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Remembering Adolph “Bud ” Herseth

Adolph "Bud" Herseth (July 25, 1921 - April 13, 2013)

Adolph "Bud" Herseth (July 25, 1921 - April 13, 2013)

“Nuance, sempre espressivo, sempre cantabile – that’s Bud”
–Michael Mulcahy, CSO Brass Section

WFMT and music-lovers around the world mourn the loss of Adolph “Bud” Herseth, who died Saturday at his home in Oak Park. “Chime In” with your remembrances of Bud’s remarkable 56 years soaring above the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

  • Noel Morris

    How about bud playing the brandenburg #2? Does anyone remember the friday matinee when he repeated the third movement? Solti was conducting, and the first work on the program was B #2. Herseth delivered his usual flawless performance. Solti bowed, bud bowed, solti left the stage. The applause was deafening. Solti returned, whispered something to Bud, turned to the orchestra, raised his baton, and they repeated movement three….a second flawless performance by Bud, not more than two to three minutes after completing the first. R.I.P and profound thanks for so many outstanding performances.


  • Richard Ball

    Why are we hearing so much trumpet music that is not Bud’s? Please give a our proper share.

    –Rich Ball

  • Michael Miller, M.D.

    I have fond memories of going to CSO concerts in the late 1960s and marveling at how Herseth stood out above an orchestra filled with stand out players. From my balcony seat, I could always tell visually when he had a solo that would soar above the entire orchestra’s fortissimo: his entire face turned bright red for the length of the solo. One night I told my date exactly when to look, during Shostakovich’s 5th. Herseth’s face turned red a lot, and I have never heard a better trumpet interpretation of that part. Tonight, my wife and I are are appreciating Don Tate’s fine tribute, and we think back to our date all those years ago, when I introduced my artst wife to my love of the CSO – and of Herseth.

  • Karl Bruhn

    I am an old WFMT fan, and a member of the dollar a day club–and Carl’s breakfast club. Your tribute to Bud was stunning. I had tears in my eyes when hearing the stories and his playing. I have a suggestion: If possible could you put the program on CD not only for us Bud fans, but also for future generations of young trumpet players? College kids and professional trumpet players for generations should and will be talking about Bud. I think it would be a great memorial if the program you just played could be put on a CD, but I have no idea about copyrights, etc. Also, it would be a great fund raiser for you pledge drive. Anyway, your program was great.

    I grew up in Oak Park, and Bud’s son was a classmate of mine at Oak Park High. When in HS Bud used to give to some of us neighbor kids tickets to CSO concerts. Those were my first trips to the CSO.

    A quick question. Did Bud pass away in Kenilworth or in Oak Park on Kenilworth Avenue where he lived for many years after he retired? Just curious. Keep up your great work, and thanks for the tribute.

    Karl Bruhn

  • Peter Herr

    I remember Easter sunrise service at United Lutheran in Oak Park. A hushed congregation awaited the opening of the service from the back of the church when Bud’s solo trumpet played Handel’s The Trumpet Shall Sound.
    Later Bud would head up our brass quartet of high school musicians – my classmate on 2nd trumpet, me on trombone, and Steve Herseth on horn -to accompany some hymns or occasionally the choir. Later we would join in the Daniel Pinkham Christmas Cantata with Peggy Fox, 1st cornet with the Northshore Concert Band, playing second to Bud.
    Lots of wonderful memories. And what a thrill for a high school kid to be able to play alongside his idol. Bud, I will miss you very, very much.
    Avis, we are thinking of you daily in this difficult time.
    Peter Herr

  • Richard Valentino

    Remembering Adolph “Bud” Herseth.

    I don’t think of myself as having an overdeveloped ego: one reason is I have nothing, no outstanding accomplishments, to support one. But I have one “accomplishment” I am extremely proud of, which
    is: I (along with a very good friend of mine and what I believed was a full house at the old pavilion at Ravinia), was able to attend a Chicago Symphony Orchestra concert on (or about) June 18, 1948 to hear the orchestra play an afternoon concert consisting of two major symphonies: Symphony; intermission; symphony. What excited my friend and me was: We were about to hear the new CSO for the first time.
    I learned his approximate age and where he was from and who his teacher was from my friend, whose older brother played second trumpet next to Herseth for 22 years, starting in the early fifties.

    With that in mind, and with the “permission” of Chime In, I will attempt, starting on about June 2, 2013,
    to post on Chime In a description of Adolph Herseth’s first concert with The Chicago Symphony Orchestra. The concert was at Ravinia Park, and I believe It was the first Summer, 1948 CSO concert there that year. I have kept no program, no notes. But, because of the excitement generated by the possibility of getting a young, possibly world class, trumpet player in the Chicago Symphony, the concert became very memorable…

    • Richard Valentino

      Anyone reading the above Chime In entry would be helped considerably if he/she would insert
      “… young, first trumpet…” between “We were about to hear the new CSO…” and “for the first time.” This egregious mistake occurs near the end of the sixth line of paragraph one.

      The REASON FOR the OMISSION/EXCUSE: Since I remember typing the words modifying “CSO’ in that sentence, the omission probably occurred while I was moving, adjusting, words in the related sentence on the computer.