R. Douglas Wright
Principal Trombone, Star Tribune Chair
R. Douglas Wright, the Minnesota Orchestra’s principal trombone since 1995, was featured as soloist in April 2007 in Kalevi Aho’s Symphony No. 9 for Trombone and Orchestra, which he reprised during summer 2008. Wright has performed a variety of trombone concertos with the Orchestra, and in 2002 gave the world premiere performances of Kurt Schwertsik’s Trombone Concerto, a work written for him. He is active as a solo recitalist and chamber musician, performing regularly in the Orchestra's Sommerfest chamber concert. In April 2011 he performed James Stephenson’s Sonata for Trombone and Piano on the Orchestra’s Chamber Music at MacPhail series.
In addition to his Minnesota Orchestra performances, since 2005 Wright has been performing concerts around the world with the World Orchestra for Peace, an ensemble of musicians from 40 different countries, conducted by Valery Gergiev. Prior to joining the Minnesota Orchestra he was a member of the Empire Brass Quintet, performing concerts and teaching master classes around the world. He has served as principal trombone of the Cleveland Orchestra, assistant principal trombone of the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, second trombone of the Boston Pops Orchestra and principal trombone of the Rhode Island Philharmonic.
Wright received his training at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Norman Bolter. He holds a master’s degree from Boston University, where he formerly served as adjunct professor of trombone. A committed educator and Selmer clinician, Wright has given recitals and master classes throughout the United States and abroad. Since 2012 he has been on faculty at the Bienen School of Music at Northwestern University.
Wright’s work is heard on recordings of the Minnesota Orchestra, Boston Pops and Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as the Empire Brass. In a brief departure from his concert and orchestral role, he appeared in an MTV music video with the rock group Aerosmith.