The American Brass Quintet, 2013 recipient of Chamber Music America’s highest honor, the Richard J. Bogomolny National Service Award for significant and lasting contributions to the field, is internationally recognized as one of the premier chamber music ensembles of our time, celebrated for peerless leadership in >the brass world. The ABQ's rich history includes performances in Asia, Australia, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East and all fifty of the United States; a discography of nearly sixty recordings; and the premieres of over one hundred fifty contemporary brass works.
ABQ commissions by Robert Beaser, William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, Eric Ewazen, Anthony Plog, Huang Ruo, David Sampson, Gunther Schuller, William Schuman, Joan Tower, and Charles Whittenberg, among many others, are considered significant contributions to contemporary chamber music and the foundation of the modern brass quintet repertoire. The ABQ’s Emerging Composer Commissioning program has brought forth brass quintets by Gordon Beeferman, Jay Greenberg, Trevor Gureckis, and Shafer Mahoney. Among the quintet’s recordings are eleven CDs for Summit Records since 1992 including the ABQ’s 50th release State of the Art—The ABQ at 50 featuring recent works written for them.
Committed to the promotion of brass chamber music through education, the American Brass Quintet has been in residence at the Aspen Music Festival since 1970 and at The Juilliard School since 1987. Since 2000 the ABQ has offered its expertise in chamber music performance and training with a program of mini-residencies as part of its regular touring. Designed to offer young groups and individuals an intense chamber music experience over several days, ABQ mini-residencies have been embraced by schools and communities throughout the United States and a dozen foreign countries.
The New York Times has written (12/02/2013) that “among North American brass ensembles none is more venerable than the American Brass Quintet,” while Newsweek has hailed the ensemble as “the high priests of brass” and American Record Guide has called the ABQ “of all the brass quintets, the most distinguished.” Through its acclaimed performances, diverse programming, commissioning, extensive discography and educational mission, the American Brass Quintet has created a legacy unparalleled in the brass field.
Trumpeter Kevin Cobb became a member of the American Brass Quintet in the fall of 1998. Prior to his joining the ABQ, he had been a member of the Manhattan Brass Quintet and Meridian Arts Ensemble. Currently Mr. Cobb serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, SUNY Stony Brook, the Hartt School, and the Aspen Music School. He performs regularly with such organizations as the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet Orchestra, Speculum Musicae, and is co-principal trumpeter of the Aspen Festival Orchestra. His first solo CD entitled One features an all-American program of unaccompanied trumpet solos on the Summit Label.
Louis Hanzlik is a member of the Grammy Award-winning Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke's and was a member of the Atlantic Brass Quintet (2002-2013). With Orpheus he has performed as a soloist and ensemble musician, having regularly toured nationally and internationally with the orchestra including recent concerts in Japan, Germany, Singapore, Scotland, Russia, Switzerland, and Austria. Hanzlik also frequently performs with the Caramoor International Music Festival and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. He recently appeared as soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra at the Hong Kong Arts Festival and is serving as a guest principal trumpet of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra for the 2013-14 season.
Hanzlik can be heard on over a dozen recordings on such labels as Naxos, Deutsche Grammophon, Sony, Summit, Decca, Chandos, Arabesque, Bridge, New World, and Vanguard Classics. He has recorded frequently for commercial radio and television and for numerous public radio and television features, such as Live from Lincoln Center, National Public Radio’s Performance Today, and for the NFL on NBC.
Louis Hanzlik is currently Associate Professor of Music (Trumpet and Chamber Music) at the University of Connecticut and also serves as the Music Department's Coordinator of Applied Music. As a member of the American Brass Quintet he will join The Juilliard School faculty.
Originally from Iowa, Hanzlik is a graduate of the University of Iowa (B.M.), The Juilliard School (M.M.) and Teachers College, Columbia University (Ed.D.). As a master's degree candidate at The Juilliard School, Hanzlik was a member of The Extension Ensemble which formed out of the American Brass Quintet seminar program at Juilliard and also studied with the American Brass Quintet at the Aspen Music Festival.
David Wakefield, horn
David Wakefield, horn, joined the American Brass Quintet in 1976 while he was a doctoral student at The Juilliard School. A member of the Aspen Music School faculty since 1976 and the Juilliard School faculty since 1987, and the Hartt School since 2011, he also served as Associate Dean for Performance Activities at The Juilliard School. Principal horn of the Little Orchestra Society, Mr. Wakefield has performed with the New York, Vienna, and Brooklyn Philharmonics, Houston Symphony, and regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, the New York City Opera, and the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He has premiered over 250 new works and worked closely with such composers as Milton Babbitt, Luciano Berio, Elliott Carter, John Corigliano, Jacob Druckman, Eric Ewazen, George Tsontakis, and Charles Wuorinen.
Michael Powell, trombone
Michael Powell has been tenor trombonist of the American Brass Quintet since 1983. He also performs and records regularly with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Little Orchestra Society, Zankel Band, Twentieth Century Classics Ensemble, and Aspen Festival Orchestra. Mr. Powell has performed as soloist with the Orchestra of St. Luke's, Kansas City Philharmonic, and at the Aspen and New Hampshire Music Festivals. He has taught master classes in trombone and chamber music worldwide. Mr. Powell commissioned, premiered and recorded the Sonata for Trombone and Piano by Eric Ewazen, with the composer as pianist. He is on the faculties of The Juilliard School, SUNY Stony Brook, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, and the Aspen Music School.
John D. Rojak, bass trombone
American Brass Quintet member since 1991, John Rojak is also bass trombonist with the Orchestra of St. Luke's and New York Pops, and has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic and Orpheus. He served as bass trombonist for the sixteen-year run of Les Miserables on Broadway and was the first bass trombonist to be artist-in-residence at Quad City Arts (Iowa). Recent solo recordings include The Romantic Bass Trombone on MMC Records, Eric Ewazen's Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and Strings for Albany Records, and Walter Ross' Trombone Concerto No. 2 with the New York Chamber Symphony. He is on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University, Bard College Conservatory of Music, and the Aspen Music School.