Home National Stories An Interview with Avi Bialo, Professional Trumpet Player

An Interview with Avi Bialo, Professional Trumpet Player

Avi Bialo
Avi Bialo

How did you first become interested in playing the trumpet?

Avi Bialo: I started playing the trumpet when I was nine years old. My Father brought home a trumpet one day for himself, as he used to play the French horn in high school and wanted to revisit playing a brass instrument. At that time, I was playing the piano but wasn’t very passionate about it. With my dad’s guidance, I began practicing the trumpet, and my fondness for the instrument grew rapidly. It was really by chance/fate that I began playing the trumpet.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a professional trumpet player?

Avi Bialo: Two main influences inspired my pursuit of a career as a professional trumpet player. Firstly, my father, who is a professional musician had his own band and I spent a lot of time attending gigs with him, interacting with the musicians, while gaining a firsthand experience of the music industry. Secondly, one of my early trumpet teachers had a significant impact on me. Not only was he an outstanding trumpet player, but he was also a captivating storyteller. His home was filled with pictures and clippings of all his performances all over the world, providing my first glimpse into the life of a classical trumpet player. Hearing his experiences as a Juilliard Alumni, not only set my sights on attending Juilliard but in pursuing a career as a professional musician.

Could you describe your practice routine and how it has evolved throughout your career?

Avi Bialo: My approach to practice has evolved over the years, yet one constant has been daily commitment. I’ve been fortunate to learn from world-class instructors, all of whom stressed the significance of daily practice and focusing on the fundamentals. Unlike certain instruments that allow for breaks, the trumpet requires daily attention. Consequently, my trumpet has accompanied me on every vacation, filling hotel rooms, ballrooms, and any available space with a practice routine. By sticking to a carefully crafted routine every day, I’ve maintained consistency and readiness for my performances.

Avi Bialo
Avi Bialo, professional trumpet player

What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced as a trumpet player, and how have you overcome them?

Avi Bialo: The trumpet is a challenging and demanding instrument, with days when your chops (lips) just don’t cooperate. This aspect has been a struggle for me, as I aim for perfection and consistency in my craft. In my earlier years, I allowed the ups and downs of the trumpet to affect other areas of my life. However, as I matured, I realized the importance of separating trumpet playing from everything else. I’ve come to understand that nearly every trumpet player faces similar challenges due to the nature of the instrument – it’s just part of the journey. Embracing these trials is an integral part of playing the trumpet. Some days feel great, some don’t.

Can you share a memorable performance experience that has had a significant impact on your career?

Avi Bialo: Throughout my career, I’ve had numerous memorable performances, but a few truly stand out. At the age of 12, I had the opportunity to perform at Avery Fisher Hall with The Disney Young Musician Symphony Orchestra. It was my first time performing at a world-class venue, and the performance was even televised on the Disney Channel. During my time at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, I had the incredible experience of touring with the orchestra and performing at Carnegie Hall – a dream come true, given its status as one of the most iconic venues in the world. Another unforgettable moment was performing at the Hollywood Bowl and Disney Hall with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Being from Los Angeles and attending countless concerts at the Bowl, being on stage and looking out at the vast audience was a surreal experience.

How do you approach musical interpretation and expression when playing the trumpet?

Avi Bialo: I benefit greatly from listening to a diverse range of trumpet players across various eras and genres, integrating aspects of their styles into my own interpretation and sound. My primary goal is to communicate something meaningful to the listener, striving for a vocal quality in my playing, as if each note were sung.

What advice would you give to aspiring trumpet players looking to pursue a career in music?

Avi Bialo: Music is a universal language that opens doors across all aspects of life. It cultivates a distinct work ethic and fosters lifelong friendships. For any budding musician, I recommend gaining a deep understanding of the lifestyle and its demands. The industry doesn’t follow a conventional path, often requiring musicians to work evenings and weekends. Moreover, due to the decline of orchestras in the US, classical musicians are having to explore alternative avenues within the music landscape.

How do you stay motivated and inspired to continue developing as a musician?

Avi Bialo: I’m fortunate to be naturally motivated and have a love for personal growth. I look at every day as another chance to progress toward my goals and refine my skills. The sensation of being on stage, creating music alongside my fellow musicians, is incomparable. This experience I believe is unique and unmatched in any other aspect of life and is what every musician ultimately seeks. The moment when the music stops, and the audience erupts in applause, is my driving force to pick up my trumpet every day and continuously strive for improvement.

To learn more about Avi Bialo, visit his website at www.avibialo.com