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David Burkhart Interview

Interview Date: June 21 and 24, 2016
Conservatory Affiliation: Trumpet Faculty
Interviewer: Tessa Updike

David Burkhart is an honors graduate of Yale University, where he received B.A. and M.M. degrees. His teachers include Adolph Herseth, Arnold Jacobs, Robert Nagel, William Vacchiano and Charles Geyer. Burkhart has served as principal trumpet of the Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose and Jerusalem symphonies, the Santa Fe Opera, and as acting principal of the San Diego Symphony. His five seasons as a full-time acting member of the San Francisco Opera Orchestra include many performances as principal trumpet, most recently in Saint-Saën's Samson and Delilah, plus the recordings Symphony at the Opera and DVDs of Boito's Mefistofele and Puccini's Turandot. He has taught at Stanford University, San Jose State University and at the Menlo Summer Brass Institute. A member of The Bay Brass and the San Francisco Brass Quintet, Burkhart also performs regularly with the San Francisco Symphony, including the Keeping Score Mahler Project and over a dozen CDs. He can also be heard on The Star Wars Trilogy with John Williams, A Brass & Organ Christmas at Grace Cathedral and the Grammy-nominated Bay Brass album Sound the Bells!

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Early years
Piano lessons
Early trumpet lessons
Playing in a rock band
Lessons with Charlie Geyer
Studies at Yale
Jerusalem Symphony
Oakland Symphony
Teaching at Stanford
Joining the Conservatory faculty
Lessons with Bud Herseth
Early years on the Conservatory faculty
Early impressions of the Conservatory
Glenn Fischthal, former Conservatory trumpet faculty
Conservatory students
Conservatory colleagues
Teaching style
Collaborations with composers
Conductors over the years
San Francisco Symphony memories
The life of a freelance musician
Stories from touring
Trumpet repertoire
Musical culture of the Bay Area
Local history and the Anchor Brewing Co.


Early years

Early performances

Charlie Geyer

Bud Herseth



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