Audun Breen performs “Fonos” with the Oslo Philharmonic

Audun Breen, principal trombonist of the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra (OFO) performed the concerto “Fonos” by Arne Nordheim with his orchestra this week. The OFO has a proud history as a top class ensemble, and got their international breakthrough with the recordings with Mariss Jansons in the 80s. The orchestra is also currently seeing great international success after the appointment of Klaus Mäkelä as their chief conductor, one of the brightest stars of the classical music world.

Breen has been the principal trombonist of the OFO since 2017, and previously held positions in the Gothenburg and Kristiansand Symphony Orchestras. He got his bachelor degree at the Norwegian Academy of Music under Aline Nistad and Prof. Ingemar Roos. After receiving a major scholarship from the Doubling foundation, he continued his studies at the Guildhall School of Music in London with Prof. Eric Crees, Prof. Simon Wills, Chris Houlding, John Kenny & Peter Gane. Breen has previously performed the Gunnar de Frumerie trombone concerto with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.

Memories and the primal scream

“Fonos, 3 memorables for trombone and orchestra” is the full name of this concerto. “Memorables” refers to his use of material from previous works, notably “The Hunting of the Snark”, a popular piece for solo trombone, written to Per Brevig. He wants to evoke the feeling we might have heard the music before, without knowing when. Other composers, like Richard Strauss in “Ein Heldenleben”, also looked back at their own music at late stages of their career. Nordheim also talks about the “primal scream” in his music, using its power to get in touch with the deepest feelings of existential loneliness and desperation.

“The piece has room for nastiness. There is a lot of nastiness in there. And poetry. (Arne Nordheim)

About playing the concerto, Audun Breen says: “in Fonos, everything isn’t necessarily beautiful. I feel that is not the point either. At times, it is blasting, aggressively, but musically. (…) Sometimes, it feels like I have to go in with my life on the line to succeed. It has been a long time since I played something as technically demanding as “Fonos”. At the most challenging parts, I feel I just have to dive into it. It would not work playing it safe. I feel this supports the music, the humanness, which I think he wants to achieve with the scream.”

An inspiring back story

“Fonos” came to be mostly by the efforts of trombonist Marius Hesby, who premiered the concerto in 2005. Hesby is a trombonist in the Norwegian Marine Band, and was also very active as a soloist, specializing in performing demanding contemporary works. Arne Nordheim had already written a tri0logy of pieces featuring solo trombone, but Hesby had a dream of a trombone concerto by Nordheim as well. Nordheim was arguably the most prominent contemporary composer, and a household name, who had the honour of living in “Grotten“, a state sponsored artist’s home. Hesby encouraged to Christian Lindberg to place such a commission, but despite some enthusiasm, it was not to be. Then, Hesby’s teacher, Ingemar Roos, suggested to rather talk to Nordheim about writing for himself! Hesby did so, but the opportunity did not present itself right away.

That changed when the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra commissioned a major orchestra work by the ageing Nordheim. Hesby got rewarded for his efforts: the composer wanted to use this opportunity to write a trombone concerto! The composer had actually attempted to write a trombone concerto for Vinko Globokar decades earlier, but his progress halted. Some of the sketches were used in his accordion concerto “Spur”. This time, though, at the twilight of his career, Nordheim was determined to succeed.

A concerto pushing the limits

Hesby and Nordheim collaborated extensively, and some passages of the solo part are actually written by Hesby! The concerto is also tailored to Hesby’s strengths as a player; most notably, it features unusual use of the low pedal register. It descends all the way down to the Bb below pedal Bb! (Hesby’s trick is to lip it down from 2nd position, without trigger). The final note of the piece is a F#4, and the dynamic range and technical boundaries of the instrument are pushed to the extremes.

Hesby got to perform the concerto 3 times, and he recorded it with the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Jukka-Pekka Sarastre.

Already at the premiere of the piece, Nordheim’s health was deteriorating. “Fonos” turned out to be his last major work. This is a concerto we are very lucky to have!

Unfortunately, Hesby now struggles with focal dystonia, and has not performed for several years. At least the concerto is now passed on to the next generation of players through Audun Breen!

