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William Vacchiano © 2016 Brian A. Shook

Quotes from Colleagues

William Vacchiano, as seen through the eyes of his colleagues

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“Vacchiano was always laid back and easy-going. I can’t remember any time when a conductor said to Bill, ‘Do it this way’ or ‘I’d like it this way.’ It was always right the first time he played it. He had a kind of sixth sense and knew what they wanted and he played it that way. It was never too loud, never too soft, never articulated improperly—it was just right. There was no questioning it.”
(Ranier De Intinis)

“When I joined the Philharmonic in 1948, the brass section was absolutely outstanding. Bill had a very heroic sound and his tone had a lot of colors in it. It was a very wide sound with many facets. He was a very artistic player and a quality performer. He always gave everything there was to give. A great example of his artistry and ability can be heard on the Philharmonic’s recording of the Spring Symphony by Benjamin Britten. There is some extremely difficult writing for two trumpets that is very hair-raising and thrilling. I distinctly remember recording that piece and listening to him play those difficult lines with ease.”
(Stanley Drucker)

“In listening to him play, there was definitely something God-like in what he was expressing—it could only have come from something much bigger than all of us and he was the vehicle for it. That is what it felt like to be in the orchestra and hear some of those moments in his playing. He brought to life the beauty and fulfillment of the composer’s inspiration.”
(Robert Johnson)