NY Philharmonic trumpet blows out after 35 years

NY Philharmonic trumpet blows out after 35 years


norman lebrecht

November 06, 2013

Philip Smith, 61, will retire next June to take up a teaching post at the University of Georgia.

UK-born, Smith joined the Philharmonic as co-principal trumpet in 1978 and became principal ten years later.

h/t Brian Wise

phil smith


  • Wow. Thought he’d be with the Philharmonic forever.

    • JBB says:

      I wish! The resonance in his sound (a friend says it’s because of his very large head) and his technique and musicality are simply amazing.

  • Sith Lord says:

    Tacky headline. Phil Smith is considered by many to be the greatest orchestral trumpet player ever.

    • Michael Schaffer says:

      Tacky comment. There have been, and still are, many excellent trumpet players. Smith is no doubt one of them. One of them.

  • MacroV says:

    He’s a great player. But I guess it’s time for everyone to move on at some point. Not everyone can play as long as the legendary Bud Herseth.

  • harold braun says:

    Very sad!I hoped he would play on for 10 or 15 more years!One of the greatest ever!So,together with concertmaster Glenn Dicterow,two legends who shaped the NYPO for many years,will leave the orchestra at the end of this season.Big shoes to fill!

  • Kenneth Berv says:

    As a 25 year subscriber, who left last year, I can say that the entire brass section has been corrupted in style, taste, and coarse fortississimos by the first horn. I used to renew my subscription just to hear Phil Smith. I am afraid the changes in the brass must have gotten to him.

  • Sol Green says:

    He is a stunning trumpeter. One of the best American trumpeters of the last 30 years, along with Herseth in Chicago and Schlueter in Boston. Best wishes, Mr. Smith.

  • Gordon Davies says:

    Anyone know what piece he’s playing in the video? 🙂

  • Larry says:

    He is that age? Hard to comprehend. I will miss seeing and hearing him, although only via the telly as I reside in Vancouver, Canada on the West Coast.

    He does have an excellent pedigree in that his father was a reknowned Cornet player. I believe his father, Derek started his lessons at a very young age (5 yrs) and instilled the work ethic as well as the playing technique he has enjoyed.

    Philip is also a wonderful Cornet player as well; seeming to switch from Trumpet to Cornet seemingly very effortlessly.

    Have a long relaxing retirement, Mr Smith!