Tryon Concerts Presents American Brass Quintet

Published 12:17 pm Friday, April 14, 2023

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Tryon Concerts will present the American Brass Quintet in concert at the Tryon Fine Arts Center on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 in the evening.


Known as the “high priests of brass,” ABQ has a deserved reputation as one of the foremost brass ensembles in the world. The group has performed widely in North America, Central and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and Australia. 

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Reviewers have acclaimed the group for its “positively breathtaking” performances (The New York Times), “astonishingly rich range of color and sound” (The Times of London), and “technical mastery and musicality” (Badische Zeitung). 


ABQ has commissioned works that have extended the repertoire for brass quintet. William Bolcom, Elliott Carter, Eric Ewazen, and Joan Tower are just a few of the many composers who have written new works for the ensemble. ABQ is also known for recognizing emerging composers and for debuting their compositions in important venues.


The ensemble is composed of Kevin Cobb and Brandon Ridenour, trumpets. Mr. Cobb has performed with brass ensembles and major orchestras and is currently on the faculty of The Juilliard School. Mr. Ridenour is a trumpeter, composer, and arranger who has performed in distinguished venues, including television and radio. He is a former member of Canadian Brass.


Eric Reed, horn, has performed with the New York Philharmonic, New York City Opera, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. He is on the faculty of the Round Top Festival and Aspen Music Festival and School.


John Rojak is bass trombonist for the Orchestra of St. Luke’s and the New York Pops and has performed with the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He is an artist-faculty member of the Colorado College Summer Music Festival.


Trombonist Hillary Simms was named Stratford Symphony’s 2020 Emerging Artist and is a co-founder of The Canadian Trombone Quartet, Canada’s first professional all-female trombone quartet. She has played with the Canadian Opera Company, the Thunder Bay Symphony, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.


The program for this concert spans six centuries, beginning with “Three English Fancies” and “Chansons,” both written by Renaissance composers. Ludwig Maurer is next with his “Five Pieces” from the 1800s. The most recent works include “Book of Brass” by Jennifer Higdon, “Samsāra” by Anthony Barfield, “Dance Movement” by David Snow, and “Frost Fire” by Eric Ewazen. 


Concert-goers will enjoy a pre-concert reception generously provided by The Foundation for St. Luke’s Hospital. This concert is made possible in part by the Polk County Community Foundation’s support of Tryon Concerts. 


For information about this and other Tryon Concerts events, please visit our website,


Submitted by Anne De Sutter