Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic in the spring of 1985. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr. As a high school student in San Rafael, California, and was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony before continuing his musical training at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music. Prior to joining the Philharmonic, Mr. Alessi was second trombone of The Philadelphia Orchestra for four seasons, and principal trombone of L’Orchestre symphonique de Montreal for one season. In addition, he has performed as guest principal trombonist with the London Symphony Orchestra in Carnegie Hall led by Pierre Boulez.
Mr. Alessi is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber music performer. In April 1990 he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic, which commissioned the work for its 150th anniversary celebration. His most recent appearance with the Orchestra as soloist was in performances of James Pugh’s Trombone Concerto in March of 2000.
Mr. Alessi has been a guest soloist with the Lincoln Symphony, National Repertory Orchestra, Colorado Symphony Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, Virginia Symphony, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Santa Barbara Symphony, South Dakota Symphony, New Japan Philharmonic, Seoul Philharmonic, Orchestra of Teatro Massimo Bellini in Catania, Sicily, Mannheim National Theater Orchestra, National Symphony of Taiwan, Puerto Rico Symphony, and the Hague Philharmonic. In 2007 he will make his solo debuts with the Helsinki Philharmonic and the Hartford Symphony. Mr. Alessi has also participated in numerous festivals, including the Festivale Musica di Camera in Protogruaro, Italy; Cabrillo Music Festival; Swiss Brass Week; and Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. He was featured in the 1997 International Trombone Festival in Feldkirch, Austria, and the International Meeting of Brass Instruments in Lille, France. He is a founding member of the Summit Brass ensemble at the Rafael Mendez Brass Institute in Tempe, Arizona. In 2002 Mr. Alessi was awarded an International Trombone Association Award for his contributions to the world of trombone music and trombone playing.
Mr. Alessi is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School; his students now occupy posts with many major symphony orchestras in the U.S. and internationally. As a clinician for the Edwards Instrument Co., he has also given master classes throughout the world and has toured Europe extensively as a master teacher and recitalist. He has performed as soloist with several leading concert bands, including the U.S. Military Academy Band at West Point, U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own), and the U.S. Marine Band (President's Own).
Mr. Alessi’s discography includes many releases on the Summit record label, including the recent Trombonastics, and a disc with New York Philharmonic Principal Trumpet Philip Smith entitled Fandango; he also recorded New York Legends on the Cala label. His live recording of the Rouse Concerto with the New York Philharmonic can be heard on Volume II of the recent release, An American Celebration, on New York Philharmonic Special Editions, the Orchestra’s own recording label. Three new recordings are scheduled for release in 2007: Return to Sorrento, on the Naxos record label, and two recordings on the Summit record label that feature Mr. Alessi with Columbus State University Wind Ensemble and the Imperial Brass Band. In addition, conductor/composer Bramwell Tovey recently recorded a piece written especially for Mr. Alessi, entitled Urban Cabaret with Mr. Alessi as soloist.
Mr. Alessi was invited by the International Trombone Association to record a solo disc of newly composed works, which was distributed to the Association’s membership of 5,000 trombonists in early 1999 and is now available as Beyond the End of the Century through Summit Records. Recently, his recording of George Crumb’s Starchild on the Bridge record label, featuring Mr. Alessi as soloist, won a Grammy Award for 1999–2000. Other recordings featuring Mr. Alessi are with the Canadian Brass (Sony Classical and Philips Records). Further information about Mr. Alessi can be found on his website, www.slidearea.com.