Warren Deck (b. 1954)

Biography

Warren Deck (b. 1954) was Principal Tubist of the New York Philharmonic for 23 years from 1979 – 2002.  From 1977 – 1979, he held the position of Principal Tuba with the Houston Symphony.  In 1989, he made his solo debut with the New York Philharmonic, performing the world premiere of Roger Kellaway’s Songs of Ascent for Tuba and Orchestra.  It was commissioned by the York Philharmonic for Mr. Deck and conducted by Zubin Mehta.  

Mr. Deck has made numerous orchestral recordings under the leadership of such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Zubin Mehta, and Kurt Masur, as well as four recordings with The Canadian Brass for Sony Classical and Phillips labels.  He can also be heard on film sound tracks such as Cape Fear, Punchline, Doc Hollywood and Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of Balance).  In 1993, Mr. Deck collaborated with five other leading tuba players from Germany and the U.S. on the highly acclaimed Tuba! A Musical Romp, recorded on EMI.

Mr. Deck first encountered the tuba at age nine in the Denver, Colorado public school system.  At the age of twelve, his family moved to Ann Arbor, Michigan and during the summer, he received musical training at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan.  He went on to attend the University of Michigan to study with Abe Torchinsky, former Principal Tubist with the Philadelphia Orchestra.  He played in the Grand Rapids Symphony and spent four summers as a student and Scholarship Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado from 1972 – 1976.   In 1976, Warren left the Grand Rapids Symphony to move to New York City to become a freelance musician.  Freelancing was supported by a job repairing brass instruments at Giardinelli’s Music Store in Manhattan.  Eight months later, he won the audition for the Houston Symphony.
 
As a teacher and member of The Juilliard School faculty from 1989 – 2002, Mr. Deck has coached a number of musicians who now hold principal positions in orchestras both nationally and internationally.  Prior to teaching at Juilliard, he was the Tuba Instructor at the Shepherd School at Rice University in Houston, Texas.   Mr. Deck has traveled as a clinician to many regions of the world.  He has conducted numerous master classes for aspiring professional musicians in places including the former Soviet Union, Japan, China, South America and throughout the United States.

With the knowledge gained from his time working as a brass repairman, he began collaboration in the mid eighties with Gerhard Meinl to design and build tubas for the Meinl-Weston Company.  The result of that collaboration is three models of tubas currently being sold.

Mr. Deck joined the faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School where he has taught since 2002.  In 2004, at the invitation of tuba teacher Kathy Brantigan, Warren joined Kathy on the faculty at the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver, a position he presently enjoys.   Warren is engaged in other professional activities, including work as a tonemeister/producer for recordings of both solo and ensembles in a wide variety of genres.  He is an assistant conductor and coach for a Denver area youth orchestra and is a frequent conductor for the Denver Brass, a regularly performing brass ensemble.

-Kathy Brantigan

Warren Deck with the Houston Symphony Trombone Section on Orchestral Excerpts


Fountains of Rome - Warren Deck Special