O.J.'s Trumpet Page Artists and personalities

Hans Gansch

Hans Gansch with Nordic Brass Ensemble
Hans Gansch - soloist with Nordic Brass Ensemble, March 2007
Photo: Jørn Simenstad

Hans Gansch was born in 1953 in Kirnberg an der Mank, Austria. At the age of seven, he received his first music instruction from his father Johann Gansch (on the recorder and the small drum). When he was 11, he started playing trumpet in a band lead by his father. He studied trumpet with Professor Franz Veigl at the Anton Bruckner University in Linz.
From 1974 to 1976 he held the position as principal trumpeter with the Brucknerorchester Linz and from 1976 to 1982 he held the same position in the Symphony Orchestra of the Austrian Broadcast. From 1982 to 1996 he was first trumpeter in the Orchestra of the Viennese State Opera and with the Vienna Philharmonic. Since 1996, Hans Gansch has been trumpet professor at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

How to play trumpet
At a masterclass in Oslo, March 2007, Gansch talked about his teaching philosophy.
How to play trumpet is a subjective thing. “I sometimes change my mind about this.” Some very few lucky ones have no problem playing (they have musical talent, good teeth and lips). The great majority of players have to find out how it works for them - they are not so called naturals.
“I had talent for music, but I have problems with my uneven lower teeth”. To compensate for this, he said that as a young player he developed a false embouchure (put his lower lip behind his upper lip to get high notes). Since that time he has been working for almost 40 years to get rid of this bad habit.

The idea is to align the upper and lower teeth and strengthen the lower lip and cheek muscles to resist pressure from the mouthpiece. This will let the upper lip be free to vibrate. He demonstrated the different role of the lips by doing a lip buzz and then putting his finger on the lips. When he put it on the lower lip, the buzz was a bit disturbed, but it continued to sound. When the finger hit the upper lip, the sound stopped immediately.

Pre warm up
First do some strong breathing to get rid of old air. To get ready for playing it is usually smart to do some simple relaxing and focusing exercises away from the instrument. Sit in a comfortable and relaxed position and take in air through the nose. Let it slowly out through the mouth with an open feeling. Repeat and try to let the air out even slower.

To get the whole body more relaxed but focused, you can then do some yoga type exercises where you feel different part of your body. Feel the right thumb – is it getting warmer? Then, feel the left thumb, feel the right toe,
feel the left toe, etc, etc.

Warming up
The warm up starts with some loose flapping with the lips to get the blood flowing. Then he starts with a “favourite tone” in the middle register. He only plays this tone until it is clean. First he concentrate on the start of the tone – try to hit “the bulls eye” (the centre of the pitch). When that is ok, he goes to the “middle” of the tone – try to get it to flow as free as possible.

When this tone is good, keep it in the head and go to other tones. It is important to be patient and not rush on in a warm up. By working on just one tone, you establish a very good foundation for all the playing. A problem for many trumpeters is that the practice is full of mistakes. Stop doing that!  
Next step is short tones. Same procedure here, work until one is clean, then go to other tones.

About trumpet playing
Sometimes we need to put trumpet playing into perspective. Gansch mentioned a few points to think about:

Hans Gansc with two great talents
Hansc Gansc talking to two great young talents, Audun and Lasse
Photo: Jørn Simenstad

In the masterclass, Hans Gansch returned many times to the points he made about the playing basics. Very often he asked the students to avoid doing too much movements when playing jumps, etc. :

Play everything forward in a straight line!

By thinking like that, the player will develop a more economic use of the embouchure.

Solo recordings:

"Trompetenkarneval" (1993)
"Trompetenkonzerte" (1994)
"Da oana Summa" (1999)
"Trompetenmusik des 20. Jahrhunderts" (1999)
"Gansch Meets Höfs" with Matthias Höfs (2006)

o.j. 2007