The International Trombone Association has several awards it bestows each year. The individual awards are the ITA Award, presented every year to an individual who has greatly influenced the field of trombone, the Neill Humfeld Award, which recognizes outstanding trombone teaching in our profession while honoring the teaching excellence of the late Neill Humfeld, the Legacy Circle Award, for unparalleled accomplishments in the trombone community, the Lifetime Achievement Award, for contributions to the trombone profession over a long career.
The ITA has great pleasure in announcing winners for these awards for 2023.
ITA Award: Jörgen van Rijen
Principal trombonist of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Lucerne Festival Orchestra, Jörgen van Rijen, is also much in demand as a soloist with a special commitment to promoting his instrument, developing new repertoire for the trombone and bringing the existing repertoire to a broader audience. He is a specialist on both the modern and baroque trombone. Dutch music magazine Luister wrote:
“van Rijen is a real ambassador of his instrument, which is still not often used as a virtuosic brass instrument
among composers. But there are not that many trombonists that reach the brilliant level of van Rijen. In
sound, dynamic, color, musical understanding and expressiveness van Rijen is unequalled.(…)”
He performs as a soloist with distinguished conductors and orchestras all over the world, such as the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Czech Philharmonic, Hong Kong Philharmonic, Dallas Symphony, BBC Symphony, Taiwan National Symphony, Nagoya Philharmonic, Tokyo Philharmonic, Philharmonie Luxembourg, BBC Scottish, Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony, Antwerp Symphony and Orchestre de la Suisse Romande.
Jörgen actively promotes new repertoire for his instrument. Various world renowned composers wrote new pieces for him, among which James MacMillan, Tan Dun, Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, Kalevi Aho, Jacob ter Veldhuis and Florian Magnus Maier. In the coming years new concerto’s will be written for him by a.o Samy Moussa, Jimmy Lopez and Andrew Norman. Besides winning several International solo competitions, he received the prestigious Netherlands Music Prize, the highest distinction in the field of music by the Dutch Ministry of Culture and the Borletti-Buitoni
At the invitation of maestro Claudio Abbado, he became principal trombonist of the Lucerne Festival
Orchestra. As guest principal he performed with orchestras such as the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Bavarian Radio Orchestra Munich and the New York Philharmonic. Jörgen is professor at the Amsterdam
Conservatory and Visiting Professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Several solo CD’s were released om the labels BIS and Channel Classics and he performs exclusively on
instruments by Antoine Courtois.
The Neill Humfeld Award: Dudley Bright
Dudley Bright was principal trombone of the London Symphony Orchestra from 2001 until retiring from that position in 2018. He is presently professor of trombone at the Royal Academy of Music and also leads a busy freelance life, appearing as guest principal with London-based orchestras and in a variety of recording projects.
He made his solo debut with the International Staff Band of The Salvation Army at the age of 14 and went on to be featured as soloist widely in the Salvationist world. Subsequently, studies at the Guildhall School of Music led to associate membership of the LSO and principal positions in the Halle and Philharmonia orchestras. In 2001, Dudley had the privilege of succeeding both his teacher, Denis Wick, and his pupil, Ian Bousfield, by returning as principal to the LSO.
In addition to many concerts and master classes at home and abroad, Dudley’s work includes recording on the successful LSO Live label and the soundtrack of films such as Star Wars II, Star Wars III, Harry Potter, Monuments Men, and The Shape of Water. He has also made solo recordings with the Grimethorpe, ISB, and Enfield bands.
Dudley has been a trombone design consultant for both Besson and, more recently, Courtois instruments. He is the composer of many works for brass, mainly for the Salvation Army, but also four major secular works – Pursuing the Horizon, Bunhill Variations, Jubilee Music, and Reach for the Sky – all of which were written for the LSO’s Brass Academy. Pursuing the Horizon, originating in 2004, was adapted for brass band and renamed Pursuing Horizons. It was performed at the Royal Albert Hall by more than 250 players to celebrate the 120th anniversary of the International Staff Band.
Dudley received The British Trombone Society’s Annual Award in 2020 for his outstanding contribution to the trombone.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Vivian Lee
Vivian Jean Lee was born and raised in Montreal. She studied trombone with Douglas Burden at the University of Ottawa, Ted Griffith at McGill University, and Albert Devito at the Université de Montréal. Ms. Lee played with l’Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal from 1990 until her retirement in 2021, first under Charles Dutoit and then under Kent Nagano. Before that she was a member of the Hamilton Philharmonic and Orchestra London Canada. In addition to touring the world with the OSM, she has appeared as a soloist and clinician at the International Trombone Festival on two occasions, and taught for several years at McGill’s Schulich School of Music. Her husband, David Martin is a retired trombone player and teacher, and her grown son, Travis, and daughter, Erica, are both involved in the arts.
Lifetime Achievement Award: Michael Powell
Since 1983, Mr. Powell has been a member of the celebrated American Brass Quintet. He performs and records regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Little Orchestra Society. Mr. Powell has performed as a soloist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Kansas City Philharmonic, the Aspen Music Festival, and the New Hampshire Music Festival. He also records for radio, television, and cinema and has appeared on over sixty recordings as a trombonist. He frequently appears with such diverse ensembles as the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, The New York Chamber Symphony, the Zankel Band of Carnegie Hall, Music Today, Musical Elements, the Classical Band, Professor Peter Schickele’s New York Pick-Up Ensemble, and Tidewater Quintet. From 1978 to 1982 he was the principal trombonist of the Kansas City Philharmonic. Mr. Powell has commissioned, premiered, and recorded solo works by Eric Ewazen, Robert Martin, Steven Sacco, and David Sampson. He is on the faculties of The Juilliard School, SUNY at Stony Brook, and the Aspen Music School.