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John Kitzman

Adjunct Professor, Trombone

John Kitzman performed as principal trombonist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra from 1972 to 2015. He graduated with honors from the University of Michigan in 1968 with a B.Mus. in Wind Instruments. There, as well as in high school, he studied with Glenn Smith. Kitzman played in the Michigan Band under William D. Revelli, which toured much of the country and recorded on Vanguard Records. He also played in the orchestra, jazz band and many other ensembles, including the Michigan Marching Band.

Kitzman started playing trombone in the fourth grade under the guidance of his father, Richard Kitzman, who was the high school band director in Watseka, Ill. He attended Interlochen Music Camp in 1960, where he met conductor Henry Charles Smith, with whom he intermittently studied during the next eight years. During that time, Kitzman also studied with Allan Chase, who was then principal trombonist of the Detroit Symphony.

Kitzman played two summers in the Detroit Concert Band under Leonard B. Smith, and in 1968 was a fellowship student at the Tanglewood Music Festival. Kitzman, Milt Stevens and Francis Hunt shared the Spaulding Award as the Outstanding Instrumentalists of that summer.

The following spring, Kitzman entered the military. He spent three years in the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. There he studied with Edward Herman, principal trombone of the New York Philharmonic, and Per Brevig, principal trombone of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Upon leaving the service he joined the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

In 1974, Kitzman joined the faculty of Southern Methodist University. His studio, which typically has between seven and 10 students in both undergraduate and graduate levels, has a strong orchestral orientation with an emphasis on the basics of playing, breathing, tone production, technical development and clef studies in the first semesters. From there, students progress through a series of étude materials, orchestral excerpts and solos. Most of his students prepare for careers in performance; alumni have gone on to become members of numerous symphonies and groups, including U.S. Air Force Band, Kennedy Center Orchestra, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Montreal Symphony. (Click on the expandable list below to see examples of alumni successes from the Kitzman studio.)

He is an active clinician and has toured with the Summit Brass Ensemble. In 1988, he was a member of the World Philharmonic Orchestra in Tokyo.

Kitzman has performed on numerous recordings, including the solo recording Trombone Classics, (Crystal Records CD386, 1998) and multiple recordings with the Dallas Symphony, including Mussorgsky/Ravel: Pictures at an Exhibition, conducted by Eduardo Mata (RCA, 1983); and Beethoven: Symphonies Nos. 5 & 7, conducted by Jaap van Zweden (2008), among many others.

Kitzman and his wife Diane, a Dallas Symphony violinist, have two children, John and Heather. Kitzman enjoys participating in his favorite non-musical pastime, golf.

Examples of alumni successes from the Kitzman studio »

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