20 Questions with Brian Hecht

Brian Hecht, a native of Dallas, Texas, was recently awarded the newly-created position of Utility Trombone with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He will be coming to Dallas from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, where he served as Bass Trombone since September 2013. Prior to joining the Atlanta Symphony, Mr. Hecht held the bass trombone position with the United States Navy Band in Washington, DC. He has performed with other major ensembles throughout his career including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra (under the baton of Simon Rattle), San Francisco Symphony, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Alabama Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic, Washington National Opera, Lyric Opera of Baltimore, and the Kennedy Center Ballet. Brian received his Master of Music degree from Northwestern University, where he studied with Michael Mulcahy, Charles Vernon, and Peter Ellefson. He earned his Bachelor of Music degree from The University of Texas at Austin, where he studied with Dr. Nathaniel Brickens. Other influential teachers include Randall Hawes, Jon Bohls, Charles Villarrubia.

  1. What was your first instrument and how old were you when you started? 

Tenor trombone was my first instrument. I started in 6th grade. 

  1. Could you describe what would be your perfect day? 

The perfect day for me would be spending the first half of the day on a beautiful beach with my wife and the second half of the day with all my family grilling out and playing games. 

  1. Most memorable performance? 

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra led by Robert Spano. We performed Shostakovich’s 7th Symphony. We had our friends from the Pittsburgh and Seattle Symphonies joining us. The orchestra was ON FIRE that week. We had all been looking forward to that performance for a long time. When we reached the climax of the 4th movement you could feel everyone’s energy line up and I had never heard the orchestra more in sync. When the bass trombone entered with the melody to start the grand finale, I felt as though I was getting to lead the charge. That moment still gives me chills. I remember feeding off of Spano’s energy and the energy of my colleagues. We gave it every bit of music we had in our bones and that performance is one I will never forget.   

  1. Significant teachers/mentors in your life? 

In Chronological order:

  • Jon Bohls
  • Dr. Nathaniel Brickens
  • Michael Mulcahy
  • Charles Vernon
  • Peter Ellefson
  • Randall Hawes

  1. Something you’ve been meaning to try, but just haven’t gotten around to it?

Starting my own woodworking business.

  1. Favorite symphony? 

Strauss’ An Alpine Symphony.

  1. When was the last time you cried, and why? 

Listening to Dear Evan Hansen. It’s heartbreaking to think that anyone would rather end their life than be who they are. Everyone deserves to be happy and to be loved. We could all do a better job to make our communities more accepting of each other and spread more love, and less hate. 

  1. If money was no object, what would you buy? 

An island.

  1. One thing most people don’t know about you? 

I love trombone, I love music, but my kids and my family are my number one priority. My passion is being the best dad I can possibly become. 

  1. Opera or ballet? 

Opera.

  1. First job? 

Bass Trombone, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra.

  1. Favorite sports team?

The Dallas Cowboys. 

  1. If you could invite one person to dinner tonight, who would it be? 

My Mom. She passed away a few years ago. It would be so amazing to see her again and have her meet my youngest kid and see how much the oldest has grown.

  1. Coffee or Tea? 

Coffee!!!

  1. Favorite book? 

Truth be told, I’m not a big reader. I enjoy movies and podcasts a lot more. If I could answer in that context then it would be Bryan Cranston’s A Life in Parts.

  1. Favorite movie? 

Interstellar.

  1. Siblings? 

Lots! Five brothers and two sisters.

  1. Favorite piece to play? 

Butterfly Song by Andrew Markel

  1. Least favorite piece to play?

More of an entire genre; atonal pieces or contemporary “atmospheric” pieces drive me crazy.

  1. Dogs or cats? 

Dogs! But I love cats too, just not in my house 😉

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