METROPOLITAN BRASS QUARTET: Three Centuries for Four Brass


This recording explores little-known treasures of the brass repertoire. It also spotlights the important contemporary pieces that were commissioned and premiered by the Metropolitan Brass Quartet.   Douglas Hedwig, 1st Trumpet and Music Director. 

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From their formal New York City recital debut in 1977 (called “always admirable” by The New York Times) to their final performance at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall in 1986, the METROPOLITAN BRASS QUARTET was an integral part of the brass chamber music renaissance in the United States and Canada during the 1970s and 80s.

Modeled on both the string quartet instrumentation and the four-voice choral tradition (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), the Metropolitan Brass Quartet was unique at a time when virtually all brass chamber ensembles were quintets. The MBQ explored the rich and little-known four-part brass literature of the Renaissance, Baroque, Romantic, and late 20th Century musical periods.

Under the aegis first of Karlsrud Concerts, Inc., affiliated with Columbia Artists Management, and then of Maxim Gershunoff Attractions, Inc., the Metropolitan Brass Quartet performed over 300 concerts in thirty U.S. states, five Canadian Provinces, and throughout Japan, to critical acclaim (“A model of infectious spirit, dashing virtuosity, and finely gauged instrumental balance,” Musical America/Hi- Fidelity). A Christmas Eve performance by the quartet was broadcast nationally on the NBC radio network, and they were heard throughout the world on a Voice of America radio broadcast prior to their 1982 tour of Japan.

The quartet commissioned and/or premiered 25 new works for brass quartet by prominent contemporary American composers, and was the recipient of major grants and awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, C. Michael Paul and Edward Noble Foundations, and Chamber Music America.

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