Lyn and George M. Ross Chair
Praised by the Philadelphia Inquirer as having “a sound as clear and sure as it [is] luxurious,” Carol Jantsch has been principal tuba of The Philadelphia Orchestra since 2006. She won the position during her senior year at the University of Michigan, becoming the first female tuba player in a major symphony orchestra.
In addition to her duties in The Philadelphia Orchestra, Ms. Jantsch is a renowned tuba soloist. She gives solo recitals regularly and has appeared as a concerto soloist with various ensembles, including The Philadelphia Orchestra, the Columbus Symphony, the St. Petersburg Symphony in Russia, the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra, and the United States Marine Band. She regularly commissions new work for the tuba, and two major concertos were written for her as soloist: Reflections on the Mississippi (2013) by Grammy Award-winning composer Michael Daugherty and the Tuba Concerto (2021) by the Pulitzer-winning jazz legend Wynton Marsalis.
Ms. Jantsch is in increasing demand as a teacher worldwide, having given master classes in Europe, Asia, and North America. She enjoys working with young musicians, and she has been a featured artist at various brass festivals in Finland, Germany, Canada, and the United States. She is on the faculties of the Yale University School of Music and Temple University’s Boyer College of Music.
Ms. Jantsch is an advocate for music education in her community. In 2018 she founded Tubas for Good, a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides instruments for students in the Philadelphia School District. She coaches music students from the district both through Tubas for Good and The Philadelphia Orchestra’s All City Fellowship program. Since 2017 she has hosted an annual Tuba/Euphonium PlayIN, a free community event where players of all ages and skill levels are invited to perform as a mass tuba ensemble on the stage of Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center.
Ms. Jantsch enjoys interacting with audiences in a very different way than her orchestra role as a member of Tubular, a tuba cover band that performs at bars and events. Comprised of tubas, euphoniums, drums, and vocals, Tubular is committed to presenting pop and rock music in a fun and engaging way, while guilefully stretching people’s notions of the capabilities of low brass instruments. As the chief arranger of Tubular, she revels in the challenge of adapting music from ABBA to Led Zeppelin for this unique setting.
During the pandemic Ms. Jantsch launched a series of interviews called Rising Stars Podcast with brass players from underrepresented demographics. Her guests share their stories and career paths, and discuss relevant topics to the music world such as racial and gender bias, mental health, playing injuries, and how to be a good colleague.
Raised in a musical family, Ms. Jantsch began piano lessons at age six and began studying euphonium at the Interlochen Arts Camp at age nine. After switching to tuba, she attended the prestigious arts boarding high school Interlochen Arts Academy, graduating as salutatorian of her class. She continued her studies at the University of Michigan under the tutelage of Fritz Kaenzig. After winning her position with The Philadelphia Orchestra in February 2006, she returned to Michigan to complete her Bachelor of Music degree, graduating with highest honors.
Ms. Jantsch can be heard on numerous Philadelphia Orchestra recordings, including the 2010 release of Ewald Quintets Nos. 1 and 3 with fellow Philadelphia Orchestra principal brass. She has released two solo recordings, Cascades (2009) and Powerhouse (2020), and the Tubular album There’s No Going Back in 2020.
Ms. Jantsch is a Yamaha Performing Artist. She plays a Yamaha YFB-822 F tuba, a YFB-826 “Yamayork” CC tuba, and a PT-6 CC tuba.
Photo by Rob Shanahan