People - Brass Studies

Brass Faculty: John Rojak

John Rojak joined the American Brass Quintet in 1991. He is bass trombonist with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, IRIS, New York Pops, Little Orchestra Society, and Stamford Symphony, and played for the 16-year run of Broadway’s Les Misérables. He has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Orpheus, New York Chamber Symphony, and as solo trombone of Solisti NY. He has performed with the Cleveland Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony, and for Pope John Paul II in New York's Central Park and in St. Patrick's Cathedral. As part of Gunther Schuller’s handpicked orchestra, he was involved in the recording of Brahms’ First Symphony and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony for a collaborative CD to Mr. Schuller’s book The Compleat Conductor.

Mr. Rojak has performed with many ballet companies including the Bolshoi, Kirov, Royal, Netherlands Dance Theatre, China, and San Francisco. Other Broadway shows include The Producers, Sugar Babies and Shirley MacLaine on Broadway. He has also played with the big bands of Mel Lewis, Gerry Mulligan, and Bob Mintzer. Besides classical recordings, he can be heard on soundtracks for commercials and film. Additionally, he has played with Metallica, Peter Gabriel, and Styx.

Active as a soloist and clinician, Rojak was the first bass trombonist to be artist in residence at Quad City Arts in Illinois/Iowa and has been featured at the International Trombone Association workshops in Champaign-Urbana, Boulder, and Salt Lake City, as well as performing Ewazen's Concerto with the Daejon Philharmonic Orchestra in Korea. He has given master classes and recitals throughout the U.S., Japan, and Mexico, been visiting trombone instructor at the North Carolina School of the Arts, and adjudicator for competitions including Concert Artists Guild, Fischoff, and Coleman.

In the spring of 2000, Rojak made his New York concerto debut performing Walter Ross’ Trombone Concerto No. 2 in Alice Tully Hall with the New York Chamber Symphony, Gerard Shwarz conducting. The piece was then recorded for MMC Records. He has been featured with the trombone section of the Brass Band of Battle Creek and played the solo trombone part with Vladimir Spivakov and the Moscow Virtuosi in the North American premiere of Schnittke’s Five Fragments Based on Paintings of Hieronymus Bosch for Violin, Trombone, and Tenor in Avery Fisher Hall. His first solo recording, The Romantic Bass Trombone with pianist Robert Koenig, is available on MMC Records. Other solo recordings are  “Rhapsody for Bass Trombone and Strings” composed by Eric Ewazen with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra on the Albany CD Bass Hits, and The Essential Rochut on Belle records. He has collaborated on chamber music recordings with Andrew Violette, David Sampson, and Jeffrey Nichols.

Rojak received a Bachelor of Music degree from Juilliard and held fellowships at the Tanglewood and Waterloo Music Festivals. He is Director of Brass Studies at New York University and on the faculties of Juilliard, Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers, The Hartt School, Colorado College Summer Music Festival, and the Aspen Music Festival and School.