Mar 3, 2017
Episode 42: Musical Fluency-A conversation with Brian McWhorter
Brian McWhorter is associate professor of music at the University of Oregon. Previously, he held positions at Manhattan School of Music, Louisiana State University, East Carolina University, and Princeton University. He earned the Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Oregon and the Master of Music degree from The Juilliard School.
While living in New York City, McWhorter’s performing career gravitated toward contemporary classical and improvised music. He has worked with many of the United States’ best-known modern music ensembles including Third Angle, Sequitur, Ensemble Sospeso, counter(induction, Ne(x)tworks, Tilt Brass, Elliott Sharp’s Orchestra Carbon, Continuum and Meridian Arts Ensemble. Now, as co-artistic director of Beta Collide, a new music group whose debut album was described as one of the top classical albums of 2010 by the Willamette Week, he is engaged in some of the most diverse projects of his career.
Hailed as a “terrific trumpeter” by The New York Times, McWhorter has been a featured soloist at the Festival of New Trumpet (New York City), Church of Beethoven (Albuquerque), Jornados de Creación Musica (Mexico City), and at Bargemusic (Brooklyn). He worked extensively with brass chamber groups including the Oregon Brass Quintet, Extension Ensemble, Manhattan Brass Quintet and the American Brass Quintet. As a member of the brass and percussion sextet Meridian Arts Ensemble from 2001-2010, McWhorter performed, commissioned and recorded some of the most demanding and progressive music ever written for brass. Meridian’s album Timbrando – a collection of Latin American contemporary works – was recently profiled on NPR’s All Things Considered.
McWhorter was appointed principal trumpet of the Eugene Symphony by Giancarlo Guerrero for the 2008-2009 season. Additionally, he has performed as principal trumpet with the Portland Opera, Oregon Ballet Theatre Orchestra, Quartz Mountain Music Festival Orchestra, American Sinfonietta and Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra. He has also performed with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra and many others. McWhorter’s discography spans many genres from contemporary chamber to orchestral, improvised music to pop and rock. He has worked with Dave Douglas, John Zorn, John Cale (The Velvet Underground), Natalie Merchant, Anne Heaton, Nini Camps, Hugh Blumenfeld, and The Sharp Things.