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Press Releases

Curtis Appoints Michael Sachs to the Trumpet Faculty

November 14, 2023 | By Patricia Price
Managing Director, 8VA Music Consultancy

Internationally renowned musician, teacher, author, and longstanding Cleveland Orchestra Principal to join the faculty in fall 2024

The Curtis Institute of Music is proud to announce that celebrated musician and distinguished teacher Michael Sachs will join Curtis’s trumpet faculty beginning in fall 2024, as the school celebrates its centennial year.

“We are thrilled to welcome Michael Sachs to the Curtis faculty,” says Roberto Díaz, president and CEO. “Our students will benefit greatly from his extraordinary experience as an outstanding musician, advocate for expanding the repertoire, and a dedicated teacher.”

A member of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1988, Mr. Sachs is currently celebrating his 36th season with the orchestra and is the longest-serving principal trumpet in the organization’s history. He recently received the International Trumpet Guild’s highest honor, the ITG Honorary Award, given annually to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the art of trumpet playing. In addition to his extensive experience as a Cleveland Orchestra principal, Mr. Sachs is a venerable teacher, having served on the faculties of the Cleveland Institute of Music, Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, and leading summer festivals.

Mr. Sachs will join Curtis’s celebrated faculty of world-renowned, actively performing musicians, helping the school’s talented young students to develop into extraordinary artists and creators. He will share his experiences with the next generation of artists through individualized lessons and personalized study, chamber coachings, and orchestral training.

“Throughout my career, I have come to believe that there is nothing more important to me than sharing all that I have learned about the trumpet—and about life—with students. I truly look forward to being a part of the legendary culture of excellence at Curtis,” says Mr. Sachs.

About Michael Sachs

Praised by critics for exemplifying “how brass playing can be at once heroic and lyrical” (Cleveland Plain Dealer), Cleveland Orchestra Principal Trumpet Michael Sachs is recognized internationally as a leading soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, teacher, author, and clinician. He is the longest-serving principal trumpet in Cleveland Orchestra history, and recently received the International Trumpet Guild’s highest honor, the ITG Honorary Award, given annually to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the art of trumpet playing.

Highlights of Mr. Sachs’s many solo appearances with the Cleveland Orchestra include the world premieres of John Williams’s Concerto for Trumpet and Wynton Marsalis’s Concerto for Trumpet—both written for and dedicated to Mr. Sachs—as well as Michael Hersch’s Night Pieces for Trumpet and Orchestra and Matthias Pintscher’s Chute d’Etoiles. In addition, he was the featured soloist for the U.S. premiere of Hans Werner Henze's Requiem. Other solo appearances include those with the Houston Symphony Orchestra, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Auckland Philharmonia, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center.

From 1988 until 2023, Michael Sachs served as chair of the brass division and head of the trumpet department at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has also taught at Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music and Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. He has served on served on the faculty of leading summer festivals—including Aspen Music Festival, National Brass Symposium, National Orchestral Institute, Summer Brass Institute, and Summit Brass—and regularly presents master classes and workshops throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia.

Mr. Sachs is the author of numerous publications with the International Music Company, Theodore Presser, and Carl Fischer Music. From 2008 to 2014, he served as editor of the “Inside the Orchestra Section” column for International Trumpet Guild Journal. Committed to the evolution of quality equipment, Mr. Sachs was extensively involved in the acoustic design and play-testing for Bach Stradivarius trumpets.

Originally from Santa Monica, California, Mr. Sachs attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history before continuing studies at the Juilliard School. His former teachers include Ziggy Elman, Mark Gould, Anthony Plog, and James Stamp. Prior to joining the Cleveland Orchestra, Michael Sachs was a member of the Houston Symphony Orchestra.

About the Curtis Institute of Music

At Curtis, the world’s most talented young musicians develop into exceptional artists, creators, and innovators. With a tuition-free foundation, Curtis is a unique environment for teaching and learning. A small school by design, students realize their artistic potential through intensive, individualized study with the most renowned, sought-after faculty. Animated by a learn-by-doing philosophy, Curtis students share their music with audiences through more than 100 performances each year, including solo and chamber recitals, orchestral concerts, and opera—all free or at an affordable cost—offering audiences unique opportunities to participate in pivotal moments in these young musicians’ careers. Curtis students experience a close connection to the greatest artists and organizations in classical music, and innovative initiatives that integrate new technologies and encourage entrepreneurship—all within a historic campus in the heart of culturally rich Philadelphia. In this diverse, collaborative community, Curtis’s extraordinary artists challenge, support, and inspire one another—continuing an unparalleled 100-year legacy of musicians who have led, and will lead, classical music into a thriving, equitable, and multidimensional future. Learn more at Curtis.edu.



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