Hailed by the New York Times for his playing of “easy brilliance” and by the Washington Post for his “engaging legato touch,” David Bilger has held the position of principal trumpet of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 1995. Prior to joining the Orchestra, he held the same position with the Dallas Symphony.
As a soloist, Bilger has appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, the Houston Symphony, the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Oakland Symphony, the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra, Philharmonia Virtuosi of New York, and others. His solo appearances with The Philadelphia Orchestra include 2018 performances of Christian Lindberg’s “Akbank Bunka,” 2013 performances of Hummel’s Trumpet Concerto, a 2008 US Premiere of Herbert Willi’s “Eirene” for trumpet and orchestra as well as performances of the Tomasi Trumpet Concerto at Carnegie Hall, and on tour in North and South America in 1998. Additional appearances include Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto, Copland’s Quiet City, and Bloch’s “Proclamation”. Bilger has performed recitals in New York, Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and other major American cities.
Bilger has appeared with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, with which he recorded Bach’s Second Brandenburg Concerto. Other chamber music appearances include recordings and performances with The National Brass Ensemble, as well as concerts with Chamber Music Northwest, the New York Trumpet Ensemble, Saint Luke’s Chamber Ensemble. He released a recording of new electro-acoustic music for trumpet and synthesizers with composer Meg Bowles.
Bilger is currently on the music faculties The Curtis Institute of Music, Northwestern University, and Temple University, and was a former faculty member of the Hugh Hodgson School of Music at the University of Georgia. He has performed master classes at dozens of institutions, including the Juilliard School of Music, Indiana University, the University of Michigan, the Manhattan School of Music, and the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. He has also taught at the Pacific Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute, the Aspen Music Festival and School and most recently at the Hamamatsu International Festival and Academy. He is a Yamaha Artist.
Bilger holds a Master of Music degree from the Juilliard School of Music and a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Illinois.