Dutch snatch top trumpet from Milan

Dutch snatch top trumpet from Milan


norman lebrecht

March 31, 2016

Giuliano Sommerhalder has won the audition for principal trumpet of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra.

When the news came through last night, he was preparing to play a freelance concert with the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.

Giuliano, a Swiss who teaches at the Milan Conservatorio, speaks fluent Dutch. (And English.) He writes:

‘Some days in life are just crazier that others… Just won the Principal Trumpet position with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra on the same day I had a general rehearsal with the Concertgebouw Orchestra in the morning and the concert at night.

‘Thanks so much dear Rotterdam Phil, looking forward to a new chapter in this fantastic life and to playing with great musicians and Maestro Yannick Nezet-Seguin.’

giuliano sommerhalder

From his c.v.:

He played in Claudio Abbado’s Orchestra Mozart in Bologna in 2004, was chosen by Lorin Maazel as solo trumpeter for his Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, and has been solo trumpeter in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly from 2006 until 2011, the year in which he was moved to the same position at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under Mariss Jansons, where he remained until 2013.


  • Peter says:

    I wonder why for someone who held principal positions in Gewandhaus and in Concertgebouw, winning such a position in Rotterdam would be reason to go public about it.

  • MacroV says:

    Yes. Rotterdam, fine an orchestra as it is, doesn’t seem a step up from the Concertgebouw or Gewandhaus. But I guess the news is that an obviously first-rate trumpeter, after giving up the orchestra game for academia/solo/chamber, decided he wanted to get back in.

    • CGDA says:

      People move around and make professional choices for their own reasons (I remember, for example, Gabriele Cassone – a brilliant trumpeter – teaching in a conservatory in a little northern town). On top of that, the Rotterdam Orchestra is hardly some middle of the road band.

  • Feurich says:

    Since I live in the Netherlands and attend many concerts I can say there are nights that Rotterdam sounds as good as the Concertgebouw. The Rotterdam Phil, being from a smaller city and having less exposure, maybe is not as appreciated as it deserves. For instance, I recently heard LA Phil in Amsterdam and although I loved concert Rotterdam Phil is a far more polished orchestra in my opinion.

    • Peter says:

      Rotterdam at his best day sounds as good as Concertgebouw on it’s worst day. And of course Internationally nobody even heard about Rotterdam. Truly a step down after his former positions but the orchestra must be thrilled!