The New York Philharmonic
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Ethan Bensdorf joined the New York Philharmonic’s trumpet section on June 3, 2008, after spending the 2007–08 season as acting assistant principal trumpet with the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra in Naples, Florida. He received his bachelor of music degree from Northwestern University in 2007, where he studied with Barbara Butler, Charles Geyer, and Christopher Martin. While a student at Northwestern, Bensdorf spent two years performing with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, the training orchestra for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and also performed with the New World Symphony and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s contemporary ensemble, MusicNOW. In May 2005, Bensdorf was selected to perform at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts representing Northwestern University as part of “The Conservatory Project” recital series.
In September of 2006, Bensdorf received the Armando Ghitalla International Trumpet Classic Award, which included solo appearances with the United States Coast Guard Band and the Berkshire Symphony Orchestra in Massachusetts. He also spent two summers as a participant in the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan; one summer at the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland; and was selected as a Fellow at the Tanglewood Music Center in the summers of 2006 and 2007, where he received the Voisin Trumpet Award.
THE FACTS: Born in Evanston, Illinois.
Bachelor of music, Northwestern University
(2007). Prior to the Philharmonic:
acting assistant principal trumpet, Naples
(Florida) Philharmonic; Civic Orchestra of
Chicago; Fellow, Tanglewood Music
Center, where he received the Voisin Trumpet Award. At
the Philharmonic: Joined in June 2008.
EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: Listening to my
sister practice the oboe. Every summer
since I was five my family would visit her
at the Interlochen Arts Camp, where I
was destined to go, starting at age ten.
FIRST PIECE OF MUSIC YOU FELL IN LOVE WITH:
Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 — it was the first
piece of music I remember paying attention
to the whole way through.
WHEN DID YOU BEGIN THE TRUMPET? I
played the piano from ages 6 to 12. I
picked up the trumpet my first summer
at Interlochen while enrolled in a class
called “instrument exploration.” The
instructor said I had a “natural talent,” so
I started playing it in the fifth-grade band
at school the following fall.
WHEN DID YOU KNOW THAT YOU WANTED TO BE A
PROFESSIONAL MUSICIAN? As long as I can
remember it was always the path I was
on. I did play soccer pretty seriously
through my second year of high school
until I decided to quit to
become more serious about music.
MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCES: My
family, for supporting me, and my teacher at
Northwestern, Barbara Butler — my
“trumpet mom.” I also grew up listening
to trumpeter Adolph Herseth of the
Chicago Symphony Orchestra — truly
WHY DO YOU LIKE THE TRUMPET? It has so much possibility —
loud fanfares, soft solos. I try to imitate
the music I hear on other instruments to
become an all-encompassing musician.
WHAT IS THE MOST DIFFICULT ASPECT OF YOUR
focused while not getting lost in the
extraordinary music-making around me.
IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT, WHAT
WOULD IT BE? I think the English Horn is
one of the orchestra’s most expressive instruments.
Some of classical music’s most beautiful
moments are heard on the English Horn.
ARE THERE MUSICIANS IN YOUR FAMILY? My
sister is principal oboe of the Wisconsin
Chamber Orchestra; my mom performed
in musical theater; and my grandfather
played the violin.
WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? Photography, soccer, and trying new coffee
shops and restaurants.
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New York Philharmonic
Attn.: Marketing Department
10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
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New York Philharmonic
132 West 65th Street
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New York Philharmonic
Attn.: Marketing Department
10 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023
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