Blair Bollinger, the bass trombonist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, joined the orchestra in 1986 at the invitation of Riccardo Muti and enjoys the full orchestra schedule of more than 150 concerts each year along with many recordings and international tours. As a soloist, Bollinger has performed with the Philadelphia Orchestra (the only bass trombone soloist ever to have done so), Atlanta Symphony, National Symphony of Taiwan, and others. He has performed recitals and given master classes in Brazil, Chile, China, Holland, Israel, Japan, Korea, Poland, Taiwan, and throughout the United States. As a student he won the 1986 Philadelphia Orchestra Greenfield Competition and remains the only trombonist to win this competition since it began in 1934.
Bollinger’s trombone, which he helped design, is the Bollinger model bass trombone by the S.E. Shires Company of Hopedale, Mass. His recordings include a solo disc, Fancy Free; two discs with his trombone quartet Four of a Kind; a Gabrieli album with the Canadian Brass; and a premiere recording of the Concerto by Jay Krush with the Temple University Wind Ensemble.
An active arranger, his arrangements of music for various string and brass ensembles are published by Alphonse Leduc in Paris, Ensemble Publications in New York, and Southern Music in Texas. A respected teacher, Bollinger is a faculty member at Juilliard, the Curtis Institute, and Temple University. In addition to teaching lessons, he coaches chamber music and conducts classes and sectional rehearsals. He has spent recent summers performing and teaching in the National Orchestral Institute, Grand Teton Music Festival, Eastern Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, Bravo Vail, and New York State Summer School for the Arts, Luzerne Music Center, and the Bar Harbor Brass Week.
Born in Rochester, Pa., Bollinger is a 1986 graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music, where he studied with Charles Vernon and Glenn Dodson. He has also been active in backstage administration work at Curtis, where he served on the board of trustees, and the Philadelphia Orchestra, where he negotiated union contracts and chaired the committee that selected the orchestra’s music director, Yannick Nézet-Séguin.