Esteban Batallán has been appointed as the new principal trumpet of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Zell Music Director Riccardo Muti announced Sept. 26. He will hold the Adolph Herseth Principal Chair, endowed by an anonymous benefactor in honor of the CSO’s legendary first trumpet.
Coincidentally, Batallán has long admired Herseth, who held his CSO principal post from 1948 to 2001, and admits that his childhood dream was to follow in Herseth’s footsteps. “I always dreamed of playing in the Chicago Symphony,” Batallán said in an April interview with the site trumpetland.com. “Now that I’ve had the opportunity, I do not want to stop doing it. It’s just too wonderful.”
A native of Barro, Spain, Batallán completed the final phase of the audition process, which included a trial period with Muti and the CSO this month. He officially takes up his post Sept. 30, pending the completion of contract details. Previously the principal trumpet of the Hong Kong Philharmonic, Batallán performed with the CSO and Muti in subscription concerts of Rossini’s Stabat mater in June 2018, Verdi’s Requiem last November and Verdi’s Aida in June. He joined the CSO for the Tokyo concerts of its Asian tour last winter and on the orchestra’s Florida tour in February.
Other posts include guest principal trumpet of the Teatro alla Scala and Filarmonica della Scala from 2015 to 2018, and the same post at the Royal Orchestra of Seville from 2010 to 2014. Batallán studied at the Conservatory of Music in Pontevedra, Conservatory of Music of Vigo and the School of Musical Studies of Galicia. In 2002, he was named principal trumpet of the Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, a position that he held until September 2018. As soloist, he has played with Ensemble Orchestral of Paris, Orchestra of Radio Spanish Television, Gstaad Festival Orchestra, Orchestra of Cordoba, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Orquesta Ciudad de Granada, Geneva Camerata, Concerto Grosso Frankfurt, National Youth Orchestra of Spain, Philharmonic Orchestra of Pontevedra, Symphony Orchestra of India, among others, and has performed under distinguished maestros such as Riccardo Chailly, Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta and Jaap van Zweden.
TOP: Esteban Batallán. | Photo courtesy of the Hong Kong Philharmonic
VIDEO: Batallán performs the third movement of Haydn’s Trumpet Concerto with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, conducted by Jaap van Zweden.