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     Torchinsky, Abe

    He is a tubist, string bassist, author and teacher born in Philadelphia.  He began playing the tuba while still young and by the time he was 12 he was performing in boy scout, brass and marching bands in his local area.  He began taking lessons with the encouragement of his brother and included the string bass to his repertoire to help him raise money for him to study in New York.  In 1940 he enrolled in the Curtis Institute of Music and in the ensuing years he performed with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC and the Southern Symphony Orchestra in Columbia, South Carolina.  He returned to New York and did various jobs including decorating windows and selling cameras while he freelanced as a musician.  In 1944 his fortunes changed ans he was taken on as an orchestral member for the musical The Seven Lively Arts which would be followed by a two year stint with the original Broadway production of Carousel and Roger and Hammerstein's Allegro.  At the same time he was in demand in the broadcasting industry for radio shows such as The Firestone Hour and appeared in the cast of the film Carnegie Hall.  In 1946 he became a member of Toscanini's NBC Symphony and in 1949 he secured a position in the Philadelphia Orchestra.  Staying with them for several decades he also became part of the offshoot band the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble and made literally hundreds of recordings with the orchestra and the ensemble.  These include his solo Hindemith Tuba Sonata accompanied by Glenn Gould, Catch the Brass Ring where they went under the name Torchy Jones Quintet, The Italian Album, Renaissance and Baroque Brass Masterpieces, A Festtval of Carols in Brass and the Grammy winning The Glorious Sound of Brass and The Antiphonal Music of Antonio Gabrieli.  As a teacher he has taught hundreds of students, many of which have gone on to become successful professional musicians, and as an author he has written a series of orchestral study books for tubists and Daily Routine - The Bell Scales.  In 2004 he was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the International Tuba-Euphonium Association for his contribution to music.

     

    Philadelphia Brass Ensemble recordings

    Angels We Have Heard on High (Traditional French/James Chadwick/Edward Barnes)

    CBS MK 7033 (CD: A Festival of Carols in Brass)

     

    Sources:

    1. http://www.iteaonline.org/Journal/32N1/32N1lifetimeawards.shtml
    2. http://www.windsongpress.com/brass%20players/tuba/torchinsky.htm
    3. http://www.encoremupub.com/Tuba/excerpts.htm
    4. http://www.encoremupub.com/Tuba/T23.htm

     

     

     

     

     



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