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Charles Lazarus, Accomplished Minnesota Orchestra Trumpet Player, Joins McNally Smith College of Music Faculty

McNally Smith College of Music is pleased to announce the addition of Charles Lazarus to the College’s Brass and Woodwinds faculty. An accomplished trumpet player, Lazarus is a 2007 winner of the McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians and has been a key member of the Minnesota Orchestra since 2000. He is an experienced educator, serving on the trumpet faculties of Princeton University and St. Olaf College and teaching master classes in North and South America and throughout Europe and Asia.

“Charles Lazarus is truly a world-class musician and educator,” says McNally Smith Brass and Woodwinds Department Head Pete Whitman. “He’s probably best known for his strong orchestral background, but what many might not realize is how strong he is with popular styles like jazz, rock and soul. Our students will benefit immensely by learning from a player of his pedigree and versatility — in both classical and contemporary music.”

Lazarus studied at Julliard, making his Carnegie Hall debut with the New York String Orchestra at the age of 19. He was a soloist with the North Carolina Symphony, Les Jeunes Virtuoses de Montreal and the McGill Chamber Orchestra, as well as a member of the Dallas Brass, Meridian Arts Ensemble and the Canadian Brass. Lazarus has performed with the New York Trumpet Ensemble and Montreal Symphony, and with back-up bands for Barry White, Joe Williams and many other classical, pop and jazz ensembles.

Lazarus is known for composing a distinctive blend of lounge/exotica and funk-fired jazz. He performed his own compositions for the Montreal and Ottawa international jazz festivals, live on Radio Canada, and as the opening act for Tony Bennett.

As a member of the Minnesota Orchestra, Lazarus composed and was the featured soloist in the “Night in the Tropics” concert performed during Sommerfest 2007 and reprised in May 2009 — led on both occasions by Music Director Osmo Vänskä. Lazarus created and starred in the Minnesota Orchestra pops programs “A Big Band Valentine’s Day Celebration,” “American Riffs” and “Fly Me to the Moon: Big Band Love Songs” — a set of educational and family concerts. He released his debut solo CD, Solo Settings, in 2005 and followed up with Zabava in 2008.