Classical Trumpeter Mary Elizabeth Bowden has built an in-demand career as a soloist, praised for her “splendid, brilliant” playing (Gramophone Magazine) and her “pure, refined, and warm” tone (American Record Guide). A Gold Medal Global Music Award Winner, Opus Klassik Nominee, and Yamaha Performing Artist, she has also worked to establish a new repertoire for the trumpet through creative, collaborative commissioning projects and award-winning albums.
Her upcoming season includes no fewer than four world premiere concertos, including Clarice Assad’s new Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, Jennifer Jolley's Concerto for Brass Quintet with Seraph Brass and the Texas Tech University Wind Ensemble, Anthony DiLorenzo’s Chimera: Concerto for Brass Quintet and Wind Ensemble with the U.S. Army "Pershing's Own", Reena Esmail's Rosa de Sal for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, and Tyson Davis's Veiled Light with the Chamber Orchestra of the Triangle, which will be performed alongside her husband, trumpeter David Dash. Additional concerto performances include the Haydn Concerto with the Busan Maru International Music Festival Orchestra (Korea), Vivian Fung's Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Philharmonia Northwest (Seattle), San Jose Chamber Orchestra, and Waynesboro Symphony (VA), and Anthony DiLorenzo's Chimera with Seraph Brass and the Florence Symphony (SC). Bowden will also have residencies with the World and European Brass Association in Courances, France; Guadalajara and Cancun, Mexico; and will be a Guest Artist at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival and Marlboro Music Festival.
Recent highlights include the premiere of Vivian Fung’s Concerto for Trumpet and Orchestra with the Erie Philharmonic, the Spanish premiere of James MacMillan’s Seraph with the Orquesta Filarmónica de Gran Canaria, her debut with Santa Fe Symphony, her Turkish debut with the Izmir State Symphonic Orchestra, her German debut in Eisenach at the Wartburg Castle, and her French debut at the Château de Courances, both through the World and European Brass Association. She also made her Russian debut with a performance in Sochi with famed trumpeter Otto Sauter’s handpicked “10 of the Best” trumpet soloists from around the world.
Mary has performed as a soloist across the U.S., including with the Erie Philharmonic, Evansville Philharmonic, Peninsula Symphony (California), Chameleon Arts Ensemble (Boston), Springfield Symphony (both in Missouri and Ohio), Richmond Philharmonic Orchestra, San Juan Symphony, and at Montana’s Big Sky Festival, among many others. International soloist performances include China’s Hunan Symphony Orchestra, Croatian Army Wind Band at the Velika Gorica Brass Festival, Lieksa Brass Week in Finland, and The Banff Center in Canada. Mary has collaborated in chamber music programs at the Marlboro Music Festival, Lakes Area Music Festival, the Banff Centre, and at the Sydney Opera House (under the baton of Håkan Hardenberger).
An engaging orchestral musician, Mary is currently Principal Trumpet of the Artosphere Festival Orchestra, a member of the Iris Orchestra and Richmond Symphony Orchestra, and has served as Principal Trumpet of the Sarasota Opera Orchestra, Lakes Area Music Festival Orchestra, New Zealand’s Auckland Philharmonia, the Daejeon Philharmonic in Korea, with Seraphic Fire’s Firebird Chamber Orchestra, and the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland.
Mary has released two acclaimed recordings on Summit Records: her debut album, Radiance (featuring new American works), and her second solo album, Rêverie with the Kassia Ensemble. Rêverie was featured as one of the Top Albums of the Year for the Global Music Awards and on Textura Magazine’s Top Ten Classical Albums of the Year. In the coming season, Mary will release her third album, on Cedille Records, which will be her first with full orchestra and will feature a program of newly commissioned works.
Among her many creative projects, Mary is a founding member and artistic leader of both Seraph Brass and the Chrysalis Chamber Players. Seraph Brass, an ensemble of America’s top female brass players that was awarded the 2019 American Prize in Chamber Music, has performed at the International Trumpet Guild Conference, Busan Maru Music Festival in South Korea, the International Women’s Brass Conference, and the Lieksa Brass Week in Finland. The group’s debut album, Asteria, released on Summit Records, won the Silver Medal Global Music Award, and they performed on part of singer Adele’s 2016 North American tour. Mary also frequently performs as a soloist with the Kassia Ensemble and in recital both in solo programs and as the Dash Duo with her husband, trumpeter David Dash.
Accolades include the Gold Medal Global Music Award, the First Prize of the International Women’s Brass Conference Trumpet Competition, 2nd Prize of the 2019 American Prize in Instrumental Performance, and a nomination for the Opus Klassik awards in 2020.
Mary earned her Bachelor of Music degree from The Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with the principal trumpeter of the Philadelphia Orchestra, David Bilger. She was awarded her Master of Music degree in 2006 from the Yale School of Music where she studied on a full scholarship with trumpeter Allan Dean. Mary is currently Assistant Professor of Trumpet at Shenandoah Conservatory.