John Charles Thomas, Assistant Principal Trumpet
John Charles Thomas has performed in the premieres of works in both Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center, and appeared in Europe, Asia, Canada, Latin America and the U.S. as soloist and chamber musician. He has played under many of the great conductors, including Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, Charles Dutoit, Zubin Mehta, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alan Gilbert and Mstislav Rostropovich. John is the assistant principal trumpet of the Hartford Symphony Orchestra, principal trumpet with the Ridgefield and Waterbury Symphonies (CT), and the associate principal trumpet of the Queens Symphony (NYC). He has performed frequently with the New York Philharmonic, Harrisburg Symphony and various Broadway shows. He has appeared with L’Orchestre de la Suisse Romande, American Symphony, Solisti New York, Trier Bach Soloists (Germany), Vienna Symphony, Bermuda Philharmonic, San Jose and San Francisco Symphonies. For over 20 years John was a member of the Grammy Award winning Chestnut Brass Company. As a soloist, his appearances have included performances of Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 2”, Copland’s “Quiet City”, and concertos by Shostakovich, Tomasi, Bennett, Hummel, Haydn and Arutunian, among others.
While living and studying in Vienna, he was presented in several solo recitals on a concert series at Vienna’s historic Karlskirche. Subsequently he joined the New York Harlem Opera Orchestra, and toured throughout Germany, Italy, France and Spain in Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess”.
John has performed on many classical, chamber, contemporary and popular music recordings. He has recorded with the New York Philharmonic, on their recordings of Mahler’s Second and Sixth Symphonies under Lorin Maazel, and several works of Handel, Bach and Buxtehude (on the historical “baroque” trumpet) including “Messiah” and “B-Minor Mass”. Hailed for his clear and rich trumpet sound, he can be heard on several film soundtracks including S.W.A.T., Sphere, Final Fantasy, Highway, and Titus. He was the trumpet soloist on the Bill Moyers & Joseph Campbell television series, The Power of Myth, and has been heard on National Public Radio, The Today Show, and 60 Minutes.
Dr. Thomas teaches trumpet and jazz studies at the Hartt School. Previously he was the Artist/Teacher of Classical Trumpet at the University of Rhode Island, brass instructor at Bard College from 2000-2019, visiting Assistant Professor of Music at Ithaca College, and at the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
International’s he has been a juror at the prestigious Cheju International Brass Competition in South Korea.