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Performance and Pedagogy Blog

A blog about the performance and pedagogy of music.

Filtering by Tag: Tage Larsen

The Brass Junkies: Tage Larsen of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra

Andrew Hitz

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Tage Larsen, 4th/utility trumpet with The Chicago Symphony sat down with me & Lance for a fascinating look at his highly successful (and highly diverse) career.

I played for one season with Tage in the Dallas Brass and can't even begin to describe how much I learned from him. He is such an efficient player and sounds totally fluent in more styles than I can count.

As I shared in the interview, I remember my third day on the job with Dallas Brass when we had been having intensive rehearsals and my chops were toast. I was a very inefficient player at that age because I could get away with it. I vividly remember Tage playing the intro to Mahler 7 about five minutes into his warmup on that third day and it looking as if he was playing a long tone. My face was toast and his tone was still silk. I learned an awful lot in that moment.

Tage spent time in The Marine Band, Dallas Brass and the St. Louis Symphony before his current position and he explores what he likes about playing 4th/utility. We also get into the role of classical music in society and the notion that we should have sincerity in all that we do. Shockingly, he only uses one mouthpiece. That's what he said anyway.


Tage's DePaul School of Music Page

You can help offset the costs of producing the show by making a small donation at Your support is greatly appreciated!

Produced by Austin Boyer of FredBrass

Sweat the Small Stuff

Andrew Hitz


Try to make the simple beautiful.

- Marty Hackleman

The best musicians are the ones who can make a ton of music out of very few notes.  It is easy to play the best melodies ever written in a musical manner, but what about the other 99.9% of all composed music? A truly great artist can communicate as much in a one or two note phrase as they can in a long melody.

One of my favorite tuba parts in the orchestral repertoire is Brahms 2.  There is not much "meat" in this part.  There are very few long passages for tuba and nothing that is very technically demanding.  But there are some players who can make so much music in the one and two note phrases in the first movement.  Most young players would look at this part and label it as "easy."  But simple music can be deceiving.

I had the privilege of playing for a year in Dallas Brass with Tage Larsen who now plays trumpet with the Chicago Symphony.  I remember listening to his warm-up each morning.  The tone, the effortlessness, the music making! He could make so much music with his warm-up that it would make you stop and have an opinion.

How musical was your warm-up this morning?