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ASU School of Music celebrates 100 years of legendary trumpeter Rafael Méndez

February 15, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. - As part of a season of musical tributes, the ASU Symphony Orchestra in the Herberger College of Fine Arts School of Music will celebrate the anniversary of the 100 th birthday of legendary trumpeter Rafael Méndez with a free concert, March 8, 7:30 p.m. at ASU Gammage.

Méndez set the standard for what the trumpet is capable of decades ago and still is a beacon for musicians to emulate.

"All trumpet players recognize him as the single person that really showed audiences the potential of the trumpet," said David Hickman, ASU Regents' Professor of Trumpet and head of the Rafael Méndez Library in the School of Music. "His works are difficult even by today's standards. It takes top trumpet players to perform his works well."

The School of Music welcomes Jens Lindemann and Allen Vizzutti, both internationally-known trumpet soloists, as guest artists for this spectacular event. Lindemann, Vizzutti and Hickman will perform a series of solos and trios by Méndez including Kiko Gallito and The Brave Matador .

The ASU Symphony Orchestra will perform Ondas del Pacifico, a composition for orchestra by Méndez, as well as Juan Crisóstomo Arriaga'sSymphony in D Major and works by Manuel de Falla from The Three Cornered Hat.

In conjunction with the concert, Lindemann and Vizzutti will present free trumpet clinics, March 9, in the School of Music.

Trumpet soloist Lindemann has played in major concert venues worldwide including, the Philharmonics of New York, Los Angeles, London, Manchester, Munich, Hamburg, Lucerne and Berlin. Lindemann's proven ability to perform as a diverse artist places him at the front of a new generation of musicians. He has performed as soloist and recording artist with classical stars such as Sir Neville Marriner, Sir Angel Romero and Doc Severinsen.

Performing as a classical and jazz artist often in the same night, Vizzutti has appeared as guest trumpet soloist with symphony orchestras in Tokyo, Germany, St. Louis and Seattle, to name a few. He has recorded several jazz CDs and has been an artist-in-residence at the Eastman School of Music, The Banff Center for the Performing Arts and Kansas State University, among others.

Hickman, one of the world's pre-eminent trumpet virtuosos, has performed more than 2,000 solo appearances around the world as a recitalist or guest soloist with nearly 500 different orchestras. He has released 15 solo albums, is founder and president of the acclaimed Summit Brass, a large all-star American brass ensemble, and received the prestigious Award of Merit from the International Trumpet Guild for his lifetime of achievement and service to the world of trumpet.

Hickman has always shown an interest in Méndez, and with the help of a graduate student, established the Rafael Méndez Library in the School of Music in June of 1993, as a research tool for ASU students. Three dissertation projects have been done on Méndez since the establishment of the library. The extensive involvement and contributions of the Méndez family to ASU have allowed all of this to happen.

"I want people to leave the concert with an appreciation for Mendez' talent and what he has done for our school," Hickman said. "Legends should always be remembered. Certain people should not be forgotten."

For more information about the celebration and clinics, visit For more information about the life of Rafael Méndez, visit the Méndez library Web site at .

The School of Music in the Herberger College of Fine Arts at Arizona State University is ranked 19th in the country and eighth among public institutions by U.S. News & World Report . More than 100 music faculty artists and scholars work with approximately 800 music majors each year in research, performance and scholarly activities. It presents approximately 700 concerts and recitals each season. To learn more about the School of Music, visit

Media Contact:
Denise Tanguay