Hakan Hardenberger’s Tone Makes Babies Dance in the Womb

Swedish trumpeter Hakan Hardenberger has one of the most gorgeous tones on the trumpet. He’s a true classical trumpet virtuoso, inheritor of the legacy of Maurice Andre as a great international soloist. He’s pushing the boundaries of trumpet repertoire, too.

Ingrid Jensen told me a wonderful story about playing with Mr. Hardenberger and a bunch of other top-tier trumpeters at a festival in Europe. It may have been in Sweden, but I don’t recall the details. The story might be in the interview of practice Ms. Jensen did with me a few years ago. Ingrid was pregnant with her first child, and whenever she (Ingrid’s daughter), heard Hardenberger play in rehearsals, she would move, but never moved for any of the other trumpeters. Everyone’s a critic. [jk]

The short documentary on Mr. Hardenberger below has many beautiful and impressive examples of his playing, with organ, brass bands, various chamber groups, and orchestras. Here’s a link to many of his excellent albums.


Want to learn more about the best ways to practice? Get an e-mail with a discount code when The Practice of Practice by Jonathan Harnum is published (June, 2014). To learn more about the book, check out a sample from The Practice of Practice.

golden moments from the documentary:

  • 6:10 Bo Nilsson, Hakan’s first teacher: I could kick him harder than I can kick many others, and that is one… (laughs), one talent also: to be able to be kicked….
  • 9:20-10:35 Hakan goes to study with his next teacher, Pierre Thiebaud, who kicks his butt. This back up findings by researchers in the Talent Development Project, specifically, Sosniak on the kinds of teachers top performers have had. Check out Developing Talent in Young People. Toward the end of this section, Hardenberger says, My teachers have all been more or less crazy, but in a very positive way. Crazy about the instrument….
  • 20:14-20:53 Playing Rule Brittania Variations with a brass band. Wow!
  • 25:45 Playing a rubber hose with a funnel for a bell.
  • 29:12 Trumpeter Philip Jones on the trumpet in Baroque music.
  • 38:05 Amazing large (and fast!) leaps in a piece written for Hardenberger by composer Hanz Werner Henze

3 thoughts on “Hakan Hardenberger’s Tone Makes Babies Dance in the Womb

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