TBJ89: David Gordon

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TBJ89: David Gordon of the Seattle Symphony on Boston, Mahler and giving it your all

David Gordon, whose playing has been described as “spectacular” by the Chicago Tribune, is Principal Trumpet of the Seattle Symphony and Chicago's Grant Park Symphony Orchestra.

As a soloist, Gordon has appeared with the symphony orchestras of Seattle, Grant Park, and Charleston (with whom he performed as soloist every season of his tenure), the National Repertory Orchestra and the Lake George Chamber Orchestra. He has performed as Principal Trumpet of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and has also performed, recorded and toured as Principal Trumpet of the London Symphony Orchestra and as Trompette Solo of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.

In this fun and lively discussion, we cover:

  • How playing with Mahler 2 with Andrew early on changed his life
  • Studied at Columbia (Philosophy) and Juilliard
  • Won Charleston and Grant Park gig right out of school, Seattle Symphony three years later, all Principal Trumpet
  • Studies with Nato and Jim Pandolfi (TOUGH LOVE!)
  • "He'll make you great or make you quit"
  • Giving it your all
  • Studies with Vacchiano
  • Playing alongside great players early on
  • Hearing recordings of Phil Smith's playing as an early influence
  • The influence of Boston, a wave of pros-to-be
  • Is there a "Boston" equivalent of today?
  • Auditioning for Seattle (twice) at 24 and 25, hardest audition ever, an hour to play everything, close to fifty pieces in total, for Gerard Schwarz
  • Playing for Boulez
  • Mental challenges vs. physical in that audition
  • Ramped up the intensity of preparation for the second one
  • The importance of focus
  • Budgeting his time and effort
  • Playing under Schwarz
  • Would you hire you?


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Expertly produced by Will Houchin with love, care, and enthusiasm.