Trumpeters take talents abroad

Tetsuya Lawson and Michael Olsen have set their sights on international opportunities

Two young Australian trumpeters will share their talents alongside the world’s best at the 40th International Trumpet Guild this week.

The Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University students, 20-year-old Michael Olsen and 18-year-old Tetsuya Lawson, have touched down in Columbus, Ohio to spend the week immersed in the events and to perform as part of the QCGU Trumpet Ensemble.

It’s a coup the two musicians are eager to now expand upon, with both planning on training in Chicago for a week after the conference and then travelling even further afield.

Michael, who is in his final year of study, was awarded a scholarship towards his attendance at the conference and will shortly head to Germany to explore opportunities for further study next year in Europe.

Michael grew up in Western Australia and attended school in Mandurah before relocating to Brisbane to study at the Queensland Conservatorium.

“It’s a great opportunity and I’m happy to just soak it all up and see what comes of it!” he says.

First year student Tetsuya has his sights set on Japan, where he will perform at the Orchestral Academy of the Pacific Music Festival, as only one of two Australian musicians accepted.

With Japanese heritage, Tetsuya says he has travelled to the region many times before yet this will mark the first time he will travel solely as a musician.

The two trumpeters share many similarities, with both stating it was at primary school, at the age of eight that their love of trumpet began.

They also both cite Germany as a focus for their future.

“With so many Australian trumpeters in Germany it opens up some great contacts there for us and it’s also home to some of the world’s best teachers,” Tetsuya explains.

Tetsuya is looking forward to exploring further performance and study opportunities in Europe after graduation.

Their local trumpet lecturer and QCGU Head of Brass, Sarah Butler, who is also Co-Chair Principal Trumpet at Queensland Symphony Orchestra, describes the two as “great examples of self-directed learning”.

“It’s heartening to see Michael and Tetsuya making the most of this overseas trip by extending and furthering their studies privately,” she says.

“They make a wonderful contribution to the brass department at the Conservatorium, but I know they will be increasingly seeking further learning opportunities further afield – and that’s just how it should be!”

The International Trumpet Guild runs until 30 May and the Orchestral Academy of the Pacific Music Festival commences in Sapporo on 10 July.

Learn more about the QCGU Brass Department.