At the age of 19, trombonist Michael Priddyperformed with The Cleveland Orchestra for the first time and continued to perform on occasion in concert as a substitute and extra musician throughout the next three years, once as a recording participant. Mr. Priddy attended the Cleveland Institute of Music from 1994-99. Michael's first full-time job was with the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band located at Langley Air Force Base in Hampton Roads, VA. He performed in the military for four and 1/2 years, playing for over 100,000 people with music ranging from Sousa marches to Glenn Miller style big band shows to modern symphonic band literature and orchestral transcriptions. During his service, Mr. Priddy performed Independence Day concerts in places like Yorktown, VA, and Colonial Williamsburg.
Mr. Priddy left the US Air Force in 2003 to become the bass trombonist of the Quebec Symphony. During his tenure there, the OSQ was directed by Maestro Yoav Talmi, former music director of the San Diego Symphony Orchestra. Aside from the daily work of learning French and playing in the orchestra there, he also taught at the McGill University, Schulick School of Music in Montreal. While in Canada, Michael was a frequent substitute and extra musician with the Montreal Symphony, with whom he performed at Carnegie Hall.
In 2007 Mr. Priddy was invited to audition for the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, an audition which he won. He moved to China and played with the HKPO under the direction of Maestro Edo de Waart for three seasons. Michael took part in two tours of mainland China by the HKPO, traveling to Beijing, Xian and twice to Shanghai. Michael also was busy outside the orchestra, teaching at the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts and also at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, along with having many private students. During his time in Asia, Michael also substituted with the Malaysia Philharmonic in Kuala Lumpur.
Michael Priddy can be heard on numerous recordings including 14 CDs with the USAF Band, a recording of Stokowski transcriptions of Mussorgsky's music with The Cleveland Orchestra, and even on the soundtrack of a 2001 remake of the 1951 gladiator film Quo Vadis. Originally from Elizabethtown, KY, Michael joined the San Diego Symphony Orchestra in January 2011 after winning the bass trombone audition.
GETTING TO KNOW MICHAEL PRIDDY…
Q: What are three of your favorite tunes or pieces in your iPod or mp3 or CD collection?
A: My favorite three right now are: 1) a Cleveland Orchestra recording of Ravel’s Alborado del Gracioso with Christoph von Dohnányi conducting 2) Arnold Schoenberg’s Gurre-Lieder (I have two or three recordings, my favorite piece!) 3) a wonderful recording of Carol Kidd singing some old standards and torch songs.
Q: What are three of your favorite movies?
A: If I had to pick my top three favorite movies, they would be The Coen brothers’ The Hudsucker Proxy, a wonderful 2002 TV movie with Helen Mirren and William H. Macy called Door to Door, and I really like a recent movie from Quebec called C.R.A.Z.Y. (If I could pick another, it would be all of the Star Trek movies, because I'm a huge sci-fi nut!)
Q: What is your favorite travel destination?
A: My favorite travel destination these days is back home to Kentucky! I miss my family a great deal and love spending time at my cabin just piddling around the yard.
Q: Can you name some favorite composers and/or musical periods?
A: I am crazy about both romantic and neo-romantic music! I love Rachmaninoff! Especially his lesser-played pieces like The Isle of the Dead. Simply (and hauntingly) beautiful!
Q: Where might you be found on a Saturday night if the Orchestra is not performing?
A: You would probably find me still playing the trombone with friends. I love to get together and have a drink and play trios and quartets.