Featured Faculty Member of the Week: Anthony Prisk

Anthony Prisk

Anthony Prisk / Trumpet /                                         The Philadelphia Orchestra

Anthony Prisk joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as second trumpet in August 2013; previously he was a member of the Houston Symphony for 11 seasons. He has performed internationally with several orchestras and music festivals, including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Grant Park Festival Orchestra, the Montreal Symphony, the Boston Symphony, the Moscow Philharmonic, the New World Symphony. He attended the Tanglewood Music Center, the Pacific Music Festival, the Music Academy of the West, the Spoleto Festival, the Cabrillo Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival. Mr. Prisk won two international trumpet competitions through the International Trumpet Guild and was a soloist with the New World Symphony. He has also been a finalist for several orchestral positions, including with the Chicago Symphony, the San Francisco Symphony, The Philadelphia Orchestra, and the Cleveland Orchestra. He can be heard on recordings with the Houston Symphony, the New World Symphony, the Spoleto Festival Orchestra, and the McGill Symphony.

Mr. Prisk grew up in Lombard, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. He began playing trumpet in the local school band program at age 10. He attended the University of Illinois, where he studied trumpet with Ray Sasaki and Michael Ewald. He received his Bachelor of Music degree in 1996 and moved to Montreal to study at McGill University. While in Montreal he studied orchestral repertoire with Paul Merkelo, principal trumpet of the Montreal Symphony. After completing his Master of Music degree he was chosen for a fellowship with the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, where he trained with leading orchestral musicians from around the country. His many teachers include Michael Sachs, Adolf Herseth, David Bilger, Mark Gould, and John Hagstrom.

Teaching and community outreach are important to Mr. Prisk. He participated in the Fidelity Future Stage program, bringing instrumental music instruction to inner city schools. He was added to the faculty at the University of Houston before his departure and has presented master classes at the New World Symphony, the University of Texas, Baylor University, Bolling Green State University, Northwestern University, and Iowa State University, among others.
In his free time Mr. Prisk enjoys racing cars, running, bodybuilding, riding his Harley, eating great food, and enjoying time with friends.

We initiated a conversation with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra about their beginnings in music, their inspirations and aspirations. Please visit us again to see many of your new favorites featured right here!

Do you always have music on your mind?

Yes, usually the repertoire I am playing or preparing for the week or coming weeks.

What music are you currently listening to?

I mostly listen to classical and jazz. I prefer listening to great singers…Sarah Vaughn is one of my favorites as is jussi bjorling.

What is your all-time favorite piece (to play, to listen to, etc.)?

That’s like asking someone who there favorite child is. I don’t have a favorite!

What element or experience from your childhood still drives you today in your professional life?

Work ethic. My father taught me to work hard at what ever I do and to always finish what you’ve started.

What is your favorite thing to do when not performing?

Drive my car on a race track!

If you could be anything else in the world, what would it be?

Race car driver!

Who is your favorite musical icon, living or dead?

Philip Smith and Bud Herseth

What is your favorite piece to hear SOMEONE ELSE perform?

Jolivet Concertino for Trumpet and Orchestra

What is your favorite piece to teach?

Honegger Intrada

When did you first know that you wanted to be a professional musician?

I want to be a band director in high school and then a profession trumpet player after a couple years in college.

Who first introduced you to classical music? What do you remember about the experience?

I think my first exposure to classical music was the Star Wars soundtrack on a record my dad had.

Who else in your family is musical?

Everyone played something at one point but no one professionally.

Do you still get nervous before a performance, and if so – how do you cope?

Yes, but only when I don’t feel as prepared as I want to be. I fight nerves by being more prepared than I need to be.

What is your general practice routine?

I do a warm up and fundamentals practice for 45 mins or so everyday. The rest of the day depends on rehearsal schedule and repertoire. I generally play 3-5 hours a day depending on the week.

Other than music, what inspires you most?

Exercise…I feel better playing trumpet when I’m in good shape and feeling confident.

Did you attend a music camp program growing up?

Yes! Going to music camp and playing music all day inspired me to go into music as a profession.

Why would you recommend students from the U.S. and abroad to attend the Philadelphia International Music Festival?

PIMF would be a great experience for anyone that wants to be introduced to great music, a high level professional musician faculty, and peers from all over the world. Being so close to and hearing the Philadelphia Orchestra will also be a great experience.

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