Barbara Butler
Barbara Butler, trumpet

Barbara Butler is Professor of Trumpet and Director of the Artist Diploma Program at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. Previously Professor of Trumpet at Northwestern University and the Eastman School of Music, Ms. Butler has also held the positions of co-principal trumpet of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, principal trumpet of the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra and acting associate/assistant principal trumpet of the Houston and St. Louis Symphony Orchestras. Ms. Butler has performed with conductors including Solti, Abbado, Leinsdorf, Copland, Bernstein, Ozawa, Eschenbach, Marriner, Mehta.

Ms. Butler has taught and performed world-wide with orchestras, wind ensembles, chamber groups, and in recital. Highlights include performances of ‘Carmen Fantasia’ for two trumpets and orchestra in Seville, Spain, a 20 concert tour of Japan, and solo appearances in the Forbidden City in Beijing, China; Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland; and Italian Brass Week in Florence, Italy.

Ms. Butler has been featured artist with the International Trumpet Guild, the National Trumpet Competition, and the Mostly Mozart Festival in New York. Currently soloist and co-principal of Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and the Chicago Chamber Musicians, Ms. Butler also performs every summer at the Grand Teton Music Festival , as well as being a regular faculty member of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California and the National Orchestral Institute in Maryland.

Tage Larsen, trumpet

Tage Larsen joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra trumpet section in 2002. He came from the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, where he served as second trumpet. Larsen was principal trumpet at the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, and he served as the solo cornet with The “President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band.

Larsen received his Bachelor of Music degree from Michigan State University and did graduate work at the Eastman School of Music; where he studied with Barbara Butler, who is now on the faculty at Rice University. Larsen is on the trumpet faculty of the DePaul University School of Music. Larsen is a native of Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is the father of two sons, Zachary and Ethan.

Gail Williams, horn

Gail Williams is admired for her tenure at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, her teaching at Northwestern University and at many clinics and workshops around the world, her solo and ensemble playing, and her support of new music.

Gail grew up on a farm in a musical family. Her mother studied percussion and viola; her brother, clarinet. Gail studied with Jack Covert at Ithaca College, then earned a master’s degree at Northwestern University and performed with Lyric Opera of Chicago for four years before winning the audition for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1978. She was assistant principal until winning the position of associate principal in 1984, where she remained until retiring in 1998.

Gail teaches at Northwestern University (since 1989), gives master classes at innumerable conservatories and workshops, is horn soloist with major orchestras, and is dedicated to performing chamber music. Gail is principal horn with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra and was principal horn with the Saito Kenin Orchestra in Japan in 2004 and the World Orchestra for Peace in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2009.

Gail has performed as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, San Antonio Symphony, Sinfonia da Camera, New World Symphony, the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, Fairbanks Symphony, Green Bay Symphony, and a number of regional orchestras.

Gail is a founding member of the Chicago Chamber Musicians and Summit Brass. She has performed with the Vermeer Quartet, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in New York City, the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, the Skaneateles Music Festival, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, and the Olympic Peninsula Chamber Festival, and she was the featured artist on a chamber music series in Ottawa, Canada with the National Arts Orchestra of Canada.

Michael Mulcahy, trombone

Chicago Symphony Orchestra trombonist Michael Mulcahy has appeared as a soloist, conductor and teacher worldwide. Some of his solo appearances include Jennifer Higdon’s Low Brass Concerto with the CSO and Riccardo Muti; the music of Elliot Carter with the CSO and Pierre Boulez; Leopold Mozart’s Concerto for Alto Trombone with Daniel Barenboim; and the world premiere of Carl Vine’s Five Hallucinations for Trombone and Orchestra, a solo concerto co-commissioned by the CSO and the Sydney Symphony.

Mulcahy is the winner of several international competitions, among them the Australian Broadcasting Corporation Instrumental Competition, the ARD International Music Competition in Munich, the Viotti International Competition in Italy and the International Instrumental Competition in Markneukirchen.

Sir Georg Solti appointed Mulcahy to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in 1989. He is principal trombone with Chicago’s Music of the Baroque and the Grand Teton Music Festival. Mulcahy is former Principal Trombone with the Tasmanian Symphony, Melbourne Symphony and the WDR Symphony Cologne. He is Principal Trombone of the Australian World Orchestra under Briger, Mehta, Rattle and Muti.

Mulcahy became a senior lecturer at the Canberra School of Music at the Australian National University in 1987. Currently he leads the trombone studio at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and is a visiting artist at the Australian National Academy of Music.

Eugene Pokorny, tuba

Gene Pokorny has been principal tuba of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1989. He also held principal tuba positions in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, the Utah Symphony, the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. While in Los Angeles, he played on the soundtracks to Jurassic Park, The Fugitive, and other motion pictures.

He grew up in Downey, California, about a mile from where the Apollo command modules were built that first took humans to the moon, and studied tuba in the Los Angeles area with Jeffrey Reynolds, Larry Johansen, Tommy Johnson, and Roger Bobo.

When Gene Pokorny isn’t counting rests in the back row onstage at Orchestra Hall, he can be found teaching at music festivals and performing solo recitals worldwide. He has recorded several solo and educational discs, and assisted Rolling Stones trombonist Michael Davis in recording several educational workbook CDs. He received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the University of Southern California and an honorary doctorate from the University of Redlands. He currently lectures and teaches at Roosevelt University, Northwestern University, and the Pokorny Low Brass Seminar.

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