Chicago mourns huge bass trombone

Chicago mourns huge bass trombone


norman lebrecht

December 02, 2013

Edward Kleinhammer, bass trombonist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1940 to 1985, standing head and shoulders above the rest, died on November 30, aged 94. Chicago born, he was taught at high school by two members of the CSO (does that still happen?).

Ed Kleinhammer was a mighty influence on generations of trombonists, both in person and as author of “The Art of Trombone Playing” and “Mastering the Trombone.” Full life story here.



  • MacroV says:

    Truly a legend. The great and mighty CSO brass owe their reputation to Bud Herseth, Philip Farkas (then Dale Clevenger), Ed Kleinhammer, and Arnold Jacobs (no disrespect to anyone I omitted, though). Really one-of-a-kind players who may be surpassed by a new generation but never replicated.

    • James Forrest says:

      Eloquently and accurately stated. I will never forget when first I heard these men, after arriving in Chicago in 1958. Individually, and collectively, great orchestral players and often notable soloists. Reiner (and later Martinon) knew how to blend them into the orchestral fabric . . . .

  • squirrel says:

    And yes, Norman, I think it can still happen. I had a friend who was taught horn by members of a major American orchestra – and I have students who currently are.