THE SUSAN L. QUINTENZ CHAIR
Thomas Battenberg is one of Central Ohio’s most active and versatile performers. He has played principal trumpet in the ProMusica Chamber Orchestra since the orchestra began in 1979. He retired in 2016 as principal trumpet in the Columbus Symphony Orchestra after playing in the CSO for 50 seasons. He leads his own jazz, Dixieland, and dance bands, is a composer and arranger, and is a frequent soloist in area churches. In 2001 he was featured with the renowned fiddle player, Mark O’Connor, in a trumpet and fiddle duet at the ProMusica Gala concert and he performed as jazz soloist with the Columbus Symphony, playing two of his arrangements and an original composition. He also released a CD titled Just a Closer Walk With Thee, recorded with pianist Ronald Jenkins. It is a collection of familiar hymns and gospel favorites.
Battenberg was a member of the School of Music faculty at The Ohio State University from 1966 until his retirement in, 1992. From 1987 to 1992 he was the Assistant Director of the OSU School of Music. During his twenty-six years on the faculty, he taught trumpet, performed in the Faculty Brass Quintet, taught courses in the Jazz Studies curriculum, and from 1970 to 1990 directed the award-winning and internationally acclaimed OSU Jazz Ensemble. The Jazz Ensemble, under Battenberg’s leadership, made four European tours (1975, 1978, 1981 & 1985), appearing at major international jazz festivals in Montreux, Switzerland and Nice, France, and at the North Sea Jazz Festival in The Hague, Netherlands. The ensemble also performed at the Mexico City International Jazz Festival (1990) and in cities on the east and west coasts of the United States. The band recorded ten albums and won many awards at major US Jazz Festivals and from Down Beat magazine. Battenberg also founded the OSU Faculty Jazz Sextet and The High Street Stompers Dixieland Band.
Battenberg holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree from The Ohio State University (1963) and a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University (1965). Before beginning his teaching and performing career at OSU, Battenberg played in the Phoenix (1963-65) and Dallas (1965-66) Symphonies.