Canadian born trumpeter Neil Balm is based in New York City where he is principal trumpet of the Mostly Mozart Festival, the New York Pops and co-principal of the New York City Ballet Orchestra. He moved to New York to attend the Juilliard School, where he received his Bachelor and Masters of Music degrees. Neil studied trumpet with William Vacchiano, Gerard Schwarz, Fred Mills and Ronald Romm of the Canadian Brass.
Mr. Balm toured as a member of Peter Frampton's rock band, playing lead trumpet and keyboards, after which he returned to Juilliard to complete a Masters degree. Following this, Neil toured Europe and recorded with the famed drummer Louis Bellson and his Big Band. Mr. Balm was appointed principal trumpet of the Canadian Opera Company, where he performed from 1989-91.
Mr. Balm is sought after as a chamber musician having performed with "Chamber Music at the Y" with Jaime Laredo, the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble, and was a member of the New York Trumpet Ensemble from 1979-1984, touring the U.S. and recording with the ensemble extensively. He has also appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and performed and recorded with the Canadian Brass (two as a performer and one as an arranger).
Since 1984 he has been an active member in the Mostly Mozart Festival and made his solo debut at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. performing the Leopold Mozart trumpet concerto. He has appeared twice as a soloist on "Live from Lincoln Center" performing the Stölzel trumpet concerto in 1995 and most recently with renowned soprano Renee Fleming performing Handel's "Let the Bright Seraphim". He has also performed at the summer festivals of Caramoor, Ravinia, Wolftrap, Tanglewood, Banff, Great Woods and Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Mr. Balm has a deep dedication to contemporary music. He was a member and co-director of the Music Today contemporary ensemble, where he gave the New York premiere of Ellen Zwilich's Concerto for Trumpet and Five Instruments, and can be heard on the ensembles' Grammy nominated recording of the music of George Perle. Neil has performed the music of many of todays highly respected composers with those composers, including Luciano Berio, Andre Panufnik, Kristof Penderecki, Joan Tower, Jacob Druckman, Harold Farberman and John Williams. He gave a trumpet and percussion recital at Merkin Concert Hall of the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen with percussionist Jonathan Haas.
Mr. Balm has performed the Bach Second Brandenburg Concerto over one hundred times, with artists such as Trevor Pinnock, Gerard Schwarz, and Nicholas McGegan and with the New York Chamber Symphony, Seattle Symphony, New York Chamber Soloists, New York Virtuosi, Virginia Symphony, Elgin Symphony and many others in dozens of cities across the U.S., receiving rave reviews and accolades without fail, from critics and audiences alike.
Mr. Balm has recorded as a soloist with singers, brass groups, orchestras, other trumpets and big bands. Mr. Balm made several recordings while he was a member of and arranger for the New York Trumpet Ensemble. The singers he has recorded with include a Kurt Weill album with Teresa Stratas, Handel's Let the Bright Seraphim with Arlene Auger and Harolyn Blackwell's album, A Simple Song. He has also recorded Aaron Coplands "Quiet City" with the New York Chamber Symphony and Gerard Schwarz, and is featured on the Rosetta award winning recording of Gershwin's Concerto in F with the Eos Ensemble. Neil is a member of the All-Star Orchestra, which is recording television programs for PBS TV. To date 12 shows have been recorded with more in the works. Educational in nature, the programs are also being released on DVD and can be seen on Khanacademy.org.