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“Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto welcomed one of the orchestra’s principal players, Michael Sachs, to the front of the stage. As always Sachs played with clarion brilliance and sensitivity, enjoying the playful writing and expressive gestures. He also commanded attention in several charismatic cadenzas.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“Michael Sachs, the orchestra’s principal trumpet since 1988, was featured in the Estonian composer Eino Tamberg’s Trumpet Concerto No. 1. Sachs has a gorgeous tone that’s firm enough to support an army of musical soldiers, and he fired off the staccato writing with rock solid steadiness. It’s always good to hear one of the orchestra’s own players featured, and Sachs is one of its best.”

The Akron Beacon-Journal

“The Tamberg concerto, written in 1972, is a delight. Full of fanfarish statements and lyrical sighs, the work speaks in tonal language spiced with colorful harmonies and sardonic gestures. The trumpet shows virtually every facet of its personality, from skittish and heroic to poetic, and Tamberg’s orchestration is alive with incident. In the finale, whirlwind activity leads to major-key tranquility.

Michael Sachs, the orchestra’s principal trumpet was the charismatic and sensitive soloist. He sent golden sound smoothly into the hall and traversed the concerto’s challenges with suave assurance. With Ilan Volkov and the orchestra as crisp allies, Sachs made a persuasive case for Tamberg as a composer whose music we should hear more often”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“[performing Mahler’s Fifth Symphony]…. a listener couldn’t ask for more than the magnificent solo work by principal trumpet Michael Sachs…..”

The Akron Beacon-Journal

“[performing von Suppe’s Light Cavalry Overture in Carnegie Hall]… the Cleveland Orchestra is the military band one wants to hear in this piece, especially with Michael Sachs’ dazzling solo trumpet leading the charge.”

Seen and Heard International Concert Review

“[performing Mahler’s Third Symphony in Royal Albert Hall] ….[Michael Sachs] in the third movement seemed to make a more wondrously delicate sound each time his nostalgic, old-gold melody came round.”

The Telegraph- London

“[performing Mahler’s Third Symphony in Royal Albert Hall] ….The third movement’s long post horn solo, redolent of a hazy summer afternoon in the country, was delivered immaculately, from what sounded like a remote mountain top, by the orchestra’s principal trumpet, Michael Sachs.

Evening Standard- London

“[Performing as soloist in Hans Werner Henze’s Requiem] Michael Sachs, the principal trumpeter, played brilliantly.”

The New York Times

“[In Charles Ives’ The Unanswered Question] the lonely protagonist, the splendid trumpet of Michael Sachs from the top of the balcony……… seemed to be not as much playing in the hall as inhabiting it elementally, emanating from haunted walls, floor and ceiling.”

The New York Times

“[In Alan Hohaness’ The Holy City]the solo trumpet lines where arrestingly played on the golden instrument of America’s Michael Sachs, who stayed on the platform for a finely polished solo performance in Hummel’s E-flat Trumpet Concerto.”

Auckland, New Zealand

“[in Telemann’s Concerto in D major] The music blazed with baroque virtuosity, thanks in large part to soloist Michael Sachs, who probably never met a high note he couldn’t master.

The San Diego Union Tribune

“The program included a spectacular performance by Michael Sachs, the orchestra’s principal trumpet. Collaborating with the Amici Quartet in two works by Giuseppe Torelli, he sent crystalline lines through the vast space, caressing phrases and demonstrating how brass playing can be at once heroic and lyrical.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

John Williams: Concerto for Trumpet

Commissioned for Michael Sachs by The Cleveland Orchestra, John Williams’ Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra received its’ world premiere performances on September 26-29, 1996 in Severance Hall. Michael Sachs was the soloist with The Cleveland Orchestra, with Music Director Christoph von Dohnanyi conducting. Mr. Sachs also performed the concerto with the composer conducting The Cleveland Orchestra in August 1999. Additional performances include as soloist with The Louisiana Philharmonic as well as numerous recital performances with piano in the United States and Asia.

