June 2023 Winner: Joshua Kucharski
This issue’s featured young artist award winner is Joshua Kucharski, an eighteen-year-old trumpet player from Baltimore, Maryland. Josh just finished his freshman year of college at the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University where he is majoring in trumpet performance. Prior to attending Peabody, he participated in the Julliard Pre-College program for four years and attended DeMatha Catholic High School in Hyattsville, MD. While attending high school, Josh performed in DeMatha’s wind ensemble and jazz ensemble for all four years and participated in several Julliard Pre-College groups including brass quintet, brass ensemble and both orchestras. During his senior year he was principal trumpet in the pre-college orchestra and principal trumpet for the Maryland All-State Orchestra. He also performed Mahler’s Symphony no. 5 throughout Europe with Daniel Harding conducting Carnegie Hall’s National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) during the summer of 2022.
An active competitor, Josh was awarded first prize in the Concert Artists International Competition and in 2019 he was first prize winner in the NTC junior division and also second place in the ITG junior solo competition. In 2020 he was first prize and grand prize winner in both the Bellegrande International Competition and the YMIC Metropolitan Festival. In 2022 he earned second place in the Ross-Roberts Friday Morning Music Club competition for Woodwinds, Brass, and Percussion, was awarded first prize in the International Grande Music Competition and the Charleston International Music Competition, and was selected as one of the grand prize winners in the 2021 International Young Artists Competition from The National League of Performing Arts, Inc.
In high school, Josh studied with Kevin Cobb for two years followed by Ray Mase for two years and he is now a student of William Gerlach at Peabody. According to Ray Mase, “Josh is an outstanding young trumpeter and musician in every respect. His commitment to the Juilliard Pre-College program was incredible—faithfully making the trip up to New York City from Baltimore every Saturday for four years.” Josh’s first private trumpet teacher was his dad, David Kucharski, who is a trumpeter with the United States Air Force Ceremonial Brass. He is very thankful for the support and encouragement of his parents. Since both of his parents are professional musicians, they are very supportive of him and understand the lifestyle and commitment necessary for success. In particular he is grateful that they enrolled him in piano lessons and piano competitions when he was six-years-old as he learned a lot about performing and coping with nerves at a young age. Josh is also an avid tennis player who has been playing since he was in the first grade. In addition to loving the sport, he finds that there is a lot of carryover between the mental skills of tennis to the mental skills of performing trumpet. He also loves watching sports such as his favorite basketball team the Los Angeles Lakers and Formula 1 racing by Louis Hamilton.
Josh would love to perform in an orchestra for a living some day and some of his favorite trumpeters to listen to are Phil Smith, Michael Sachs, Mattias Hoffs and Sergei Nakariakov. He had the pleasure of taking a few lessons with Mr. Nakariakov which was very inspiring for him. As the June 2023 ITG Young Artist Award winner, he will receive a one-year complimentary membership to ITG. Congratulations Joshua!