Giuliano Sommerhalder is a laureate of some of the world's most prestigious international competitions, and has formerly served as the principal trumpet at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam.
Today, he serves as principal trumpet with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra under Yannick Nézet-Séguin and is active worldwide as a teacher and as a soloist on modern and historical instruments.
In 2003, a year before completing his schooling, he carried off the second prize at the renowned international music competition of the ARD broadcasting network in Munich and was the joint winner of the Maurice André competition in Paris, after having won other important contests, such as the Prague Spring Festival (2003), the Timofei Dokschitzer Competition in Vilnius (2002), the Concertino Praga (2001) and the Tchaikovsky Conservatory Competition in Moscow (1997). In addition, he was awarded European Culture Prizes in Munich in 1999 and in Berlin in 2002. In 2008 he was appointed BBC Radio 3 New Generation Artist.
Giuliano Sommerhalder studied with Pierluigi Salvi at the Conservatorio "Giuseppe Verdi" in Como and with Max Sommerhalder at the Detmold Hochschule of Music. He also gleaned important stimulus from Maurice André, Eric Aubier, Stephen Burns, Edward Carroll, Hans Gansch, Pierre Thibaud, James Thompson and others. He played in Claudio Abbado's Orchestra Mozart in Bologna in 2004, was chosen by Lorin Maazel as principal trumpet player for his Orquestra de la Comunitat Valenciana, and has been principal trumpet in the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra under Riccardo Chailly from 2006 until 2011, the year in which he moved to the same position at the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra Amsterdam under Mariss Jansons, where he remained until 2013.
Since 2016 he is Principal Trumpet at the Rotterdam Philharmonic under Yannick Nézet-Séguin.
He has been a member of the Italian Wonderbrass quintet since 2006.
As a soloist on both modern and historical instruments, Giuliano Sommerhalder has appeared throughout Europe, in North and South America, Asia, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. He performed in Bach's Second Brandenburg Concerto at the Vienna Musikverein, the Leipzig Gewandhaus and the Cologne Philharmonie, and appeared as a soloist in other prestigious venues such as the Berlin Philharmonie, the Wigmore Hall in London, the Lucerne Festival, and the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, with all symphonic orchestras of the BBC, with the NDR Symphony in Hamburg, the Indianapolis Symphony, the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester of Berlin, the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, the NDR Philharmonic in Hanover, the Melbourne Symphony, the Zurich Chamber Orchestra, the Munich Chamber Orchestra, the Lithuanian Chamber Orchestra, the Moscow Soloists, the Kammerorchester Basel, the MDR Symphony in Leipzig, the orchestras of the Czech and Polish radio corporations, and recently with Rome's Santa Cecilia National Symphony Orchestra in Shostakovich's Concerto for Piano, Trumpet and Strings with Martha Argerich as a soloist.
Giuliano Sommerhalder's discography includes three solo albums:
- "Romantic Virtuosity", a collection of masterpieces by German-Russian composers;
- "Amilcare Ponchielli - Concertos" , dedicated to the Italian opera composer Amilcare Ponchielli (1834-1886) and distinguished with an ECHO-Klassik Music Prize;
- “Vladimir Peskin – Complete Trumpet Music” with the late romantic composer's virtuosic compositions for trumpet and piano (with pianist Kasia Wieczorek).
On baroque trumpet, he has recorded Johann Friedrich Fasch's Trumpet Concerto with the Kammerorchester Basel. He is also featured in four albums of the Gewandhaus Orchestra, performing J.S. Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2 and the Christmas Oratorio, among others.