ROCHESTER, NY — After a grueling three days and five rounds of virtuosic solos, cadenzas, and more than a few high notes, Eastman School of Music trumpeter Brian Shaw secured an impressive second-place finish ― and a $5,000 cash award ― at the eighth annual Ellsworth Smith International Trumpet Solo Competition, hosted last month by the University of Alabama at Birmingham and sponsored by the International Trumpet Guild (ITG).
Shaw, a doctoral student at Eastman, proved his formidable trumpet talent throughout the prestigious competition. Out of only five international competitors, he was one of just two Americans who were selected to perform. Each competitor was required to play on at least four different types of trumpets, in solos ranging from the 18th to the 21st centuries. The critical final round concerti, by Haydn and Johann Melchoir Molter, were performed with the Alabama Symphony.
In his final round, Shaw gave a lively performance from memory of Haydn’s Concerto for E-flat Clarino and Orchestra. One critic commented that he performed “brilliantly with exceptional musicality. Overall, his playing was centered and full of energy.”
Shaw is no stranger to the international trumpet scene, having previously won the 2002 International Trumpet Guild Solo Competition in Manchester, England. A native of Carmi, Illinois, he is a student of Eastman Professor of Trumpet James Thompson. Shaw also teaches in Rochester at Nazareth College and at the Hochstein School of Music and Dance.
# # #