Joseph Alessi was appointed Principal Trombone of the New York Philharmonic in the spring of 1985. He began musical studies in his native California with his father, Joseph Alessi, Sr. As a high school student in San Rafael, California, he was a soloist with the San Francisco Symphony before continuing his musical training at Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music.
Prior to joining the Philharmonic, Mr. Alessi was second trombone of The Philadelphia Orchestra for four seasons, and principal trombone of L’Orchestre symphonique de Montreal for one season.
Mr. Alessi is an active soloist, recitalist, and chamber music performer. In April 1990 he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing Creston’s Fantasy for Trombone, and in 1992 premiered Christopher Rouse’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Trombone Concerto with the Philharmonic, which commissioned the work for its 150th anniversary celebration. His most recent appearance with the Philharmonic as soloist was in world premiere performances of William Bolcom’s Trombone Concerto in the winter of 2017. Mr. Alessi also has appeared as soloist with the New York Philharmonic in performances of concerti by Kazimierz Serocki, Bramwell Tovey, and William Grant Still. In May of 2023 he will give the NY premiere of the Chick Corea Trombone Concerto.
Joseph is married to Katherine Rife who founded Soup Angels which is a food pantry in Nyack NY where the Alessi’s have lived for over 30 years. His daughter Gianna is an accomplished singer and his son Joseph Jr owns a college prep tutoring business in New Jersey. In his spare time, Mr. Alessi enjoys hiking, golfing and waterskiing. Mr. Alessi has taught at the Juilliard School for over 30 years.