Dai Zhonghui’s Students Yang Xunji and Chen Jiawei Win the Championships in the International Trumpet Guild

by Madonna

The highly esteemed 48th International Conference of the International Trumpet Guild (ITG) was held from May 28th to June 1st, 2024, in Los Angeles, USA. Renowned trumpet players such as Hakan Hardenberger, Vincent DiMartino, Allen Vizzutti, Jens Lindemann, and José Sibaja, along with over two thousand professional trumpet players and enthusiasts, gathered for the event. The conference kicked off with captivating performances by the Los Angeles Brass Band, the Boston Brass Quintet, and the San Diego Symphony Orchestra.

Yang Xunji and Chen Jiawei, graduate students from Professor Dai Zhonghui’s class at the Central Conservatory of Music (CCOM), triumphed over hundreds of global competitors in the semifinals and finals to clinch the first place in the “Orchestral Excerpt Solo Competition” and the “Trumpet Solo Competition,” respectively. It’s a remarkable milestone in the history of the ITG and a significant event in the development of trumpet art in China to have two students under the same mentor win the top prizes in the same competition, a feat that has left a profound mark in the nearly half-century history of the ITG.


In the most anticipated “Orchestral Excerpt” and “Solo Competition,” Yang Xunji and Chen Jiawei demonstrated their dazzling skills, captivating tones, and mature musical expressions, outshining their competitors to claim the championship titles. Adam Warnke, who secured the second place in both competitions, is a trumpet player with the Longmont Symphony Orchestra and teaches at the University of Colorado. Chase Domke, the third-place winner in both competitions, serves as a trumpet assistant at the Michigan State University College of Music. Raphael Horrach, the second-place winner in the “Solo Competition,” hails from the Lyon Higher School of Music in France, while Dylan Johnson, the third-place winner, is a graduate student at the California State University School of Music.


Yang Xunji currently serves as the principal trumpet of the China Philharmonic Orchestra, while Chen Jiawei holds the position of associate principal trumpet in the China National Grand Theater Orchestra.


After the competition, Chen Jiawei and Yang Xunji expressed their excitement and gratitude for the honor, thanking their school and Professor Dai Zhonghui for their guidance and expressing their pride in bringing glory to their institution. They also extended heartfelt thanks to the China Philharmonic Orchestra and the China National Grand Theater Orchestra for their support.

The jury panel for this competition included Arnaud Geffray, a renowned trumpet player from France who serves as a soloist with the Lyon Symphony Orchestra; Jennifer Marotta, a trumpet professor at the University of Southern California who previously served as the principal trumpet player of the United States Marine Corps Band; Huw Morgan, a prominent trumpet player from Switzerland who currently teaches at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Selina Ott, an internationally renowned trumpet player who won the trumpet championship at the 2018 ARD International Music Competition in Germany; Edward Carroll, a world-famous trumpet player and educator who previously served as the principal trumpet player of the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra in the Netherlands; and Rob Frear, the principal trumpet player of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra and former principal trumpet player of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra, who currently serves as a trumpet professor at California State University.

Throughout the 48th International Trumpet Guild Conference, there were daily performances of trumpet solos, ensembles, brass quintets, and big bands, showcasing a variety of music genres including classical, jazz, and pop.

Of special note, the conference also featured a tribute concert titled “A Tribute to Thomas Stevens” dedicated to the legendary principal trumpet player of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, Thomas Stevens. Dai Zhonghui, a trumpet professor, was one of the few students of Thomas Stevens. Hakan Hardenberger, another famous trumpet player who studied under Thomas Stevens, held a solo concert on the evening of May 31st, which attracted a full house.


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