Renowned as one of the finest trumpet players of his generation, Paul Merkelo is recognized for his ’pure technical prowess’’ (Rochester Democrat & Chronicle) as well as his ‘’unusual lyrical gifts’’ (Gramophone). Principal trumpet with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal since 1995, Mr. Merkelo is regularly praised by the Montreal press as ‘’a spectacular soloist… a most impressive master of his instrument’’ (Montreal Gazette), a “great virtuoso… dazzling’’ (La Presse). He has been featured frequently with the OSM, including tours to South America and Lincoln Center in New York.
He has been featured with orchestras, and in recital, throughout the United States, Canada, Russia, China, Japan, Portugal, Brazil, Venezuela, Peru, France and Thailand.
In 1999, he was appointed Canadian musical ambassador to China for the inauguration of the Montreal Park in Shanghai, and as soloist with the Shanghai Broadcast Orchestra in a national telecast. Mr. Merkelo made his New York debut at Lincoln Center with the New World Symphony Orchestra and Michael Tilson Thomas in 1998. He has also worked with conductors Leonard Bernstein, Charles Dutoit, Lorin Maazel, Sir Georg Solti and Valery Gergiev.
Mr. Merkelo’s first solo recording, A Simple Song, was ranked #1 in Quebec’s classical recording chart in 2000. In 2004, Analekta released a highly praised second CD, Baroque Transcriptions, which was nominated by ADISQ for Best Classical Album of the Year.
Previously, he was Principal Trumpet with the Rochester Philharmonic and New Orleans Symphony and gained early orchestral experience as an extra with the New York Philharmonic and Pittsburgh Symphony.
Paul Merkelo attended the University of Illinois and Eastman School of music, where he was awarded the Speth Scholarship for outstanding orchestral musician. Mr. Merkelo is on the faculty at the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, and McGill University. He is on the board of directors for the Youth Orchestra of the Americas (Canada), and is the founder of the Paul Merkelo scholarship.
Paul Merkelo is a Yamaha artist.
He has been a member of the Music Academy faculty since 2005.