Eyvind Sommerfelt
Online News Coordinator

Women’s day trombone news!

It is time to celebrate the international women’s day! Here are some news and other items featuring female trombonists and composers!

Recently, “The trombone channel” made a video about the shocking story about Abbie Conant and her fight for rights which should be for granted. Here is a disclaimer from Abbie herself, posted by the video creator:

“There is one factual error that I should correct. I didn’t lie about my gender in my 1980 application for the Munich Philharmonic. In fact, applicants back then were required to include a photo with their application. I was living in Italy at the time and had never been to Germany. I didn’t even know that women there could face problems in orchestras and thus had no reason to hide my gender. The reason my application got through is that the orchestra decided to invite everyone and hold the first round behind a screen. This was very rare in Germany in those days, but they were used for my audition because of special circumstances (in the section).
Many thanks to Jack for putting my story into a style that fits the younger generation. Unfortunately, it’s still relevant. Jack’s YouTube “Trombone Channel” is a real service to the community.”

Women have certainly achieved many great things for our instrument in recent years!

In 2019, principal trombonist Helen Vollam premiered Gavin Higgins’ trombone concerto “The Book of Miriacles” with the BBC Symphony orchestra. This substantial work is published on soundcloud by the composer.

On the 2nd of March this year, Maja Solveig Kjelstrup Ratkje (1973-) had her award winning and highly demanding trombone concerto “Considering Icarus” (2021) performed by trombonist Karoline Trondsen and the Trondheim Symphony Orchestra. Trondsen is a student of the Norwegian Academy of Music. She recently won an audition as trombonist in the Staff Band of the Norwegian Armed Forces, Oslo.

In 2021, SWR Symphony Orchestra’s principal trombonist Mayumi Shimizu released her debut album “Voyage“. The next year, she followed up with her second album, “Fantasie“.

2022 was also a big year for other female trombonists! Bass trombonist of the Kiel Philharmonic Orchestra, Lisa Hochwimmer, released “Deep Hights“. Fellow bass trombonist Clare Farr, of the Norwegian Radio Orchestra “Loud Mouthed Beauty“, including a new work by Bente Leiknes Thorsen. Martha Eikemo Andersen joined Lisa and Clare on a very exclusive list of women in full time positions as orchestral bass trombonists. Martha won her position in the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. On top of that, Isobel Daws released her solo CD of her own name, and the all female “Muse Trombone Quartet” released the album “Song & Dance“.

Hailey Brinnel, Karin Hammar have announced new albums in the near future.

Eyvind Sommerfelt
Online News Coordinator.

Ramsay wins Berlin Philharmonic Principal Trombone Audition

The Berlin Philharmonic recently announced that Jonathon Ramsay won their audition for principal trombone. In 2022, he was appointed principal trombonist of the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra, and is also a fixed member of the Mahler Chamber Orchestra. Ramsay will need to pass a probation period to receive tenture with the Berlin Philharmonic.

Jonathon (Jono) Ramsay was born in Sidney, Australia, and studied with Scott Kinmont at the Sidney Conservatory. At only 20 years old, he won the position of principal trombonist of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra. While in Australia, he also performed regularly with the symphony orchestras in Sidney, Melbourne and Adelaide. In 2018, he moved to Berlin to attend the Karajan Academy and study with Olaf Ott.

In 2019, Ramsay won the first prize in the Citta di Porcia and Aeolus solo competitions, and in 2022, he was awarded 2nd prize in the ARD competition. As an active soloist, he has performed with Düsseldorfer Symphoniker, Göttinger Symphony Orchestra, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra.

Jono learned the euphonium before picking up the trombone, and now passionately plays of both bass trumpet, bass trombone, sackbut and ophikleide.

It is notable that unlike many premier orchestral positions, this one was only advertised once before a winner was chosen. Ramsay will replace prof. Christhard Gössling, who will retire this summer after 39 years with the orchestra. Jono will join an all-star trombone section also featuring Olaf Ott, Jesper Busk Sørensen, Thomas Leyendecker and Stefan Schulz.

Eyvind Sommerfelt
Online News Coordinator.

