The Met’s principal trumpet on his long, long waits

David Krauss, principal trumpet of the Metropolitan Opera, opens up about the differences and difficulties of playing opera, as opposed to symphonies.

Long waits, endless repetitions of the same few pieces and, every now and then, transcendence.

‘Turandot is one of the only opera that feels like the last page of Mahler One.’

The best part comes when David reveals what he received from each of his teachers.

Essential viewing, even for string players.
david krauss

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  • At 22min57sec there is a beautiful story how 2nd trumpeter James Ross saved Mr Krauss’ career during “Walküre” in Salzburg. Bless Mr Ross for supporting a young principal in the moment of need. Orchestras can be cruelly competative, and hearing this story is heartwarming. Also, it is to Mr Krauss’ credit that he tells the story; others might rather be verrrrrry quiet about such a thing.

    • You have a point. yes- there is no shortage of great colleagues like Jim Ross in the MET orchestra – and I think that’s the last time
      I tell that story in public, though it may be too late….

      • On the contrary! Do tell this story as an example how things SHOULD be in an orchestra – and I’m glad to hear that there seems to be such a good climate between players at your orchestra. I am a semi-pro (more semi than pro) trumpeter sometimes playing second part to pros in various gigs, and they occasionally compliment me – not necessarily on my playing – but on the support and friendly working climate that they often do not seem to get on the classical gigging circuit. A shame really. Playing exposed 1st trumpet is hard enough without having the constant feeling that the guy on second is only waiting for you to screw up … Thanks again for this brilliant and open interview!!!

  • The comment about “not rehearsing” recalls an old joke…

    A conductor has used up his rehearsal time on a new work and hasn’t gotten to the second half of the program yet.

    “Well,” he says, “you all know Brahms’ second anyway. Just pay attention, it’ll be fine.”

    “But maestro…” protests one of the trumpets, who is new to the orchestra, “I’ve never played Brahms’ second symphony before!”

    “You’ll love it!” replies the conductor.

  • Katz’s Deli is a really overrated tourist trap (this from a tourist who went there once). Surprised any native New Yorker would be caught dead there. Bowling ball-sized matzos though!

    • Now hold on – much of what I said in this interview is opinion but there is one undeniable fact here. The pastrami at Katz’s deli is the pinnacle of all smoked meat. Furthermore, I can’t think of another institution, including my own Metropolitan Opera, who has held as firm over the past century in their pursuit of quality, consistency and excellence. Tourist trap? With all due respect, you must’ve ordered the turkey on white with mayo.

      • Hahahaha- I grew up on the west side of Manhattan near Zabars, and although I, too, raised an eyebrow on the Katz’s plug, since I work with David at the Met I know he wouldn’t have said that lightly.
        Turkey on white with mayo sounds good too, though. Wtf, David? I’m a violinist that occasionally compliments you! 😉

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