TBJ73: Trombonist Weston Sprott on Performing with the Metropolitan Opera, the Diversity Issues Facing the Industry and Running Into One of His Heroes on the Streets of New York
Weston Sprott is the Acting Principal Trombone of the Metropolitan Opera and has appeared with major orchestras all over the world.
In this episode, we cover:
From his website:
Weston Sprott enjoys an exciting career that includes orchestral, chamber, and solo performances, as well as numerous educational and outreach efforts. He is currently Acting Principal Trombone of New York’s Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, of which he has been a member since 2005. He has been recognized as “an excellent trombonist” with a “sense of style and phrasing [that] takes a backseat to no one”.
Sprott performs frequently with the Philadelphia Orchestra, recently held a position with the Zurich Opera/Philharmonia, and has appeared with numerous other major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Atlanta Symphony, and Oslo Philharmonic. He previously held principal positions with the Pennsylvania Ballet Orchestra and the Delaware Symphony Orchestra. His chamber music and festival engagements include the Stellenbosch International Chamber Music Fesitval (SICMF), Classical Tahoe, Festival Napa Valley, Walla Chamber Music Festival, Chineke!, PRIZM Ensemble, and numerous others.
As a soloist, Sprott has been featured regularly throughout the United States, Europe, South Africa, and Asia. He made his Carnegie solo debut performing Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino for Trombone in 2007 and was a featured soloist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center is 2017. Sprott’s debut album, Act I, was released in 2010 and hailed by the American Record Guide as “an outstanding recording” that “feels the emotion of every note and phrase”.
A dedicated and tireless teacher, Sprott maintains teaching studios at several New York area institutions. He currently heads the brass department at Mannes College and holds faculty positions at Bard College, Rutgers University, and Juilliard Pre-College. He also regularly serves on the faculties of SICMF, PRIZM, Curtis Institute of Music’s Summerfest, National Youth Orchestra-USA (NYO-USA) and NYO2. He has previously held faculty positions at Juilliard's Music Advancement Program and Purchase College.
He recently appeared in Ben Niles’ documentary film Some Kind of Spark, which highlights the impact of music education in the lives of students as they attend Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program. Other documentary film credits include A Wayfarer's Journey:Listening to Mahler, and Rittenhouse Square. His thoughts are also quoted in Rhythms of the Game, a book by former New York Yankees star Bernie Williams. He also works regularly with organizations like Play On Philly and Music Kitchen, and has sponsored educational opportunities and solicited instrument donations for disadvantaged students. His philanthropic spirit was recently recognized in an article by the Wall Street Journal, and he was the recipient of the Atlanta Symphony Talent Development Program Aspire Award. Weston is an active speaker and collaborator as an advocate for diversity and inclusion efforts in classical music.
Weston Sprott is an artist/clinician for the Antoine Courtois Instrument Company. He performs exclusively on Courtois trombones and plays the Legend AC420BHW "New Yorker Model" trombone. Performances and interviews with Mr. Sprott have been seen and heard on PBS' Great Performances, NPR's Performance Today, MSNBC, and Sirius Satellite Radio.
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