Hailed as “one of the foremost performers and teachers in the USA and Canada” and ” one of the greatest trumpet players of our time,” reviewers have called his trumpet playing “virtuosic and lyrical”, “fluid and liquid like tone,” with “a bel canto style that gave this reviewer chills.”
Richard Stoelzel maintains an active career as an international soloist, chamber and orchestral musician. He began his career as solo cornet with the United States Coast Guard Band, a presidential band. In this position he performed throughout the U.S. and gave numerous command performances for Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush. As a soloist, he has performed throughout the U.S. and abroad including five highly successful tours of China as a result of which he earned the title of “Distinguished Visiting Professor” at the Shen Yang Conservatory of Music and other schools throughout China. Stoelzel has performed as a soloist at the 2003, 2007, and 2009 International Trumpet Guild Conference. At the 2009 conference, he was a featured soloist with the Keystone Wind Ensemble as well as performing with the Aries Trio. As an orchestral musician Stoelzel has performed as principal and utility trumpet including substitute principal trumpet with the Detroit Symphony as well as third and assistant principal trumpet of the New Orleans Symphony and was winner of the principal trumpet position in 1993.
Stoelzel’s solo recordings, Born to be Mild and A Mild Fantasie, both on the Albany label, have received warm critical acclaim and played on numerous radio stations across the country and oversees. Born to be Mild was named “CD of the Week” by Wisconsin Public Radio. Reviewers have called his recordings “a must have,” “bursting with a sense of joy and excitement,” “unfailing and attractive music.” American Record Guide reviewer stated, “I am truly taken by his sweet trumpet tone. It only takes a few seconds to be won over .”
He has held positions with the Miami City Ballet, Ballet Florida, Florida Symphonic Pops, New World Symphony, Colorado Music Festival, Bear Lake Music Festival, and the Des Moines Opera Orchestra. He has performed with the Naples Philharmonic, Baltimore, Jacksonville, Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Louisville symphony orchestras. He has been on the faculties of the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the Harid Conservatory, and was Professor of Trumpet at Grand Valley State University where he brought national and international acclaim and prominence to the trumpet studio. His students have consistently won national and international awards (20 international prizes and 20 national prizes) including an unprecedented three awards at the 2000 International Trumpet Guild Competition and have since been regular finalists and winners.
Stoelzel has worked and commissioned over 40 new works for trumpet by such noted composers as Eric Ewazen, James Stephenson, Arthur Weisburg, Kurt Ellenberger, Bill Ryan, Erik Morales, Robert Bradshaw, and Tom Davis. Stoelzel is also an accomplished conductor. He was the principal pops conductor for the Harid Conservatory as well as music director of the Florida Wind Symphony, a professional wind ensemble based in Boca Raton, FL. Stoelzel was the founder and artistic director of the GVSU International Trumpet Seminar that started in 2005. Stoelzel is Principal Trumpet with the Palm Beach Opera Orchestra and serves on the artist faculty of the Masterworks Summer Music Festival held at Grace College in Indiana. He is also the founder of the Avatar Brass and Aries Trio. Stoelzel and his wife Valerie co-hosted the 2013 International Trumpet Guild conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is a Yamaha international performing artist and soloist.