Portraits (changed every few month. Older portraits can be found in the Portraitarchive.)
Rob Mattessi is in his final semester as a masters student at Hanns Eisler, having moved from Melbourne, Australia, to build his musical and pedagogic perspectives. After hearing an exciting trumpet player in the class of his eldest brother, Rob told his parents he wanted to begin learning the trumpet. David Melgaard, this first inspiration became Rob’s first teacher. Shortly after, he began playing with a local group, part English brass band, part big band. Rob’s earliest performing memories were of playing in Melbourne parks, with English marches, Latin numbers and big band hits coming one after another.
Rob studied with Tristram Williams at the University of Melbourne. He also gained a Bachelor of Arts with majors in Art History and Literature. It was only natural in this context to come to understand music as a part of a broader artistic and cultural context. Since this time he has strived to find a balance between working towards increasingly demanding levels of musical performance while also remaining aware of what role music plays in today’s culture, and how he hopes to contribute as a musician and teacher. Rob is also a firm believer in the value of musical and creative education for all kids.
During his study, Rob began playing regularly with the Melbourne Symphony and the Australian Opera. He also joined the Australian Youth Orchestra, performing as principal on their 2010 European tour under Sir Mark Elder. Rob was also a member of the training programme of the Sydney Symphony. He completed an exchange semester at the Chicago College of Performing Arts where he studied with Channing Philbrick and Stephen Burns. He obsessed himself with the famous brass sound of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the pedagogical tradition of it’s great figures, Arnold Jacobs and Vincent Chicowicz, having the good fortune to be able to learn with various students of these two great pedagogues. Since living in Berlin, Rob has performed with the Konzerhaus Orchester and in several productions the Deutsche Oper Berlin.
In recent years, Rob has become increasingly interested in contemporary music. The great 20th century works for trumpet of Toru Takemitsu, Giacinto Scelsi, Hans Werner Henze and Antoine Tisne have formed a curiosity of what living composers have to say with the trumpet. He is fascinated by the process of musical realization that takes place with unperformed music, and the cooperation and imagination it requires from both composer and performer. Rob has worked with composition students from Hanns Eisler and UdK in the Zoom Fokus concert series and has performed regularly with the Hann Eisler new music ensemble, Ensemble Echo. In 2015, he took part in the Impuls course for contemporary music in Graz. This April Rob can be heard in "Neue Szenen" in the Deutsche Oper Tischlerei, a project comprised of three chamber opera premiers.
When he’s not working at his trumpet playing, Rob might be found running in the Volkspark Friedrichshain or searching through one of Berlin’s English bookshops. He is an avid fan of opera and has also become involved with Berlin’s scene for free-improvisation. He is very proud of his current group of trumpet students at the Nelson Mandela International Schule and tries to make the best of his short tenure of study at the "Hanns Eisler".