Obituary: trumpeter Rolf Smedvig, 63

Posted on: April 29, 2015

“Rolf Smedvig, the charismatic trumpeter who co-founded the Empire Brass, one of the most successful brass quintets of the past half-century, died on Monday,” reports Brian Wise on Tuesday (4/28) at New York radio station WQXR’s website. “He was 63 and had suffered a heart attack at his home near West Stockbridge, MA, according to his manager. Smedvig had shown no signs of poor health recently. With the Empire Brass, Smedvig helped to popularize the brass quintet genre during the 1970s and ‘80s…. Smedvig grew up in Seattle, the son of a music teacher and composer father and a violinist mother who played in the Seattle Symphony. A prodigy, the trumpeter made his solo debut with the Seattle Symphony at age 13. Six years later, in 1972, he joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra and went on to become its principal trumpet player before he turned 25, but, even as the youngest member of a leading American orchestra, he wanted a solo career. Smedvig left the BSO in 1981, by which time the Empire Brass was building an international reputation. … Smedvig is survived by his second wife, Kelly Smedvig, and their four children.”

Posted April 29, 2015