During my brief but action packed tenure as the acting principal harpist with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in 2018, the orchestra recorded a brand new trumpet concerto which is included in the latest recording released today from the Beau Fleuve label. Jaakko Kuusisto's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra was composed for BPO principal trumpet (and my dear friend) Alex Jokipii. Alex spent a year studying at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where he became acquainted with fellow student Jaakko Kuusisto. In 2015 the pair reconnected when Kuusisto came to the BPO for the American premiere of his violin concerto, and the idea for the trumpet concerto was born. I had the pleasure of meeting Kuusisto and recording the trumpet concerto live with Alex and the BPO in May of 2018.
I was not performing with the BPO when the other two concertos were recorded, but I'm a big fan of both of the other soloists featured: Feng Hew and Anna Mattix. Composer Rob Deemer and I were in school at UT Austin together, and he is now the director of the Institute for Composer Diversity at SUNY Fredonia which is doing amazing work promoting music created by composers from historically underrepresented groups. I also enjoyed working with composer Caroline Mallonee during my time in Buffalo on one of her chamber music pieces, Curtains of Light, which coincidentally cellist Feng Hew and I premiered along with our fellow musicians from the Buffalo Chamber Players in 2017.
The recording is available from the Kleinhans Music Hall box office or the BPO online store.
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