|Damrow in Moscow
Frits Damrow is an international performing and recording soloist, principal trumpet of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, and professor of trumpet at the Conservatory of Amsterdam. Though still based in the country of his birth, the Netherlands, he also enjoys giving workshops and masterclasses on different continents.
From Oct 1st to 5th 2003 Damrow gave masterclasses and a concert at the famous Gnessins Academy of Music in Moscow, the conservatory at which Timofei Dokshizer taught for many years. He found it very interesting to observe how the Russian teaching methods differed from the Western. Every lesson was attended by a pianist and was spent on solo works alone; basic problems and orchestral repertoire were hardly addressed.
During his masterclasses Frits Damrow therefore focused on the fundamentals: breathing, proper warming up, development of embouchure, flexibility, and sound development. He encouraged the students to integrate all of these aspects in the pieces they performed. Damrow met some very talented Russian players and he found their dedication and enthusiasm most inspiring.
Damrow also had the honor of playing a recital with the pianist with whom Timofei Dokshizer worked for many years. He knew the whole trumpet repertoire extremely well and played Enesco's Legend and Hindemith's Sonata from memory! His musicianship was equally outstanding.
The financial situation of many Russian musicians and teachers is very difficult. They have to accept every gig to survive. Damrow heard about a full time professor at the Conservatory who drove a taxi every night to support his family... Many good musicians have left the country to find work in Western Europe , Korea , or Japan while the quality of many Russian orchestras is slowly deteriorating.
Damrow had a great experience trying to help the Russian trumpet students to become the best possible musicians. His tour was sponsored by Yamaha.
Frits Damrow also taught at the "Sauerland Herbst", a one week workshop in Germany from October 27 - 31. During the summer of 2003 he gave a masterclass in Italy during the "Santa Fiora Music Festival". At the final concert he soloed with the Italian Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Dale Clevenger. Fritz Damrow also taught at the Mannheim Summer Wind Academy July 2003, where he will teach also in 2004. In Mannheim , Germany , he did a solo recital with Wolfram Arnt, former principal trombone of the Berlin Philharmonic.
Recently four new books by Damrow were published by Haske Publications: Multistyle studies, Festive Baroque, Bel Canto for Trumpet, and Missa Brevis.
Frits Damrow started to play the trumpet and flugelhorn at age nine in the local wind orchestra. He studied trumpet and piano at the Kerkrade music school and took part in several solo competitions.
After college he studied at the Maastricht Conservatory and continued his musical education with James Stamp (USA), Thomas Stevens (USA), and Pierre Thibaud ( Paris .)
From 1982 to 1991 he was principal trumpet of the Radio Symphony Orchestra of the Netherlands. In 1991 he became principal trumpet of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, a position he currently holds.
He has been engaged as professor of trumpet at the conservatories in Maastricht and Hilversum. Presently he is teaching at the Conservatory of Amsterdam, educating trumpet students from all over the world.
Frits Damrow has given workshops and masterclasses in many countries, including Germany, Austria, Italy, the USA and Japan. He is also an internationally performing soloist and his performances can be heard on several CD's. On February 25-26, 2004 he was invited to do a masterclass in San Francisco. In July 11-18, 2004 Damrow will do a masterclass and a solo concert in Mexico.
Frits Damrow is a Yamaha performing artist.
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (in Dutch and English)
Yamaha Musical Instruments Europe (European hub)
Source: Vera Hørven. ITG European News Correspondent