Per Brevig Conductor

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Career


Professional Career

Per Brevig brings extensive experience as both performer and conductor to the podium. He has established a reputation internationally as a conductor of remarkable ability and insight. Critical acclaim has earned him a growing reputation as a superb conductor and orchestra builder. He was also the principal trombonist of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra for 26 years and has performed as soloist with major orchestras worldwide with numerous commissions and premiers to his credit.

A Jazz Career Begins

One of Brevig's fellow Juilliard students was Jonathan Tunick, who would become a top Broadway composer and arranger. Tunick formed a student jazz band at Juilliard, in which Brevig played the lead trombone. When Brevig returned to Norway after his first year at Juilliard, he formed Per Brevig's Big Band and Per Brevig's Dixieland Band. Tunick's outstanding compositions and arrangements were the core repertoire.

Per Brevig Teaching
Brevig teaching a lesson



While the artistry of jazz was not well recognized in Norway in the early 1960s, both bands' concerts and broadcasts received outstanding reviews. Brevig kept playing jazz while also performing with the Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic, where he played for a total of eight years.


Metropolitan Opera Orchestra

When Brevig started at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 1968, as the co-principle trombonist, Karl Boehm and Herbert von Karajan were the principal conductors. Brevig had a one-year contract, but he was given full tenure after three months. Although he left the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in 1994 to embark on a conducting career, Brevig kept his teaching positions at Juilliard, Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College the New School for Music, New York University, and the Aspen Music Festival and School. He had also been on the trombone faculty at Oberlin College Conservatory of Music for four years.

The Juilliard Brass Ensemble

During the 1980s Per Brevig formed the Juilliard Brass Ensemble, an ensemble that performed not only at Juilliard but also outside the school, such as concerts at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City and on a tour to Europe.

"...The Juilliard Brass Ensemble is a superior ensemble with an exceptional conductor who treated us to an advanced program."
— Dagen, May 29, 1989

"YOUNG FESTIVAL PERFORMERS GOING FORTH... The Juilliard Brass Ensemble came with Per Brevig, professor at the prestigious school from New York City - and the ensemble played with all possible brilliance."
— Aftenposten, May 29, 1989

Per Brevig with the Juilliard Brass Ensemble
at St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City

...This student ensemble, from one of the world's greatest institutions of music, has acquired an extremely high professional standard. It is nearly incomprehensible that one can present such ensemble-playing considering the yearly change in personnel. The Norwegian-American conductor Per Brevig, who formerly played in the Bergen (Norway) Philharmonic Orchestra for several years, must be an outstanding instructor and conductor to build such a repertoire and perform it in such an unsurpassed way. These results are not possible without hard work and effort. The concert Saturday showed incredibly intimate and flawless ensemble-playing. Most impressive was the timber, tone quality and substance of interpretation inherent in the music. Never exaggerated; all the time disciplined; one instrument never projecting at the expense of the ensemble playing... Thank you for an exquisite concert..."
— Bergens Tidende, May 29, 1989


His Complete Conducting Career

At the age of 20, Brevig had already attended a conducting seminar in Sweden with the eminent Swedish conductor Herbert Blomstedt. About a decade later, he was invited to participate in the legendary Symposiums for Young Conductors with Leopold Stokowski and to conduct the American Symphony Orchestra in rehearsals at Carnegie Hall. During his time at Juilliard, Brevig conducted many "Wednesday at One O' Clock" concerts in Alice Tully Hall. He also led the Juilliard Brass Ensemble on its critically acclaimed Norway tour in 1988. At Aspen Music Festival, he has often conducted chamber music concerts.

After leaving the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Brevig found that his orchestral conducting career expanded quickly, and in the ensuing five years, he conducted more than 20 operas. In 1993, he toured Brazil as a guest artist with the Brazilian Brass Quintet, and in the ensuing years, he was frequently a guest conductor of eight Brazilian orchestras and was instrumental in forming the Brazilian Trombone Association. He also conducted several concerts with the Costa Rica Symphony Orchestra during this period.

With a conducting repertoire that runs the gamut from Renaissance to contemporary music, Mr. Brevig has commissioned and performed numerous new works as performer and conductor. In 2011 he finished his nine-year tenure as music director and conductor of East Texas Symphony Orchestra, conducting more than 200 standard and contemporary compositions, including many commissions. At Brevig's last concert with the orchestra, Governor Rick Perry declared him an honorary citizen of Texas and Barbara Bass, mayor of Tyler, Texas, proclaimed April 11, 2011, Per Brevig Day. Among the soloists engaged during his time with the orchestra were:

• Itzhak Perlman
• Lang Lang
• Lynn Harrell
• Hilary Hahn
• Christine Brewer
• Cho-Liang Lin
• Pepe Romero
• Ralph Kirshbaum
• Mark O'Connor
• The Eroica Trio
• Cedric Tiberghien
• Elena Urioste
• Haochen Zhang et al.
• Randy Owen (Singer of the Band Alabama)
The East Texas Symphony Orchestra, where Per Brevig was the Music Director & Conductor for nine years.