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Giuliano Sommerhalder

principal | trumpet

Artists list
Giuliano Sommerhalder
© Niels Ackermann / Lundi13

Trumpet player Giuliano Sommerhalder was born into a family of musicians in 1985 and grew up in Switzerland and Italy.

In 2003, a year before completing his schooling, he carried off the second prize at the renowned international music competition of the ARD broadcasting network in Munich and was the joint winner of the Maurice André competition in Paris, after having won other important contests, such as the Prague Spring Festival (2003), the Timofei Dokschitzer Competition in Vilnius (2002), the Concertino Praga (2001) and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory Competition in Moscow (1997). In addition, he was awarded European Culture Prizes in Munich in 1999 and in Berlin in 2002. In 2008 he was accepted into the BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artists scheme.

Giuliano Sommerhalder studied with Pierluigi Salvi at the Conservatorio "Giuseppe Verdi" in Como and with Max Sommerhalder at the Detmold College of Music. He also gleaned important stimulus from Maurice André, Eric Aubier, Stephen Burns, Edward Carroll, Hans Gansch, Pierre Thibaud, James Thompson and others. 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. Between 2013 and 2015 has extensively performed as guest principal trumpet at the Milan Scala and the Santa Cecilia Symphony Orchestra in Rome. In 2016 he was appointed Principal Trumpet at the Rotterdam Philharmonic where he served until 2021, first under Yannick Nézet-Séguin and then under Lahav Shani.

In 2021, he was appointed Principal Trumpet at the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in Geneva under Jonathan Nott.

Besides his soloistical and orchestral activities, he has been a member of the brass quintet Italian Wonderbrass since 2006 and a regular guest at the Brass Ensemble of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, RCO Brass, since 2017.

As a soloist on both modern and historical instruments, Giuliano Sommerhalder has appeared throughout Europe, in America, Asia, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, at the Vienna Musikverein and the Cologne Philharmonic Hall (in both venues he played Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto), the Berlin Philharmonie (both the Great and the Chamber Music Halls) and other important venues, at the Lucerne Festival, the City of London Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. He has performed as a soloist with ensembles such as the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the NDR Philharmonic Orchestra in Hanover, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the Basel Chamber Orchestra, the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, and the symphony orchestras of the Czech and Polish broadcasting corporations. In 2015 he performed Shostakovich's Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings by Shostakovich, with Martha Argerich and the Symphony Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov.

Giuliano Sommerhalder's discography includes three solo albums: "Romantic Virtuosity", a collection of virtuosic masterpieces of the german-russian Romanticism; "Amilcare Ponchielli - Wind Concertos", dedicated to the great Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886); as well as “Vladimir Peskin – Complete Trumpet Music” with this Soviet composer's enormous compositive output for trumpet and piano (with pianist Kasia Wieczorek). In 2012, the Ponchielli Album was awarded the prestigious ECHO-Klassik Music Prize in the category “Concerto Recording of the Year / 19th Century”. He is also featured in four albums of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, performing J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and the Christmas Oratorio, among others. On baroque trumpet, he has recorded Johann Friedrich Fasch's Trumpet Concerto in D Major with the Kammerorchester Basel.

Giuliano Sommerhalder is a highly requested pedagogue throughout the World.

Since 2019 he is the trumpet lecturer at the Hochschule der Künste Bern (HKB) and gives a yearly trumpet course at AIMART, Accademia Internazionale di Musica e Arte, in Rome.

He is the founder and Artistic Director of the “Girolamo Fantini” International Trumpet Competition, which takes place in downtown Rome every two years since 2017. Furthermore, he is Artistic Advisor and permanent guest professor at the annual Festival Rafael Méndez in Morelia, Mexico.

OSR Live

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Jonathan Nott | Sergey Khachatryan

Concerto pour violon et orchestre

Recorded on 30 July 2020 at Victoria Hall, Geneva

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Ludwig van Beethoven

Symphonie N° 4 en si bémol majeur op. 60

Jonathan Nott


Recorded on 30 July 2020 at Victoria Hall, Geneva