NY’s top trombone
Norwegian Per Brevig elected president of the Musicians Club of New York
Musicians Club of New York
The Musicians Club of New York has elected Per Brevig as its 20th president. The Club was founded in 1911 and has had such prominent presidents as Walter Damrosch, Henry Hadley, Frank La Forge, Norman Dello Joio, Olga Koussevitzky, Sylvia Rabinof, and Joseph Conlin. In particular, Walter Damrosch brought the club to its zenith of 750 members during his early presidency from 1913 to 1920, and Olga Koussevitzky, the widow of the renowned Serge Koussevitzky, instituted and endowed the club’s main competition, which is now known as the Serge & Olga Koussevitzky Young Artist Awards. The competition rotates annually from vocal to strings to piano to winds/brass. She also started the club’s composers competition, the Koussevitzky International Recording Award.
Per Brevig was the principal trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera for 26 years, leaving the Met in 1994 to embark on an international conducting career. During his time at the Metropolitan Opera and continuing to the present, he has been a faculty member of the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, New York University, and the Aspen Music Festival and School, where a scholarship in his honor has been established. He has taught literally hundreds of students, many of whom hold top performance and teaching positions around the world. In 2016, the International Trombone Association honored him with its Lifetime Achievement Award.
Norwegian born, Brevig began playing trombone professionally at age 16 in his native country. After his tenure in the Bergen Philharmonic, he moved to New York City, where he was appointed principal trombonist with the American Symphony Orchestra, under the legendary conductor Leopold Stokowski. He was a featured soloist with the orchestra, and became a first call freelancer. During these early years in New York, he completed his formal education at the Juilliard School, where he received a Doctor of Musical Arts degree, the only trombonist to have received this degree from Juilliard. He was one of the first trombonists to give full-length recitals in New York. As a soloist, he has concertized worldwide. Highlights are performances at the Kennedy Center and Lincoln Center. He has given master classes in the United States, Japan, Europe, Korea, and Brazil.
As a conductor, Brevig has guest conducted internationally and was for many years music director of the East Texas Symphony Orchestra. In addition, he has studied the medical problems faced by musicians and he serves on the advisory boards of Medical Problems of Performing Artists as well as Musikphysiologie und Musikermedizin, a publication from Germany. A champion of Scandinavian music, he is founder and president of the Edvard Grieg Society, Inc., New York, which has produced more than 100 concerts in New York City. In 1990, King Olav V of Norway awarded Brevig the Royal Medal of St. Olav in recognition of his efforts on behalf of Norwegian music and culture in the United States.
To learn more about Per Brevig, visit his website at www.perbrevig.net.
This article originally appeared in the October 19, 2018, issue of The Norwegian American. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (206) 784-4617.