February 15 ITA membership rate increase

On February 15,  ITA will raise the membership rates for the first time since 2009 in order to compensate for, and keep up with, the ever ongoing cost inflation. We intend to keep producing our various programs, like the quarterly ITA Journal, the ITA Awards, the ITA Solo and Ensemble Competitions, the International Trombone Festival, International Trombone Week, the monthly Newsletter and much more, and hope for  your support to keep doing it!
Take the chance to lock your membership rate for the coming years by renewing your membership before February 15!

In Memoriam: William Hartman

William Hartman, 79, passed away on December 15, 2022 in Springfield, Missouri. He completed a Bachelor of Music Education at the University of Kansas in 1966 and a Master of Arts in Trombone Performance at the University of Iowa in 1972.

Hartman served four years in the U.S. Marine Band, “The President’s Own,” and toured with the Stan Kenton Orchestra for two years. Upon moving to Springfield, Hartman performed with the Springfield Symphony Orchestra for 47 years and worked as professor of music at Missouri State University for 36 years.

Gifts in Hartman’s honor can be given to:

Springfield Music Foundation, Inc. (Caduceus)
6969 State Highway B
Rogersville, MO 65742

ITA extends its condolences to Hartman’s family and loved ones during this difficult time.

Photo Credit: Brendan Joyce via Last Row Music

Kilian Garrido Wins Gold Award at the World Classical Music Awards

Kilian Garrido was awarded the Gold Award for Modern Music at the World Classical Music Awards. 477 applicants entered from 24 countries in various categories. Entrants submitted a video that was judged by a panel composed of professional musicians from multiple countries. Garrido performed the 1st and 3rd movement of Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino for Trombone and String Orchestra, Op. 45, No. 7.

Garrido began his musical training at the Unión Musical Casinense School, where he studied with Antonio Soriano and performed with the Youth Band and Symphonic Band. He continued his studies at the Llíria Conservatory with Francesc Rozalén. Additional studies have been completed with Salvador Tarrassó, Indalecio Bonet, Joseph Alessi, Vincent Lepape, Antonio Zapata, Simeón Galduf, Juan Manuel Real, and Alejandro Biot.

Garrido is currently principal trombone and soloist with the Ciutat de València Symphonic Band. He has also performed with Youth Orchestra of the Unió Musical de Llíria and for the Symphonic Band of Musicians without Borders.

Please contact Mr. Garrido for further information.

Two Trombone Christmas Events Hosted in Colorado Springs

Bare Bones Trombone Choir, a community ensemble based out of Colorado Springs, Colorado, recently hosted two events for Trombone Christmas on November 26th at Bancroft Park and December 11th at Sunrise United Methodist Church. Conducted by Jeffrey Wilson, the events featured players aged 17-89.

Trombone Christmas events occur all over the nation. Music is arranged for high school ability and above. The current world record for players at a Trombone Christmas is 369.

For further information about Trombone Christmas, please visit their website. For further information about the Trombone Christmas events in Colorado Springs, please contact Christina Van Camp.

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign Announces Opening for Tenure-Track Professor of Trombone

The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign School of Music invites applications for an Assistant or Associate Professor of Trombone. This is a tenure-track position to begin August 16, 2023.


  • Teach undergraduate and graduate trombone students in all degree and diploma programs, including weekly lessons for each student, a weekly trombone studio class, and graduate-level trombone literature and pedagogy classes.
  • Additional teaching responsibilities will be based on the candidate’s other area(s) of expertise.
  • Maintain a professional career as an artist/teacher and/or pursue music research appropriate to a Research I university.
  • Pursue an active recruiting program that includes building relationships with universities, national organizations, and schools and private teachers statewide.
  • Work with the Wind, Brass, and Percussion faculty to expand engagement opportunities in Illinois school systems to nurture young performers and assist with School recruiting efforts.
  • Actively participate in all events and programs where the visibility of the University of Illinois faculty can serve as an asset for recruiting and/or student success and morale.
  • Service responsibilities include committee work and other activities that benefit the School and its students.

Success in teaching and recruitment, professional creative activity and/or research, and service will be evaluated as part of the tenure process.

