Gustav F. Heim (1879 - 1933)
Gustav F. Heim was
born on May 8,
1879 in the small
Thüringen, Germany. He began the study of music at an early age
under his fathers guidiance. In 1893 he entered the Music School in
Schleusingen. After 4 years in this school, he entered into military
service as a cornet and flugelhorn soloist. His regiment was the 95th
Regiment of Hildburghausen, Thüringen.
Gustav Heim died
at the Cornell Medical Centre, on October 30, 1933.
In 1904, at the
request of his brother who lived in St. Louis,
Missouri, Gustav Heim came to the United States. In St. Louis, he was
engaged to play first trumpet with the Choral Symphony Society. Soon
after that, Heim was engaged to play first trumpet with the World's
Fair Orchestra which was conducted by different leaders, among them
Karl Komzack, Walter Damrosch, and Van der Strucken of the Cincinnati
visitors at the Fair in St. Louis was Fritz Scheel,
conductor of the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra. When Scheel
heard Heim's playing he engaged him to play first trumpet in the
Philadelphia Orchestra. Heim held this position for two years (1905 -
1907). In 1914 Karl Muck was conductor of the Boston
Symphony Orchestra. Heim was hired to play first trumpet. There was a
strike in 1919 in the Orchestra. After the strike George Mager was the
first trumpet and Heim left. In Boston
Heim also organized his Boston Philharmonic Band, which played
engagements in the area, with himself as cornet soloist. Heim remained
Boston until 1920, when he moved to Detroit for one season. In 1921, he
went to play for a period with the New York Philharmonic Orchestra,
before joining the New York Symphony Orchestra under Walter Damrosch,
remaining there until the merge of the two orchestras in 1928.
Gustav Heim was
principal trumpet with the following orchestras:
Louis Symphony Orchestra
The Philadelphia Orchestra 1905-1906.
Boston Symphony Orchestra 1906-1920. (*
Detroit Symphony Orchestra 1920-1921.
Philharmonic Society of New York 1921-1923.
The Cleveland Orchestra 1923-1924.
New York Symphony Society 1925-1928
trumpet from 1914 to 1920. He left Boston at the time of a
strike and joined the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
Heim had a
studio in midtown Manhattan. A famous student of Heim was
William Vacchiano. David Anderson (student of Vacchiano), said the
told me on more than one
occasion, "Gustav Heim made me a
great trumpet player overnight." It seems that before
Vacchiano encountered Heim, he (Vacchiano) played mediumish
mouthpieces, and it was Heim who turned him on to the huge mouthpieces
that came to be associated with Vacchiano during the largest part of
his career. It was because of the influence of Heim, along with a
natural curiosity regarding mouthpieces, that Vacchiano was always
altering his student's mouthpieces by scraping on them with a 3 sided
reamer. I don't know of anyone who ever continued playing a mpce that
Vacchiano ever altered. I still have several, which I keep for no
other reason than sentiment.
player, Harry Glantz, was also a student of Heim. On one
incident (see ITG Journal, February 1996, page 14) Heim was rude to him
(due to Glantz being a jew) and Glantz probably left his studio
after this episode.
The Frank Holton
Company of Elkhorn, Wisconsin, is the oldest
continually operating wind instrument company in the United States.
Formerly the first trombonist in John Phillip Sousa's band, Frank
Holton opened an instrument shop in Chicago in 1898. In 1917, Holton
moved his company to Elkorn. In a booklet from 1921, we find several of
the most prominent brass players of that time, cornet soloists Herbert L. Clarke and Frank Simon,
trombonist Arthur Pryor and trumpeters Edward Llewellyn (first trumpet
with Chicago Symphony Orchestra) and Gustav Heim.
On page 14 in
the booklet is a picture of Heim, then Solo Trumpet with
New York Philharmonic Orhcestra:
Gustav Heim also
endorsed a trumpet, the Holton Revelation Trumpet:
The Frank Holton
Company produced cornet and trumpet mouthpieces
called Holton Heim. Miles Davis started out on a Heim mouthpiece. In
his latest year, Davis used a copy of the Heim made by Giardinelli.
Heim is heard on records made by both the Boston Symphony
Orchestra under Karl Muck, and the New York Symphony Orchestra under
A recording with
Gustav Heim can be found in Edward Tarr's 4th edition
of "Die Trompete": Otto Fuchs: Fantasie
über Webers letzen Gedanken - Gustav Heim with
Concert Band, recorded in 1913.
Here is a list
of recordings, Heim did as a soloist (mostly on cornet):
*) The Waldhorn
Quartette was made up of the horn quartet and the
principal trumpet of the
Boston Symphony Orchestra. Reviews
of performances, a list of their repertoire, and a biographical sketch
of each player is included (Amy Larkey).
- A Post In The Forest -
Waldhorn Quartette *)
- Fehrbelliner Reitersmarsch
(Henrein) - Philharmonic Brass Octet
- Hie guet Brandenburg Allewege!
(Henrein) - Philharmonic Brass Octet
- Heimatsklange (German
Airs- Arr. by Gustav Heim) - Philharmonic Brass Octet
- Inflamatus-Stabat Mater
(Rossini) - Edison Concert Band
- Trumpeter Of Sakkingen
(Nillson) - Philharmonic Brass Octet
über Webers letzen Gedanken (Fucs/Hartmann) - Edison
Concert Band, 1913
Anderson (message on TPIN)
* Edward H. Tarr "Die
Trompete" 4. edition 2005
* Glenn Bridges: Pioneers in Brass
* A trip through the Holton Factory (booklet
Larkey: "Gustav Heim and the Waldhorn Quartette." (page 34-41).
* Derek Reaban on Trumpet
* Barbara Perkel, librarian at Boston Symphony Orchestra