Link to buy the John Williams Concert for Trumpet:
Performance Reviews

“[John Williams’ Trumpet Concerto] is tailor-made for the magisterial gifts of the ensemble’s principal trumpeter, who last night had a superlative grasp of the score’s intricacies . . . Sachs played with exceptional clarity and shine. He negotiated the devilish demands in vibrant fashion, whether the music called for piercing rhetoric or lyrical finesse.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

“With his new trumpet concerto, [John Williams] has achieved a different success: showing off a stellar performer’s spectacular chops. Sachs has a radiant tone that flowed freely, regardless of technical hurdles in this 20-minute work. Truly, there was nothing in this idiomatic writing, from fast double-tongued passages to leaping intervals to sleek lyricism, that this player couldn’t rattle off with marvelous security.”

The Akron Beacon-Journal

“……… Sachs’ performance of this excellent new work was outstanding, showcasing his individual style, beautiful sound and outstanding technique.”

The Trumpet Herald

“Sachs played brilliantly with a deep, rich, powerful tone. As with so many other great performers, Sachs’ tone sang out with both joy and sorrow.”

The Oberlin Review

“Sachs played with shine and lyrical flourish- the Gershwinesque lines in the second movement were especially nice-……”

The New Orleans Times-Picayune

“………. trumpeter Michael Sachs covered the amphatheater in a blanket of sound in the opening maestoso. Sachs conquered the technical fireworks of the earthy third movement with mastery.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer

” Sachs was at home with every note, whether he was tossing off tricky runs, swelling on beautiful low notes or sweetly raising the roof.”

The Akron Beacon-Journal

Trumpet and Organ Recital and CD Reviews


American Record Guide
May/June 2006
“Live From Severance Hall”

“Trumpet and organ is a popular genre, but it does not fare well on recordings. Satisfactory recorded sound-balance, distance from the listener, ambience- is an elusive goal. And trumpeters seem to change when they play with organ. Maybe it’s the hugeness of the sound that causes some of the best players to struggle with pitch and turn out shapeless phrases.

This is an outstanding trumpet-organ album. The selections are excellent, the playing powerful yet tasteful, the recorded sound superb. The recording is of an April 2005 concert at Cleveland’s lovely Severance Hall by Michael Sachs (principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra) and Todd Wilson (Sachs’ colleague on the faculty of the Cleveland Institute of Music).

Marc-Antoine Charpentier’s well-known “Te Deum Prelude” is given an inclusive reading with deft ornaments at the end. Sachs’ sweet yet potent trumpet tone, along with a sense of indomitable strength, is a winning formula for the familiar Torelli concerto, while his readings of the Neruda trumpet concerto and movements from a Viviani sonata (1678) are restrained and elegant.

The big piece is Petr Eben’s intense, multihued Windows (1976). I’ve commented on several other accounts of this fascinating piece; ones by Harry Kvebaek, Guy Touvron, and Anthony Plog rank as my favorites. They have now been surpassed. This reading is marked by power, superb tone, interpretational insight (by both Sachs and Wilson), and sonic clarity.

Organist Wilson fives an excellent account of a string concerto by Vivaldi that Bach turned into his own Organ Concerto 5. It is an all-time favorite of mine in both guises. I appreciate Wilson’s technical skill and the way his registrations achieve both contrapuntal clarity and fullness of sound. He also offers Leo Sowerby’s alternately celebratory and contemplative “Comes Autumn Time” (1916).”


The Cleveland Plain Dealer
Organist and trumpeter make baroque recital a rare thrill
Review: Michael Sachs and Todd Wilson
Tuesday, April 19, 2005
Wilma Salisbury
Plain Dealer Music Critic

“The Norton Memorial Organ at Severance Hall was not made for baroque music. Built by E.M. Skinner in 1930, the instrument is designed to blend with the Cleveland Orchestra and to perform symphonic organ music. But when the orchestra’s principal trumpet and the organ’s curator get together to play baroque tunes, the result is impressive.

