Skip to main content

John Engelkes

John Engelkes playing trombone


Office C04


Courses Taught

Applied Lessons


MM, Northwestern University

BM, University of Northern Iowa


San Francisco Symphony, 1981–Present

Baltimore Symphony, 1980–1981


What is your hometown?

Parkersburg, IA

What is your favorite recording?

Brahms: A German Requiem (San Francisco Symphony with Herbert Blomstedt)

What are you passionate about outside of music?

Golf and travel.

Who were your major teachers?

Frank Crisafulli, Edward Kleinhammer, and Jon Hansen.

What is a favorite quote that you repeatedly tell students?

“Play from your heart.”

What was the defining moment when you decided to pursue music as a career?

When I heard the New York Philharmonic perform when I was 14 years old.

What was a turning point in your career?

Winning a position in the Florida Symphony when I was a senior in college.

If you weren't a musician or teacher, what do you think you would be doing now?

A small animal veterinarian.

What is your daily practice routine?

It varies with what I am doing with the orchestra, usually 2-3 hours per day.

If you could play only three composers for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Mahler, Stravinsky, and Brahms.

What are your academic publications?

Intersection of Háry János, International Trombone Association Journal

What recordings can we hear you on?

Any San Francisco Symphony recording since 1981

Skywalker Symphony Orchestra, Music from Star Wars