American Brass Quintet
- Ellen Highstein
Brass quintet, formed by trombonists Arnold Fromme and Gilbert Cohen in 1960; its present members are Chris Gekker and Raymond Mase, trumpets; David Wakefield, horn; Michael Powell, tenor trombone; and John D. Rojak, bass trombone. The group gave its first public performance at the 92nd Street ‘Y’ and made its official New York début at Carnegie Recital Hall in 1962. At that time the brass quintet was little heard in the concert hall, and the ensemble played a major part in introducing audiences to brass instruments in the chamber context. Its commitment to the expansion of the brass chamber literature and its renowned virtuosity, precision, and stylistic accuracy have resulted in the composition of more than 100 new works by such composers as Carter, Thomson, Druckman, Schuman, Starer, Sampson, Bolcom and Schuller. The group's concerts usually include premières and the performance of ‘rediscovered’ older pieces. The quintet has also explored performance practice on older instruments, and its many recordings include two of 19th-century American brass music played on period instruments. The group became ensemble-in-residence at the Aspen Music Festival in ...