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Richard Stoelzel

Rich Stoelzel with trumpet photo

Hailed as "one of the foremost performers and teachers of trumpet in the U.S." Richard Stoelzel maintains an active career as an international soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. Reviewers have called his trumpet playing, "virtuosic and lyrical," "liquid like tone," "his bel canto style gave this reviewer chills." He began his career as solo cornet with the United States Coast Guard Band, a presidential band. In this position he performed throughout the U.S. and gave numerous command performances for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. As a soloist he has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad including five highly successful tours of China and as a result earned the title of "Distinguished Visiting Professor" at the Shen Yang Conservatory of Music and other schools throughout China. Stoelzel has performed as a soloist at the 2003, 2007, and 2009 International Trumpet Guild Conference. At the 2009 conference, he was a featured soloist with the Keystone Wind Ensemble as well as performing with the Aries Trio.
As an orchestral musician Stoelzel has performed as principal and utility trumpet including substitute principal trumpet with the Detroit Symphony as well as third and assistant principal trumpet of the New Orleans Symphony and was winner of the principal trumpet position in 1993. He has held positions with the Miami City Ballet, Ballet Florida, Florida Symphonic Pops, New World Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, Bear Lake Music Festival, and the Des Moines Opera Orchestra. He has performed with the Naples Philharmonic, Baltimore, Jacksonville, and Louisville symphony orchestras. Stoelzel is presently principal trumpet of the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and serves on the artist faculty of the Masterworks Summer Music Festival held at Grace College in Indiana and Brass Coordinator of the Crescendo Institute in Hungary. As a chamber musician Stoelzel is the founder and performs with the Aries Trio, Drum and Brass (comprised of five of the country's finest trumpeters), and the Avatar Brass. Avatar Brass held a residency at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church for three years. During that time Avatar Brass performed on weekly international and national broadcasts. He was also a founding member of the New World Brass and has performed and toured with the Michigan Chamber Brass. In addition to live performances, Stoelzel can be heard on over 20 compact discs including 7 with Avatar Brass as well as with the Louisville Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony (PBS broadcast), New Orleans Symphony, Asaph Orchestra, U.S. Coast Guard Band, and the Dallas Wind Symphony. Stoelzel's solo recordings, Born to be Mild and A Mild Fantasie, both on the Albany label, have received warm critical acclaim and played on numerous radio stations across the country and oversees. Born to be Mild was named "CD of the Week" by Wisconsin Public Radio. Reviewers have called his recordings, "a must have," "bursting with a sense of joy and excitement," "unfailing and attractive music." American Record Guide reviewer stated, "I am truly taken by his sweet trumpet tone. It only takes a few seconds to be won over." (American Record Guide). As a pedagogue Stoelzel has been on the faculties of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the Harid Conservatory, and is Professor of Trumpet at Grand Valley State University. His students have consistently won national and international awards (20 international prizes and 20 national prizes) including an unprecedented three awards at the 2000 International Trumpet Guild Competition and have since been regular finalists and winners. The GVSU Trumpet Ensemble, under his direction, has received numerous awards at the National Trumpet Competition including two first-place awards in 2006 and 2008. His students have also won positions in numerous orchestras, military bands, and professional chamber ensembles such as the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic, Buffalo Philharmonic, Canadian Brass, Atlantic Brass, Burning River Brass, and Proteus 7. In the United States Stoelzel has served as chairman of the ITG Orchestral and Solo Competitions as well as serving as a finalist judge in the solo competition. He has also served as the chair of the National Trumpet Competition College Division. In 2013 Stoelzel served as Host of the highly successful 38th Conference of the International Trumpet Guild. Stoelzel has worked and commissioned over 40 new works for trumpet by such noted composers as Eric Ewazen, James Stephenson, Arthur Weisburg, Kurt Ellenberger, Bill Ryan, Erik Morales, Robert Bradshaw, and Tom Davis. He has recently released a CD as soloist with the Grinnell Wind Ensemble (Mark Dorr, conductor) featuring two new works that he commissioned. In 2006 Stoelzel co-produced and appeared as soloist on the CD titled Spirit of this Place for former President of Grand Valley State University Mark Murray. Stoelzel is also an accomplished conductor. He was the principal pops conductor for the Harid Conservatory as well as music director of the Florida Wind Symphony, a professional wind ensemble based in Boca Raton, FL. Stoelzel is the Artistic Director of the GVSU International Trumpet Seminar which he started in 2005. Stoelzel's teachers have included Daniel Patrylak, Leon Rapier, Steve Hendrickson, James Thompson, Philip Smith (isolated lessons) and Charles Schlueter (isolated lessons). Stoelzel is a Yamaha International Performing Artist. Please visit his website at