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Adolph "Bud" Herseth

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Adolph "Bud" Herseth was the long-time principal trumpet player of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.


Born in Bertha, Minnesota, his father was a bandleader. He met his wife Avis in the band in the local high school. She remembers listening with rapture to his practicing down the street from her house. Herseth was a mathematics major at Luther College. When asked if he was "from Juilliard," Herseth famously replied, "No, Bertha."

Trumpet skill

He is recognized as one of the finest trumpet players of all time, perhaps exceeded in skill among symphonic trumpet players by only one other, the french Maurice Andre.

In one rehearsal, the director had Herseth play a particularly challenging figure. Herseth played it perfectly each time. After a fair number of repeats, Herseth replied words to the effect, "How many times are we going to do this? I have to weed my garden."


He lived in Oak Park, Illinois, and his presence there led other Chicago Symphony trumpet players to establish their residence there so as to be able to more easily study with Herseth. He and Avis had three children.