Giuliano Sommerhalder is a laureate of some of the world's most prestigious international competitions, and has formerly served as the principal trumpet at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.
Today, he serves as principal trumpet with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Lahav Shani and is active worldwide as a teacher and as a soloist on modern and historical instruments.
In 2003, a year before completing his schooling, he carried off the second prize at the renowned international music competition of the ARD broadcasting network in Munich and was the joint winner of the Maurice André competition in Paris, after having won other important contests, such as the Prague Spring Festival (2003), the Timofei Dokschitzer Competition in Vilnius (2002), the Concertino Praga (2001) and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory Competition in Moscow (1997). In addition, he was awarded European Culture Prizes in Munich in 1999 and in Berlin in 2002. In 2008 he was appointed BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.
Giuliano Sommerhalder studied with Pierluigi Salvi at the Conservatorio "Giuseppe Verdi" in Como and with Max Sommerhalder at the Detmold Hochschule of Music. He also gleaned important stimulus from Maurice André, Eric Aubier, Stephen Burns, Edward Carroll, Hans Gansch, Pierre Thibaud, James Thompson and others. He played in Claudio Abbado's Orchestra Mozart in Bologna in 2004, was chosen by Lorin Maazel as principal trumpet player for his Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, and has been principal trumpet in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly from 2006 until 2011, the year in which he moved to the same position at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under Mariss Jansons, where he remained until 2013.
Since 2016 he is Principal Trumpet at the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin first and currently under Lahav Shani.
Besides his soloistical and orchestral activities, he has been a member of the brass quintet Italian Wonderbrass since 2006 and of the Brass Ensemble of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, RCO Brass, since 2017.
As a soloist on both modern and historical instruments, Giuliano Sommerhalder has appeared throughout Europe, in America, Asia, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia, at the Vienna Musikverein and the Cologne Philharmonic Hall (in both venues he played Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto), the Berlin Philharmonie (both the Great and the Chamber Music Halls) and other important venues, at the Lucerne Festival, the City of London Festival and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. He has performed as a soloist with ensembles such as the Sinfonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the NDR Philharmonic Orchestra in Hanover, the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the Basle Chamber Orchestra, the MDR Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, and the symphony orchestras of the Czech and Polish broadcasting corporations.
In 2015 he performed Shostakovich's Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings by Shostakovich, with Martha Argerich and the Symphony Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome under the baton of Yuri Temirkanov.
Giuliano Sommerhalder's discography includes three solo albums:
"Romantic Virtuosity", a collection of virtuosic masterpieces of the german-russian Romanticism;
"Amilcare Ponchielli - Concertos for Winds", dedicated to the great Italian composer Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886);
“Vladimir Peskin – Complete Trumpet Music” with this Soviet composer's enormous compositive output for trumpet and piano (with pianist Kasia Wieczorek).
In 2012, the Ponchielli Album was awarded the prestigious ECHO-Klassik Music Prize in the category “Concerto Recording of the Year / 19th Century”.
He is also featured in four albums of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, performing J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and the Christmas Oratorio, among others.
On baroque trumpet, he has recorded Johann Friedrich Fasch's Trumpet Concerto in D Major with the Kammerorchester Basel.
Giuliano Sommerhalder is a highly requested pedagogue throughout the World.
Since 2019 he is the trumpet lecturer at the Hochschule der Künste Bern (HKB) and gives a yearly trumpet course at AIMART, Accademia Internazionale di Musica e Arte, in Rome.
He is the founder and Artistic Director of the “Girolamo Fantini” International Trumpet Competition, which takes place in downtown Rome every two years since 2017.
Furthermore, he is Artistic Advisor and permanent guest professor at the annual Festival Rafael Méndez in Morelia, Mexico.