gorgeous playing."
Mr. Smedvig was born in Seattle and made his debut as a soloist with the Seattle Symphony when he was thirteen. He attended college at Boston University and studied the trumpet with such teachers as Armando Ghitalla, Raphael Mendez, and Maurice Andre. While studying at Tanglewood in 1971, he was invited by Leonard Bernstein to play solo trumpet in the world premiere of the composer's Mass that marked the opening of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Mr. Smedvig served the Boston Symphony and the Tanglewood Music Center for ten years. Appointed by Seiji Ozawa, he became the youngest member of that orchestra and after becoming Principal trumpet, left to pursue a career as soloist and conductor.
Mr. Smedvig made his conducting debut in the Tanglewood Music Shed and as Music Director of the Cambridge Chamber Orchestra; he has recorded several CDs and a DVD with the Cambridge Chamber Orchestra. Other recent engagements include the New World Symphony Brass and the Leonard Bernstein Memorial Concert in 1996 and 1999 at the Pacific Music Festival, Sapporo Japan. He has been a guest conductor of the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and with the Simon Bolivar Orchestra of Venezuela, was responsible for a tour of the U.S., including a visit to Tanglewood and a CBS televised broadcast of their concert at Boston's Government Center. Scheduled for release in 2002, he is featured as soloist and conductor on a new Telarc CD with the Empire Brass and members of the New York Philharmonic and Boston Symphony Brass.
Mr. Smedvig is committed to music education. He currently serves as a clinician for the Selmer Company and has given master classes at the Curtis Institute, Moscow Conservatory, London's Royal Academy, Toho School of Japan, Stanford, and Harvard University. He is featured on the Warner Bros. Twenty-first century Band Method video. His faculty positions have included Boston University, the Tanglewood Music Center, and he founded and directed the Empire Brass Seminar at Tanglewood.
The Boston Ballet presented the World premiere of the ballet Passage with music written, arranged and adapted by Rolf Smedvig. The Telarc CD Passage was co-produced by Mr. Smedvig. He is an accomplished ASCAP arranger-composer with hundreds of works published by KRS, G. Schirmer, and International Music.