Bernard Playing Bernard Adelstein
Pittsburgh Symphony
Dallas Symphony
Minneapolis Symphony

Pittsburgh Symphony
Bernard in PittsburghBorn in Cleveland in 1928, Bernard started trumpet lessons at the age of eight on the recommendation of a pediatrician who thought it might be good therapy for his asthma. When he was ten, Bernard began lessons with Louis Davidson who was then principal trumpet with the Cleveland Orchestra.

“Louis taught me to play correctly, with a clear, round sound, clean-crisp tonguing, and a relaxed, free and easy approach to tone production.”

In 1943, at age fifteen, Adelstein’s first professional position was as second trumpet in the orchestra of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo for a short stint. The conductor was Franz Allers, an excellent musician. At sixteen, Bernard became second trumpet with the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner. His brother, Rovin, was studying at Julliard at the same time and came to Pittsburgh to hear Bernard's debut with the Pittsburgh Symphony. Since the Orchestra still had an opening for a bass, Reiner was delighted to have Rovin join the bass section. Bernard spent four years in that position and had the opportunity to learn much from one of the world’s truly great maestros. He also played for three summers with the Chautauqua Orchestra.

Bernard also credits Irving Sarin, then principal trumpeter in Pittsburgh with helping him during those early years. “We would get together every Saturday morning and practice the parts all day.”

Sarin encouraged Bernard to study with the late George Mager, who was then principal trumpet in the Boston Symphony and had been Sarin’s teacher. Bernie was living in New York and commuted to Boston and Tanglewood for lessons. He found Mager to be a wonderful man and the lessons very challenging. “Mager was the first orchestral trumpeter to play the C trumpet exclusively.” It was the indirect influence of Mager that caused Adelstein to switch to the C trumpet many years later.

Bernard studied with Harry Glantz of the NBC Symphony Orchestra during the summer of 1948 while getting his Local 802 card. “When he played,” Bernard said, “I was struck by his complete control of the trumpet. His playing always inspired me to try even harder. Glantz’s lyrical sound was idyllic and enhanced by a beautifully controlled hand vibrato which I tried desperately to emulate in my formative years.”

During Adelstein’s four seasons in Pittsburgh, he had the opportunity to learn much of the standard repertoire and develop his own style of playing. He feels the best position for a young performer is playing second trumpet. “There you have the opportunity to learn the most: classical repertoire, concerti, and you can gain ideas from the principal player. You also condition yourself to listen, which is very important for a player in any position.”

Dallas Symphony
Adelstein left Pittsburgh in 1948 to become principal trumpeter of the Dallas Symphony under Antal Dorati and Walter Hendl. At that time Dallas was an ensemble filled with young, talented players, many of whom went on to some of the best positions in the country. The orchestra toured extensively, many times spending entire nights on a bus. Bernard remembers his years in Dallas as a productive time of learning and a period of good spirits and camaraderie.


Minneapolis Symphony
Bernard TeachingDorati left Dallas in 1949 to become Music Director of the Minneapolis Symphony. Bernard joined the Minneapolis Symphony in 1950 and was the youngest principal player in the orchestra. Dorati and the orchestra recorded extensively for Mercury Records and there were numerous long tours. They played
Bernard at University of Minnesotamany of the major halls in the country, including Carnegie Hall in New York, Symphony Hall in Boston and Orchestra Hall in Chicago. There was also a State Department tour of Greece, India, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Lebanon, and India. Bernard headed the trumpet section of the Minneapolis Symphony from 1950 to 1960. He was also a member of the University of Minnesota faculty.

Minneapolis TrumpetersWhile in Minneapolis, Bernard met and soon married Constance. Bernard has also performed with the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra in New York and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles.

Portions of text taken from:
“The Legacy of Bernard Adelstein” by Roger Sherman,
ITG Journal, December, 1988


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