Thomas Rolfs

Thomas Rolfs's Biography

Thomas Rolfs, Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) and the Boston Pops, began his career with the BSO in 1991. He served first as Fourth Trumpet and later as Associate Principal Trumpet. Initially hired by Seiji Ozawa, he was promoted to Associate Principal Trumpet by Ozawa and later promoted to Principal Trumpet by James Levine.

As a student, Rolfs was a Tanglewood Music Center Fellow in 1978, and he earned his Bachelor of Music from the University of Minnesota and his Master of Music from Northwestern University. He then returned to Minnesota for a five-year tenure with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

As a soloist, Rolfs has performed with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and performed the posthorn solo of Mahler's "Symphony No. 3" with the Dallas Symphony. At the request of John Williams, he was featured on the Grammy-nominated soundtrack of the Academy Award-winning film, Saving Private Ryan. He also joined conductor Keith Lockhart as soloist on "Summon the Heroes" for the nationally televised Boston Pops concert on the Esplanade on July 4, 2001.

Rolfs' varied performance background also includes appearances with the National Brass Ensemble, the Minnesota Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic, the Empire Brass, the Saint Petersburg Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the American Ballet Orchestra.

Rolfs is a founding member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra Brass Quintet.

As an educator, Rolfs has presented masterclasses throughout the world, including North America, South America, Asia and Europe. He has served on the faculty of the Tanglewood Music Center since 1998, regularly coaches the New World Symphony and teaches at the New England Conservatory. Rolfs also teaches at Northwestern University as a visiting adjunct professor.

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Thomas Rolfs