In Memoriam: David Kuehn

David W. Kuehn, prominent musician and trumpet player, died unexpectedly and peacefully, from complications of illnesses on April 14, 2017 in Atlanta, Georgia at the age of 75.

David is survived by his wife of nearly 40 years, Lisa A. Tedesco of Atlanta, GA; his four children Dean Kuehn, and his wife, Loredana, of Pinckney, MI, Scott Kuehn and his wife Yoko of Dublin, OH, Amelia Kuehn of San Francisco, CA, and Anna Kuehn Kaminski and her husband David, of Media, PA; his sister Joan Ammerman of Aurora, CO; brothers Dan Kuehn of Aurora, CO and Don Kuehn of Mississauga, Ontario; grandchildren Sasha and Colin Kuehn, Sorina and Mirela Kuehn, and Brady James and Carson David Kaminski.

David was born on October 9, 1941, in Denver, Colorado to Myrtle Elizabeth Berry and William Frederick Kuehn. He studied at Juilliard with William Vacchiano, and at University of Colorado, Boulder, and Arizona State University.

David was a stunning trumpeter and dazzling recitalist, known for his lovely, long legato line. During his long career, he played principal trumpet in some of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino in Florence, Italy, Bilbao Symphony Orchestra in Bilbao, Spain, Phoenix Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, Michigan Opera Theatre, and Detroit Chamber Winds. In 1998, he performed under the direction of Maestro Zubin Mehta with the Maggio Musicale in the historic production of Puccini’s Turandot, at the Forbidden City in Beijing.  For 27 years he was principal trumpet with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra in Buffalo, NY (1969–1996) and was a member of the performance teaching faculty at University at Buffalo, State University of New York. David was also cornet soloist with the U.S. Army Field Band.

David appeared on numerous recordings with the Buffalo Philharmonic and recorded several solo and ensemble CDs. Of his 2012 CD, the International Trumpet Guild Journal reviewer wrote, “One of the highlights occurred when Kuehn and his brother, Dan Kuehn, also an accomplished trumpet player, performed From The Mountain Top by Persis Parshall Vehar... The overall effect was tremendous.” David’s musicianship for his 1999 CD recording, Musical Landscapes for Trumpet was also lauded on stating that Kuehn showed “himself as a complete musician by communicating the meaning behind the notes. There's not a phrase on this CD that doesn't have its own personality.” Earlier critics commented on the way in which his playing “weds artistry to virtuosity.”

David enjoyed many interests, especially world politics. During his retirement years he touched many lives delivering Meals on Wheels. His dedication and commitment to musical performance was only eclipsed by his love for his children, grandchildren and life partner, Lisa.  David’s music was magnificent, and his heart and spirit were immense, and will be greatly missed and always remembered.

David Kuehn

Plans for a celebration of David’s life will be announced at a later date. Condolences can be sent to 480 Emory Circle NE, Atlanta GA 30307 or to  In lieu of flowers, please send donations to any of the following three organizations that mattered deeply to David:

Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra
499 Franklin Street Buffalo, NY 14202

Detroit Chamber Winds
24901 Northwestern Highway, Suite 312
Southfield MI 48075

Meals on Wheels, Senior Connections
c/o Donations
5238 Peachtree Road
Atlanta, GA 30341

Source: Todd Hastings, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS

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