Dave Zauder

Dave Zauder
Another loss to the trumpet world last week, as Dave Zauder, long-time 2nd trumpet and 1st cornet with the Cleveland Orchestra passed away. His story is well worth reading.

Mr. Zauder was a big help to me at one time in my musical career, so this is my personal tribute to him. When I was a student at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory I spent a lot of time working on conducting. It wasn’t (and isn’t) a major there, but I made what I could of it and studied whatever examples I could get my hands on. And one of the best resources there was the Cleveland Orchestra itself. At the suggestion of Jim Darling, Dave Zauder made arrangements for me to be allowed into the hall for the Orchestra’s weekday rehearsals. There would only be a few of us in there — assistant conductors Matthias Bamert or Andrew Massey, or one of the interns or cover conductors, or the guests.

For a couple of years, whenever I had enough of a break in my class schedule I’d take the bus and rapid over to Severance Hall, check in with the guard, and find a seat to listen and watch. What great experiences! William Steinberg rehearsing Brahms. Alfred Brendel rehearsing Beethoven. Klaus Tennstedt working on Strauss. I sat next to Morton Subotnick following along with the score of one of his works (at one point, the guy holding the score lost his place, and I helpfully reached over, flipped back a few pages, and pointed out where we were. It made me feel really smart). I met Olivier Messiaen. And of course I saw Lorin Maazel, master of stick technique, countless times.

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One summer day I’ll never forget, I sat in on a four-hour “tour rehearsal” at Blossom Music Center. The best orchestra in the world ran through piece after piece — The “Eroica,” “L’Arlesienne,” more than I can remember.

So thanks for all that, Dave.

One anecdote, my senior year the trumpet section of the Cleveland Orchestra (Bernie Adelstein, Zauder, Al Couch and Jim Darling) hosted a day-long trumpet summit. Zauder told the story of how at his audition for the orchestra, they all played the trumpet call from Beethoven’s Leonore No. 3. It was between Zauder and another guy, and they were asked to play the Leonore No. 2 call — the other guy didn’t know it, but Zauder did and got the job.

There’s a lesson there that’s larger than being a musician.

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