Edward Kleinhammer


Chicago Symphony Orchestra 1940-1985

 Born in Chicago in 1919, Edward Kleinhammer started his musical training at age ten on the violin and switched to trombone when he was fourteen. He studied with David Anderson (CSO trombone and bass trombone, 1929–1959) and Edward Geffert (CSO trombone, 1921–1941). He joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago in 1938 and served for two seasons. In 1940 he joined Leopold Stokowski’s All-American Youth Orchestra following a nationwide competition. Later that same year, at the age of twenty-one, at the invitation of Frederick Stock, Kleinhammer joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as trombone and bass trombone.

Kleinhammer’s tenure with the CSO was interrupted by military service in the U.S. Army during World War II, when he served in the 447th Army Air Forces Band from June 1942 until August 1945. His book The Art of Trombone Playing was published by Summy Birchard in 1963, He was also was the inventor and originator of the optional E attachment for bass trombone, manufactured by the Frank Holton Company. Kleinhammer co-authored Mastering the Trombone with Douglas Yeo, a former student and retired bass trombone with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

After forty-five years in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, he played under seven music directors: Fredrick Stock, Désiré Defauw, Artur Rodzinski, Rafael Kubelík, Fritz Reiner, Jean Martinon, and Sir Georg Solti. Mr. Kleinhammer retired in June 1985. He passed away in 2013.