So it was Sunday afternoon when trumpeter Michael Sachs and organist Todd Wilson played a recital that focused on 17th- and 18th-century works.

In the baroque era, the valveless trumpet was limited to the notes of the natural overtone series, and a complete scale could be played only in the high clarino register. Consequently, most baroque trumpet pieces are high-wire acts that make a brilliant impression. On Sachs’ modern brass trumpet, the gleaming top tones sounded thrilling.

In the festive opening prelude from Charpentier’s “Te Deum,” the soloist took the role of the state trumpet, the loud reed stop that is usually installed horizontally in front of the organ. In Torelli’s Sinfonia in D major, he dominated the organ, even though Wilson pulled out the brightest stops. Sachs took a lighthearted rococo turn in the merry tunes and showy cadenzas of Neruda’s Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major, and he brought golden sonorities to Viviani’s C major Sonata.

The organist did his best to emulate baroque sonority in Bach’s transcription of Vivaldi’s Concerto, Op. 3, No. 11. Although the organ lacks transparency and sparkle, Wilson came up with inventive registrations, including the choice of a high flute that made the slow movement sound like a piccolo concerto. He showed the Skinner to best advantage, however, in Sowerby’s “Come Autumn Time,” a showpiece that perfectly suits the instrument’s tonal resources.

The program culminated in an exciting performance of Peter Eben’s “Okna (Windows, after Marc Chagall).” Written in 1976, the work reflects the influence of mystical French organist-composers, especially Messiaen. The Czech composer, however, evokes religious images and stained-glass colors in his own musical language. The most substantial piece on the program, the dramatic work was superbly played and warmly applauded. For their encore, the artists went back to baroque brilliance, playing the finale from Telemann’s Concerto in D major.”


The Cleveland Plain Dealer
CD Review January 22, 2006
By Donald Rosenberg

“This live recording documents the recital Cleveland Orchestra principal trumpet Michael Sachs and organist Todd Wilson gave last April at Severance Hall. Most of the music is Baroque, though the repertoire also embraces superb 20th century works by Leo Sowerby and Petr Eben. Sachs plays with clarion brilliance, whatever the style, and goes to the music’s expressive and timbral core. Wilson employs an enormous palette on the restored Skinner organ, which sounds magnificent whether intimacy or majesty is needed. A”


International Trumpet Guild Magazine
October 2006
Review of “Live From Severance Hall”

“From the heralding Reiche Abblasen Fanfare to the virtuosic Okna by Eben, this live recital at Severance Hall in Cleveland, Ohio is a delightful blend of traditional and contemporary works for trumpet and organ. Michael Sachs, principal trumpet of the Cleveland Orchestra since 1988, and Todd Wilson, curator of the Norton Memorial Organ at Severance Hall, have combined their talents to present a recital full of life, energy, and color. Sachs, with his pure tone and crisp articulation, blends masterfully with Wilson in perfect balance and intonation- performing as one musical entity throughout the program. The delicate touch of both musicians is most easily recognized in Neruda’s Concerto in E-flat major, performed here with a unique and enjoyable organ accompaniment. Petr Eben’s Okna (Windows, after Marc Chagall) bears particular mention. This virtuosic twentieth-century work for trumpet and organ is a musical depiction of four of Marc Chagall’s stained-glass windows at the Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem. Eben describes “The Blue Window” as characterized by an intense undercurrent of rhythms and tonalities that leads to a series of bold and striking fanfares from the trumpet. “The Green Window” converys an agitated muted trumpet with hints of Middle-Eastern influence. “The Red Window” begins with a powerful introduction that eventually leads to an elegant lurical section. The concluding movement, “The “Golden Window,” commences with a tonal accompaniment setting up the background for a meditative, hymn-like trumpet solo that continues with perpetuating intensity, ending with a final angelic statement. For those not privileged to be in attendance at the concert, this recording offers a bird’s-eye view of incredible musicianship by these two outstanding performers.”