Christopher J. O'Hara
"Virtuosic and impressive in every way"
-Chicago Music Examiner
Dr. Christopher J. O’Hara is an internationally renowned trumpet soloist, a chamber musician, and an educator. His playing is described as “virtuosic and impressive in every way” (Chicago Music Examiner), and “a treat beyond measure” (Arlington Advocate), and the International Trumpet Guild Journal hails him as a “true master of [the] instrument.”
Already in his young career, Chris has performed over 3,000 events covering 47 states and 11 countries across North America, Europe, Great Britain, and Asia. His performance schedule has taken him to notable venues such as the Ravinia Music Festival, the Tanglewood Music Festival, Italian Brass Week (Florence, Italy), the Bethlehem Musikfest, the Boston Early Music Festival, the Festival de Camara de Musica in Aquacalientes Mexico, the Nagoya Conservatory of Music, and Millennium Hall in Japan.
Chris performs regularly across the country and beyond as a soloist, but his true passion has always been the art of chamber music. At the age of 16 in his hometown of Bensenville, Illinois, he had already formed his first brass quintet; in 1995, he was honored by WGN television for his efforts with this ensemble. Then, at 17, he formed his second brass quintet, the internationally acclaimed Synergy Brass Quintet. As founder of the Synergy Brass Quintet, he has been a regular guest on NPR’s The Front Row, performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, The Boston Pops, and Natalie Cole, and has recorded several albums available on the AAR record label. Chris is currently a founding member of the internationally performing and award-winning Alliance Brass. With the Alliance Brass, he has recorded four albums and continues to tour regularly. Beyond the brass quintet genre, Chris performs and records with the award-winning Illumine Trio, a unique ensemble of soprano, trumpet, and harp.
As an advocate for new music, Chris has commissioned several works including Robert Martin’s Four Places in New York for two trumpets, Karl Henning’s The Angel Who Bears a Flaming Sword for solo trumpet, Robert Bradshaw’s Fantasy No. 7: Dancing Embers. He has also commissioned and premiered several works by long-time friend R. Christopher Teichler, including Sonata for Trumpet and Piano and Ballad for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble. He has commissioned and premiered several works for brass by composers such as Richard Cornell, R. Christopher Teichler, Samuel Headrick, and he can also be heard on the premiere recording of Samuel Adler’s
“Transfiguration: An Ecumenical Mass” on the album A Prophecy of Peace. He was also part of the commissioning consortium for Diversify the Stand’s Winds of Change project, a book of 12 progressive solos for trumpet by under-represented composers. In addition to performing, Chris is an avid arranger having arranged and edited over four hundred works for brass quintet, brass and organ, trumpet ensemble, and solo trumpet.
Chris has served on the faculties of the Shenandoah Arts Academy (Winchester, VA), the Boston University Tanglewood Institute (Lenox, MA), The Festival de Musica de Camara (Aguascalientes, Mexico), the International Institute and Festival at Round Top (Round Top, TX), the Brass Department Chairman of the South Shore Conservatory (Hingham, MA), and the Midwest Young Artists Conservatory (Highwood, IL). He currently serves as Trumpet Professor at Concordia University – Chicago, and Elmhurst University where he also serves as Head of Brass. Chris is also a clinician for the Conn-Selmer Company and Denis Wick mouthpieces, mutes, and accessories and has presented countless master classes and clinics at public schools and the world’s finest colleges and universities.
Chris performs exclusively on Bach Trumpets, the Conn Vintage One Flugelhorn, and Denis Wick mouthpieces and mutes. He can be heard on recordings on the Paraclete and AAR labels. His latest solo release, johann sebastian BACH, along with the latest Alliance Brass Quintet album, On Tour, vol.1, and the Illumine Trio’s Amid the Winter Snow can be found on the Rowjack label. His performances have also been broadcast on National Public Radio, NBC, WGN, the Hallmark Channel, and more.