Ko-ichiro Yamamoto, one of the foremost Japanese trombonists of his generation, is the principal trombonist of the Seattle Symphony and the newest member of the Center City Brass Quintet. He was formerly a trombonist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra in New York City for 10 seasons, and also co-principal trombonist of the All-Star Orchestra.
Active as a soloist, recitalist, chamber music performer, and clinician, Yamamoto has performed with a wide variety of ensembles including the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera Chamber Orchestra, and as guest solo principal trombonist of the NHK Symphony Orchestra, Tokyo. Yamamoto has also been guest soloist with orchestras including the Osaka Philharmonic, New Japan Philharmonic Tokyo, Kosei Wind Orchestra Tokyo, Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, Osaka Municipal Symphonic Band (OMSB), U.S. Army Band (Pershing's Own), Eastern Music Festival, Taipei Symphonic Band, Symphonic Winds of Singapore, and the Seattle Symphony Orchestra.
Yamamoto is an active recording artist and has performed on numerous TV and movie recordings in New York and Tokyo. He is a frequent invitee to give recitals and master classes throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. In 2019, Yamamoto was a guest artist and faculty member at the Southeast Trombone Symposium and Vancouver Trombone Week. He has also appeared as a featured soloist at the American Trombone Workshop in Washington, DC, and the International Trombone Festival; as a guest artist and faculty member for the Asian Trombone Seminar in Taiwan, Curuso Internacional Semana Musical de Salseda in Spain, the Eastern Music Festival, and the Hamamatsu Music Academy and Festival in Japan. As a clinician, he has given masterclasses at numerous colleges both in the United States and Asia, including the Eastman School of Music.
Yamamoto has won numerous awards, prizes, and scholarships in Japan and abroad, including fourth place in the International Trombone Association Competition in Australia, the first grand prize of the Japan Wind and Percussion Competition, and the diploma prize at the Prague International Music Competition.
Born in Tokyo, Mr. Yamamoto began studying trombone at age 12 with his father, Tatsuo Yamamoto, and Mr. Yoshiki Hakoyama. After studying at Tokyo College of Music Senior High School, he was accepted at the Franz Liszt Music Academy as a student of Gusztav Hoena and Sztan Tivador. While at the academy, he joined the trombone section of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He subsequently studied at The Juilliard School with Joseph Alessi, principal trombonist of the New York Philharmonic.
Yamamoto is an S.E. Shires performing artist and clinician. His discography includes “Proof,” “Family Tree” (Kosei Publishing), “Trombone Concerto,” and “Ballade” (Octavia Recordings). His newly released book “Ko-herent Warmup Drills and Routines for Trombone— The Ko-rrect Way to Start Each Day” is available at Art of Sound Music. In 2022, Mr. Yamamoto will be the soloist to perform Tan Dun Trombone Concerto (US premiere) with the Seattle Symphony.