Michael Harper joined the National Symphony Orchestra as Assistant Principal Trumpet in July 2022. He was previously a member of the Jacksonville Symphony for five seasons, serving as second trumpet as well as acting principal. While in Florida, he taught at Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida. Harper has performed with the St. Louis Symphony as guest principal, as well as with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Sydney Symphony, and Cleveland Orchestra. He has spent his summers at many music festivals, including Britt, Lakes Area, Tanglewood, Verbier, Interlochen, and NSO Summer Music Institute, where he studied with former NSO principal trumpet Steven Hendrickson. Winner of the CIM concerto competition, Harper performed the Arutiunian Trumpet Concerto with the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) Orchestra and maestro Jahja Ling in 2016. In 2010, Harper was featured on NPR’s From The Top with his trumpet trio, the only such ensemble to ever perform on the show.
Harper earned his BM in Trumpet Performance and in Music Theory at Northwestern University, his MM at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and a Professional Studies Certificate at the Colburn School. His primary teachers were Charlie Geyer, Barbara Butler, Michael Sachs, Michael Miller, and Jim Wilt. While studying at CIM, Harper also earned certificates in Eurhythmics Pedagogy and Early Music Performance and began playing the baroque trumpet. In high school, he studied with NSO trumpeter Tom Cupples. Michael was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and began his musical studies on the bugle at the age of eight, studying with his father.