O.J.'s Trumpet Page Artists and personalities

Max Schlossberg

Max Schlossberg

Max Schlossberg (1873 - 1936)
Max Schlossberg was born on 5 November 1873 in Libau, the capital of Courland (now Liepāja in Latvia).
He died in Bethlehem, New Hampshire, 23 September 1936.

Moved to USA
"At the same time that certain Western European musicians were emigrating eastward to Russia, some Russians were moving westward to the United States. Which Russians? Jews"
(Edward H. Tarr "East meets West,
Chaper 6. Two Russian Immigrants to the United Stats: Max Schlossberg and Vladimir Drucker, page 225)

His father Nathan Schlossberg (1847 – 1932) arrived in New York on October 1888. Max Schlossberg came to America in 1894, age 21. He stayed less than a year and then returned to Riga. In 1902 he married Jenny Lohak (1879- 1947) from Riga. Jenny and Max arrived on S/S Pretoria at Ellis Island on 1 October in 1902 *)

At age 9 he went to Moscow to join with his elder brother Joseph. In the biography in Daily Drills, it mentions the names of the professors at the Moscow Conservatory: Marquard, Putkammer and Adolph Sauer.

In 1889 Schlossberg moved to St. Petersburg – he probably met Victor Ewald and Wilhelm Wurm there.

Later he studied in Berlin with Julius Kosleck (1825-1905) - sometime between 1889 and 1894.
He toured under Arthur Nikisch, Hans Richter and Felix Weingartner.

The musician
In 1897 and 1898 he was bandmaster of the 171th Regiment in Riga, and conducted at the Russian Club Theatre in the same city.
The first years in New York he supported himself as a free-lancer playing in park bands and at weddings. He also played with the Goldman Band at their summer concerts.

Between 1910 and 1936 Schlossberg was a member of the New York Philharmonic.

The teacher
Schlossberg has by many been called the Founder of the American Schools of Trumpet Playing.

In his book East Meets West, Edward H. Tarr has described how Schlossberg brought the trumpet tradition from the East (Russia and Germany) to USA. Tarr also stated the following:

"Max Schlossberg became the master teacher of his time. Virtually all the professional players of the following generation studied with him at one time or another."  (page 231)

In an article about William Vacchiano (ITG Journal, May 1995, page 11 - 13) there is a section called Studies with Max Schlossberg:

Schlossberg lived on the fifth floor corner apartment of 811 Walton Avenue in The Bronx, in the block situated between Yankee Stadium and The Bronx County Court House, both of which are visible from the corner of the street intersection overlooked by his studio. The Schlossberg apartment was entered at the front of a long hall. Students were usually greeted by Mrs. Schlossberg, Jenny (1879-1947).
On either side of the long hall following the entrance to the apartment were several doors opening into their respective rooms. The teaching studio was at the end of the hall facing directly the main entrance to the apartment. There was a small anteroom in which students arriving early deposited their belongings, and in which they and their parents could wait. The studio was placed at the external corner of the exterior of the building, as far from the general living quarters of the Schlossberg neighbors as was possible.

The studio was a square room (3 m X 3 m). The walls were covered with photos of trumpet players. Schlossberg taught sitting at the right and behind the student. By this he would evaluate the student based on what he heard and not what he saw. His teaching was founded on 3 methods, Arban, Saint-Jacome and Sachse. For each student he would write exercises almost like a doctor prescribing medicine. The drills he wrote were mostly based on orchestral repertoire. Some of the drills and exercises were later compiled by Harry Freistadt (see below).

Soon after his arrivals to America, he became a member of the Institute of Musical Art (IMA) and later the Julliard Graduate School. Almost all his teaching was from his home studio.

William Vacchiano was a student with Schlossberg for five years (1930 - 1935). Below is a list of some other well known players who studied with Schlossberg:

Some of his students

Elden E. Benge
Isidor Blank,
Saul Caston,
Charles Colin,
Louis Davidson,
Vladimir Drucker,
Harry Freistadt (his son-in-law),
Harry Glantz,
Bernie Glow,
Sigmund Hering,
Max Kaminsky,
"Mannie" Klein,
Charlie Margulis
Nathan Prager,
Seymour Rosenfeld,
Renold Schilke
James Stamp,
Edward Treutel,
William Vacchiano,
Doc Cheatham,
John Barnett,
Irwin Shainman,
Seymour Feuer,
Harry James,
Charlie Spivack,

Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet

Daily Drills - cover

His son-in-law, Harry Freistadt, compiled the groups of exercises forming the Schlossberg method.
Daily Drills and Technical Studies for Trumpet, was first published in 1937 by J. & F. Hill in New York (copyright passed to M. Baron, Inc. in 1938).

The book is subdivided into 8 parts:

1. Long Note Drills, Exercise No. (1-37)
2. Intervals, (38-48)
3. Octave Drills, (49-58)
4. Lip Drills, (59-69)
5. Chord Drills, (70-88)
6. Scale Drills, (89-115)
7. Chromatic Scale Drills, (116-128)
8. Etudes, (129-156)

French Besson,
Bach Stradivarius Bb, number 1364, bore .462,
Valve: model B, fit-very tight
Mouthpipe: 6
Bell Mandril: 6L, Bell Brass: G45
(Date Completed August 24, 1929)
His son-in-law, Harry Freistadt inherited this trumpet.


* Edward H. Tarr "East meets West:the Russian trumpet tradition from the time of Peter the Great", 1. edition 2003, chapter 6.
* ITG Journal, May, 1997 - Max Schlossberg: Founder of the American Schools of Trumpet Playing in the Twentieth Century, André M. Smith
* Norman M. Canter, MD,surgeon, grand nephew of Max Schlossberg - info provided in several emails

*) From Norman M. Canter: "I think that he did not come through Ellis Island  - the other route was via Castle Garden, and the family always prided itself that nobody came through Ellis Island"

Thanks to:
- Norman M. Canter!  He was my inspiration to make this web page
- Naomi Freistadt, Max Schlossbergs grand daughter for information!