Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet
- Brass Ensemble
Chicago Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet
Christopher Martin / CSO Principal Trumpet (1st Tp)
Tage Larsen / CSO Assistant Principal Trumpet (2nd Tp)
David Griffin / CSO Horn
Michael Mulcahy / CSO Trombone
Gene Pokorny / CSO Principal Tuba Contact
Tage Larsen joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as fourth/utility trumpet in 2002. He came from the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he served as second trumpet. Mr. Larsen was principal trumpet at the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and he served as the solo cornet with the President’s Own U.S. Marine Band. He received his bachelor of music degree from Michigan State University and did graduate work at the Eastman School of Music; he studied with Barbara Butler, who presently teaches at Northwestern University. Mr. Larsen is on the trumpet faculty of the DePaul University School of Music.
Tage Larsen is a native of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the father of two young sons, Zachary and Ethan.
Chicago Symphony Orchestra trombonist Michael Mulcahy has appeared as soloist and teacher in the United States, Canada, Europe, Russia, Japan, Argentina, New Zealand, and Australia. He has performed as soloist with the CSO and Pierre Boulez in music by Elliott Carter and with Daniel Barenboim in Leopold Mozart’s Concerto for Alto Trombone, which was broadcast on PBS. Other appearances include the Bavarian Radio Symphony, the Hilversum Radio Symphony, and the Melbourne Symphony.
Michael is the winner of several international competitions, among them the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Instrumental Competition, the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, the Viotti International Competition in Italy, and the International Instrumental Competition in the former East German city of Markneukirchen.
Active as a member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians, his work also includes collaborations with Barenboim, Boulez, Joseph Silverstein, Christoph Eschenbach, William Bolcom, and Yo-Yo Ma, as well as appearances at Domaine Forget in Quebec, Chamber Music Northwest and the Grand Teton Music Festival, where he has been a conductor since 1993. He has worked with the world’s most prominent composers, including Elliott Carter, Luciano Berio, Iannis Xenakis, Olivier Messiaen, Krzysztof Penderecki, and as a member of Karl-Heinz Stockhausen’s performance ensemble.
Sir Georg Solti appointed Michael Mulcahy to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1989. He also is principal trombone of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and the Grand Teton Music Festival. His orchestral career began in 1976 as principal trombone of the Tasmanian Symphony. A year later, he attained the same chair with the Melbourne Symphony. He left Australia in 1981 to pursue a career in Europe, where he became solo trombone of the Cologne Radio Symphony.
He was named senior lecturer of the Canberra School of Music at Australian National University in 1987. In 1999, he was appointed professor of music at Northwestern University. He also has been an artist-in-residence at Indiana University and Wiley Housewright Scholar at Florida State University, and he regularly appears at universities worldwide.
Michael Mulcahy’s interest in conducting was sparked by an invitation from West German Radio in 1987. Since then, he has been active in conducting a wide variety of works with an emphasis on the twentieth century. In 1988, he formed the Canberra School of Music Chamber Players and the Orchestral Repertoire Ensemble at Australian National University. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed assistant conductor of the Canberra Symphony Orchestra. He toured Japan as guest conductor at the International Youth Musicale in Shizouka and Denmark for the Royal Danish Orchestra in Copenhagen. He also has worked as an assistant for the Civic Orchestra of Chicago. He has conducted for Music of the Millennium and composer-perspective festivals at the Museum of Contemporary Art, served as music director for National Music Camp in Australia, and regularly leads the Chicago Chamber Musicians and the Grand Teton Music Festival Brass Ensemble. Mulcahy has taught and conducted at Barenboim’s West-Eastern Divan Workshop for young Arab and Israeli musicians in Seville, Spain.
Michael Mulcahy was born in Sydney, Australia. He began studying trombone with his father Jack Mulcahy, and completed his studies with Baden McCarron of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra and with Geoffrey Bailey at the State Conservatorium of New South Wales.
The Mulcahys are a family of musicians. Michael’s wife Gabrielle Webster is a freelance horn player in Chicago appearing regularly with the Chicago Symphony, Lyric Opera and the Chicago Chamber Musicians; daughter Lauren studied violin through high school and currently is pursuing a degree in education at Northern Illinois University. His son, bassist Patrick Mulcahy, frequently appears in Chicago with the jazz quartet Information Superhighway and progressive rock sensation District 97.
David Griffin is the fourth horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Upon graduating from Northwestern University in 1987, David began his career with the Rochester Philharmonic and followed with positions in the orchestras of Montreal and Houston before joining the Chicago Symphony in 1995.
With the wind quintet Prairie Winds, he has performed in more than 20 states since the group’s debut in 1996. Collaborating with composer Cliff Colnot, David transcribed long-lost music by Darius Milhaud from the 1939 film Cavalcade d’amour. The rediscovered music was arranged for wind quintet and utilized in a performing version combining film and live chamber music. The Prairie Winds gave the world premiere in July 2005 at the Madeline Island Music Festival.
