Wisconsin Brass Quintet
Regarded as one of the “superb brass ensembles in the USA” (Musicweb International) and praised for “remarkable musicianship and versatility” (International Trumpet Guild Journal), the widely acclaimed Wisconsin Brass Quintet (WBQ) has maintained a position at the forefront of brass chamber music since the group’s founding in 1972. In addition to its regular concert series on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Quintet performs extensively throughout the Midwest and nationally, including appearances in New York at Weill Recital Hall and Merkin Concert Hall. Its players have been members of the American Brass Quintet, Empire Brass Quintet, and Meridian Arts Ensemble.
The WBQ’s commitment to commissioning and performing new music has attracted the attention of many renowned composers, including Verne Reynolds, Jan Bach, Karel Husa, John Harbison, and Daron Hagen. The Quintet's premiere recordings of works by these composers and others can be found on the Summit, Mark, and Crystal record labels. American Record Guide reviewer Barry Kilpatrick writes: "The WBQ is a remarkable ensemble that plays with more reckless abandon, warmth, stylistic variety and interpretive interest than almost any quintet in memory."
In demand for its engaging educational programs and master classes, the WBQ has presented clinics and residencies at such prestigious institutions as The Juilliard School, the Yale School of Music, the University of Michigan and Northwestern University. Since 2014, the WBQ has hosted “Celebrate Brass!,” an annual festival featuring concerts, master classes, and seminars held at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Guest artists have included the Western Brass Quintet, Axiom Brass Quintet, tubist Øystein Baadsvik, trumpeter Adam Rapa, and composer Anthony Plog.
The Wisconsin Brass Quintet is one of three faculty chamber ensembles in-residence at the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music. Deeply committed to the spirit of the Wisconsin Idea, the group travels widely to offer its concerts and educational services to students and the public in all corners of the state.
Current Wisconsin Brass Quintet members are John Aley and Matthew Onstad, trumpets; Daniel Grabois, horn; Mark Hetzler, trombone; and Tom Curry, tuba.