THE 44TH ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL TRUMPET GUILD CONFERENCE
THE HYATT REGENCY • MIAMI, FLORIDA • 07.09.19–07.13.19
OLIVIER ANTHONY THEURILLAT
Olivier Anthony Theurillat (pronounced Töria) is a Swiss trumpeter and conductor.
Olivier’s musical life passed by La Chaux-de-Fonds – his native town, where Chevrolet was born too! -, Versailles, Paris, New York, Lausanne, Geneva, London, Berlin and Bern, where he currently lives with his wife and their two daughters.
His main trumpet teachers were Roger Delmotte, Antoine Curé and Raymond Mase, whilst Martyn Brabbins – himself a pupil of the great Ilya Musin – was his mentor for conducting.
After famous oboist Heinz Holliger in the late 50’s, Olivier remains so far the second Swiss musician having been awarded with prizes in both international solo competitions in Munich and Geneva. Among other prizes, he won the Maurice André Competition in Albert and the National Trumpet Competition at George Mason University.
An orchestra player, he has toured worldwide, as a member of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra (Principal Trumpet 1996-2002) and the Bern Symphony Orchestra (Principal Trumpet 2005-2012), and as a guest with the Lucerne Festival Orchestra (on the side of Reinhold Friedrich, under Claudio Abbado), Tonhalle-Orchester Zurich, Zurich Opera, Basel Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Natonal de France, Orchestre de Paris, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Philharmonia Orchestra London, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Mahler Chamber Orchestra.
His wide interest for all kinds of music led him to play with specialized ensembles. For contemporary music, he performed several times with the Ensemble InterContemporain Paris and Klangforum Wien, in such venues as the Salzburg Festival or the Cité de la Musique in Paris. On baroque trumpet, mainly on the side of Austrian expert Wolfgang Gaisböck, he played under Giovanni Antonini, Ton Koopman, Werner Ehrhardt, Fabio Biondi, Christophe Rousset, with ensembles such as Concerto Köln, L’Orfeo Barockorchester Linz, Camerata Salzburg, Camerata Bern, Cappricio Barockorchester Basel.
As a soloist, he has appeared in Europe and in the United States, performing more than thirty different solo works with orchestra accompaniment, with orchestras such as the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Suisse Romande Orchestra, Virtuosi di Praga, Orchestre de Picardie, Orchestre Symphonique Français, Festival Strings Lucerne, Camerata Schweiz, Collegium Musicum Basel, Cornell Chamber Orchestra and many others. Also an active performer working with composers, Olivier has premiered new pieces written by Jean Balissat, Emile de Ceuninck, Arturo Corrales, Xavier Dayer, Richard Dubugnon, Vivian Fung, Jacques Henry, Horatiu Radulescu and Julien-François Zbinden. In 2017 in Hershey, with a recital of Swiss composers, he made his ITG debut in a big conference.
He has recorded as a soloist and orchestral player for numerous labels including Claves, Teldec, EuroArts, Deutsche Grammophon, Swiss Radio, Grammont, Cascavelle, Arte Nova, cpo, Dabringhaus & Grimm and Gallo-VDE. As a soloist, we can mention a CD with the piece Ascensus written by Jean-Claude Schlaepfer, for trumpet and low strings, recorded with the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra conducted by Alan Gilbert. His solo album Nocturne has received wide acclaim, in particular for his interpretation of Quiet City (awarded “best version” after blind test on the Swiss Radio, before culte version NYPhil/Bernstein for instance) and his newly orchestrated version of Enesco’s Legend (orchestration by Swiss composer Richard Dubugnon, material by Hickman Music Editons). Wynton Marsalis said of him, “His eagerness and “vivre” for music and the trumpet quickly made an impression on me.… With the 2002 release of this CD Nocturne, the trumpet community and musicians in general have a work that is a fine example of lyrical playing. In particular, Nocturne demonstrates the depth and humanity of Olivier’s sound. It was soulful, too! Olivier’s continual quest for a greater understanding of music and his strong musical goals set him apart from many other musicians. He seeks to reach an understanding in music that is pure and logical.” Recently, French label Indésens Records took care of Olivier’s early recordings and proposed nothing less than 28 tracks on the usual streaming plateforms, with famous works by Honegger, Haydn, Arban, Tomasi, Clarke, Falla, Bitsch, Schnyder, Michel, Castérède, Blacher and Mozart.
For thirteen years (2005-2018), he was an active trumpet teacher and educator, trying to bring new projects regularly, wherever he was. He was Head of Brass, Professor for trumpet and Founder/Conductor of Brass & Rhythm at the Haute Ecole de Musique (HEMU) of Lausanne. He also served for orchestral excerpts training at the Hochschule der Künste in Bern. During the summer, he was resident professor for trumpet at the Tibor Varga Summer Academy in Sion, Switzerland. He was regularly invited for masterclasses in Europe, Brazil and USA (twice at Juilliard). In 2018, he initiated a new Brass Festival at the Lausanne University, with masterclasses, lectures, historical workshops and concerts. Two of the highlights were the commission and world premiere of a “Concerto” composed by Jean-François Michel for brass quintet and brass band, and the performance of Mussorgsky/Howarth Pictures at an Exhibition for brass orchestra, conducted by Olivier Anthony Theurillat.
In recent years, encouraged and supported by Wynton Marsalis – who has known Olivier for more than 20 years -, he started to play jazz. His first jazz album “1st Set” just came out on Indésens Jazz Records and new releases for the future are already on the plan. He starts to travel and play jazz in various venues, such as the Maurice André Festival in Alès, the Pornic Festival in France, the Beijing Jazz Café in China and many places in Switzerland. In Bern, the Symphony Orchestra has asked him to found and lead its orchestra in a big band setting, called BSO Jazz Orchestra, for family concerts series. For Late Night Concerts, after the symphony ones, the same orchestra did asked him to lead the BSO Jazz Band, a variable combo with a mix of orchestra members and jazz professionals.
Attracted by conducting at the time he was a member of the Lausanne Chamber Orchestra, he started to study seriously this task and got his Master Degree in Orchestral Conducting in the Geneva Conservatoire. In the UK, he could meet and become a regular pupil of Martyn Brabbins, renowned British conductor and mentor, and could practice his conducting abilities with the BBC Philharmonic, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the Nash Ensemble and the Scottish Ensemble. In 2003, Olivier got his first job as a conductor, becoming unanimously Music Director of the Redhill Sinfonia. He was also Artistic Director of Sinfonia Nova London, a flexible line-up with renowned soloists. Later came different opportunities to become assistant conductor with experienced conductor, like Christoph von Dohnanyi (offer from the Philharmonia Orchestra, unfortunately not completed), Kurt Masur (Campos do Jordão International Winter Festival, São Paulo) and Wilson Hermanto (Lausanne Sinfonietta). Since then, Olivier has conducted various concerts in Switzerland, with a large variety of styles and settings. In the Spring 2019, Olivier makes his debut with the opera repertoire: he will be working as assistant conductor of Kevin John Edusei, Music Director of the Bern Opera House.