Paul Merkelo

Paul Merkelo

Principal Trumpet

Paul Merkelo began playing music at the age of 10. He later studied trumpet at the Eastman School of Music and at the University of Illinois with Charles Geyer, Phil Smith and Ray Sasaki. He will always remember playing under the direction of Leonard Bernstein when he was a student at Tanglewood Music Center. Paul Merkelo joined the OSM in 1995 and his fondest memories with Kent Nagano are of recording the album French Trumpet Concertos. An extraordinarily skilled trumpet player, Paul Merkelo regularly performs in recital and as a soloist under renowned conductors throughout the world. He also currently teaches at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara (CA) and at McGill University.

Joined the OSM in: 1995

Previous posts: New Orleans Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic (NY)

Model of instrument: Yamaha

Hometown: Champaign-Urbana (Illinois)

Academic institution attended: Eastman School of Music

First musical love: Mahler’s Symphony No. 5

Prizes and scholarships: Rudolf Speth Memorial Scholarship for Outstanding Orchestral Musician, Eastman School of Music

Favourite composer: Mahler

Favourite works: Works by Mahler, R. Strauss, Bruckner, Shostakovich

Recent recordings: French Trumpet Concertos with the OSM and Kent Nagano (Analekta)

Interests: Surfing, biking, rock climbing, triathlon and marathon

If you hadn’t chosen to become a musician, you would be …: A professional athlete