Required Qualifications:

  • Artist/Teacher with an emerging or established national reputation as a performer and/or pedagogue.
  • Successful teaching experience at the university level.
  • Knowledge of pathways by which students discover the instrument and demonstrated experience attracting, recruiting, and retaining undergraduate and graduate students, particularly those from underrepresented populations.
  • Evidence of clearly defined secondary area(s) of expertise, such as music entrepreneurship, community engagement, pedagogy, musicianship, chamber music, health and wellness, or music history.
  • History of engagement with diverse audiences, collaborators, knowledges, and traditions with respect to race, gender, and class.
  • History of engagement with works by BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and women composers, including new pieces from living composers.
  • Experience performing and teaching multiple musical styles, including both classical and jazz.
  • Master’s degree in music or commensurate experience.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Orchestral experience.
  • Chamber coaching experience.
  • Classroom teaching experience at the university level.
  • Demonstrated record of student placement and success.
  • Facility with new technologies and platforms for recording, creating, and distributing music.
  • Evidence of an innovative research profile that engages with performance.
  • Doctoral degree in music.

Application Procedures:

Interested candidates should submit an online application here.  Application materials should include:

  • Letter of interest, including a section that provides 3-5 hyperlinks or URLs for representative online audio or audio/video files of recent live or recorded performances (please do not include links to entire websites or collections of videos).
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Diversity and inclusion statement, including relevant experience reaching underserved communities and vision for the social role of music in the 21st century.
  • Names and contact information of three references.

Screening of candidate applications will begin on January 20, 2023, and will continue until suitable candidates are identified for the position. Please direct any questions to Prof. Jim Pugh, Search Committee Chair or Jennifer Steiling, Sr. Human Resource Associate. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. For questions regarding the application process, please contact 217-333-2137.

Graduate Assistantship in Trombone at the University of Northern Colorado

A Graduate Assistantship in Trombone at the University of Northern Colorado is available for a tenor trombone or bass trombone student beginning a Master of Music or Doctor of Arts degree next year (2022-2023 and renewable). The assistantship, in addition to other duties, may include assignment to the UNC Graduate Brass Quintet. The exact award may vary depending on experience and teaching assignments but may be a 1/2 tuition waiver plus a stipend, or a full tuition waiver plus a stipend. The assistant will work closely with Dr. Nat Wickham in all activities of the trombone studio including the trombone choir.

Additional scholarship funding may be awarded based on audition quality.

Interested trombonists should go here:

Applicants may contact Dr. Nat Wickham for additional information:

Central Michigan University Announces Opening for Tenure-Track Professor of Trombone

Central Michigan University is pleased to announce an opening for Assistant Professor of Music in Trombone. This is a full-time, 9-month, tenure-track position.

Required Qualifications:

  • Doctorate in music performance, or master’s degree with
    commensurate professional experience – ABD will be considered as
    fulfilling the requirement if it is clear the degree will be conferred by the
    appointment start date; outstanding performance skills
  • Successful college teaching experience
  • Qualifications to teach in related areas
  • The ability to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable


  • Recruit and teach applied trombone students at the
    undergraduate and graduate levels.
  • Coach and direct trombone ensemble(s).
  • Conduct weekly studio classes.
  • Teach in related areas (e.g. brass techniques, jazz, or music in
    general studies) subject to the candidate’s expertise and the
    needs of the School of Music.
  • Maintain active research, creative, and service agenda, and
    assist with School of Music diversity initiatives.

Appointment: August 21, 2023.

Salary: Salary commensurate with rank and qualifications. Attractive benefits

Application: You must submit an online application at in order
to be considered as an applicant for this position. Application must

  • a letter of application that specifically addresses position
    qualifications and duties
  • a current vita
  • copies of undergraduate and graduate degree transcripts (upload as one document)
  • digital links to recent performances (live performances preferred)
  • a one-page statement regarding the candidate’s philosophy and commitment to
    diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Please supply the contact information for three references who may be contacted to submit recommendation

Screening will begin on January 15th and continue until the position is filled. For questions or further information, please contact:

Professor John Nichol, Chair, Trombone Search Committee
School of Music, Central Michigan University
Mount Pleasant, MI 48859
Phone: (989) 774-3848