Chad Winkler is a member of the Pittsburgh
Symphony Orchestra trumpet section. He is a native of Morgantown,
West Virginia, and he
received his Bachelor of Music degree from West
Virginia University. He kept a journal while traveling through Europe
with the Pittsburgh
Symphony, and emailed stories back to us whenever he could! You can read his
previous posts here: first - second - third.
One of the things I’ve always wanted to
do is visit the grave of Gustav Mahler. Mahler has always been a hero to brass
players for writing challenging and inspiring music, especially for us. For
just about every audition for any brass instrument, there is at least one
excerpt from a Mahler symphony.
When I had heard several months ago
that the orchestra would be visiting Vienna, I made plans to go to the grave site.
Together, with PSO trombonist Jim Nova, we made the 30-minute trip. We were a
little concerned about the weather, since it had rained all morning. But, when
we arrived at the grave site, the skies cleared for a beautiful afternoon.
It was such a great experience visiting
the site, and certainly a moving one at that. We had decided that we would
bring our instruments and play something. Jim played an excerpt from Mahler’s
3rd symphony, and I played the posthorn solo from the same piece. You can hear
the PSO play the entire symphony in a few weeks, back at home in Heinz Hall.
Chad Winkler at Mahler's Grave
It was so wonderful to pay our respects
to a great composer — a composer that is constantly challenging us brass
players to play our best. I’m so thankful that I had this opportunity!
After 18 days, and 12 concerts in 10
cities, today we head back home to Pittsburgh! It’s been a very good tour, with very
appreciative audiences. What a privilege it is to play great music with great