David has performed concertos by Mozart and Richard Strauss, Saint-Saëns’ Concert Piece and Britten’s Serenade. In July 2010, he debuted as a soloist with the CSO in Schumann’s Konzertstück at the Ravinia Festival. Also in 2010, he released the solo album For You, featuring the world-premiere recording of the Sonata for Horn by Bruce Broughton. Visit www.cdbaby.com/cd/griffindavid for more information on the CD.
Griffin has served as guest principal horn of the Saint Louis Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Shanghai Radio Orchestra. He has appeared with Chicago Pro Musica, the Allegra Chamber Players and Les Chambristes de Montréal. David has been a faculty member at McGill University and Northwestern University. Summer festival engagements have included Grand Teton, Tanglewood, Manitou, Domaine Forget and Sun Valley. Griffin has also been a featured artist and clinician at the annual symposium of the International Horn Society.
David, his wife Susan Warner, and their children, Henry and Pearl, live in Oak Park, Illinois.
The Arnold Jacobs Principal Tuba Chair, endowed by Christine Querfeld
Gene Pokorny occupies the Arnold Jacobs Principal Tuba Chair (endowed by Christine Querfeld) in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He was appointed to the position by Sir Georg Solti in 1988 and began playing full-time with the Orchestra the following year.
Gene Pokorny is a proud native of Southern California, where he studied tuba there with Jeffrey Reynolds, Larry Johansen, Tommy Johnson and Roger Bobo. After attending the University of Redlands and graduating from the University of Southern California, he played in the Israel Philharmonic, the Utah Symphony, the Saint Louis Symphony and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. While in Los Angeles he played in several movie soundtracks including Jurassic Park and The Fugitive. Sir Georg Solti invited him to play with the Solti Orchestra Project at Carnegie Hall and with his World Orchestra for Peace. Under Solti’s direction, the World Orchestra for Peace performed at the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the United Nations. After Solti, the orchestra has continued to perform in London, St. Petersburg, Moscow and Jerusalem all for charity. Performances are currently scheduled in Krakow and Stockholm for September, 2009. Former Chicago Symphony Orchestra music director Daniel Barenboim invited Gene to play in the Deutsche Staatsoper Berlin production of Wagner’s Ring cycle in 1997 and in that orchestra’s Mahler marathon taking place in May 2009 at Carnegie Hall.
In appreciation for the five years he spent in the Utah Symphony over thirty years ago, he will return to that state in spring of 2010 as a part of his sabbatical from the Chicago Symphony and will give tuba recitals, music appreciation classes, master classes and clinics from the larger cities with universities to reservations in the outback.
In June 2000, he premiered John Stevens’ Journey, Concerto for Contrabass Tuba and Orchestra, which was commissioned by and performed with the Chicago Symphony. He has given repeat performances of that piece with the CSO and other orchestras. In June 2008, he gave the world premiere of John Stevens’ Monument written in memory of his teacher, Tommy Johnson, in Cincinnati at the International Tuba Euphonium Association Conference.
When he isn’t counting rests in the back row of the stage of Orchestra Hall, Gene may be found playing with the Do-It-Yourself Sousa Band (third clarinet section) in addition to giving music appreciation classes to children through the Orchestra’s education department. He was a consultant in Mim Harrison’s book, Spoken Like a Pro, published by Levenger. He is on the Honorary Board of Directors of the International Women’s Brass Conference.
He performs solo recitals internationally and, in addition to his three solo CDs available, he has a recording of orchestral tuba parts played alone for the benefit of young tuba players readying themselves for professional auditions. In the summer of 2006, a play-along CD/workbook on the Hip-Bone Music Publications label was released as a collaborative effort between Gene and the Rolling Stones trombonist Michael Davis. He wrote an exclusive chapter pertaining to orchestral auditions for the Tuba Source Book published by Indiana University Press. He has also written articles for the International Tuba Euphonium Association Journal and The Instrumentalist.
In the summer of 2008, he started an annual weeklong tuba seminar at the University of Redlands. In May 2006, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, and in March 2007, he received an honorary doctorate in music from the University of Redlands.
Gene is a member of the Union Pacific (Railroad) Historical Society and spends time as a “foamer” (watching and chasing trains). He is a card-carrying member of The Three Stooges Fan Club (a “victim of soicumstances!”) and is an avid enthusiast of his good friend David “Red” Lehr, the greatest Dixieland sousaphonist in the known universe. Gene, his wife Beth Lodal (a musician who happens to have a real job) and their basset hounds, etc. (non-musicians who happen to have real lives), regularly forage from their refrigerator, which is located in Forest Park, Illinois.