Biographical and Newspaper Information


Irvin L. Wagner

Irvin L. Wagner is a positive, enthusiastic conductor who enjoys making good music in all styles.  He is constantly trying to provide musical situations where the public and the members of the orchestra can come together to share a rewarding experience.  He views music not as something to be observed as if in a museum but as something to be felt, experienced, enjoyed and shared.  His constant goal is to have both the members of the orchestra and the audience feel stimulated and fulfilled.

This concept of making music comes naturally for Maestro "Irv" because he grew up singing gospel and country music with his family, played classical solos on his trombone from a very early age, and started playing jazz while still in high school.  These experiences lead him to be involved with audiences of every type, and he always strives to please the listeners and his fellow musicians in every situation.  Is it any wonder that he now is recognized in the nation and the world for his contributions as an "ambassador of good will."

Dr. Wagner has conducted orchestras around the globe.  For example, he has appeared as guest conductor of orchestras from Fort Collins, Colorado to Beijing, China.  One of his most significant appearances was as conductor of the Queensland Symphony Orchestra in Brisbane, Australia in a concert broadcast live over much of the South Pacific; and for several years he conducted the Polychoral Music Festival in Venice, Italy.  Furthermore, he has conducted for famous entertainers such as the Smothers Brothers, Bob Hope, Charlie Pride, The Kingston Trio, The Platters, and Michael Martin Murphy.  Recently, he conducted the premier performances of "Jack," a Broadway Musical based upon the life of John F. Kennedy.

Maestro Wagner started conducting orchestras at an early age as well as playing trombone in them.   He studied conducting at the Eastman School of Music with Howard Hanson, Frederick Fennell, Paul Dudley White, and A. Clyde Roller.  Following his Eastman opportunities he has had close contact with several of the world's great conductors including those that have attained success in the commercial field such as Ray Wright of the Radio City Music Hall and Elliott Lawrence of many television shows.

It is as a trombonists that Irv is probably best known around the world.  He has served as the President of the International Trombone Association, and has traveled to various parts of the world on countless occasions giving concerts and seminars.  He has performed in China, Japan, Australia, Germany, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, and India.  Through a television special about him in China coupled

with a recital on All-India Radio, it has been estimated that he and his trombone have been heard by at least a quarter of the population of the entire world, over one billion listeners.  This ranks him as the "most-heard" trombonist of the world.  In addition he recently gave a concert in Rachmaninoff Hall at the Tschaikovsky Conservatory of Music In Moscow and in Philharmonic Hall in St. Petersburg, Russia.

Recognizing his many accomplishments in 1988 Dr. Wagner was named "Oklahoma Musician of the Year" by the Federated Music Clubs of Oklahoma and the Governor, and he holds the titles of "David Ross Boyd Professor of Music" and "Regents Professor" which are both distinguished professorships at the University of Oklahoma.

Irv  obtained a bachelors degree from McPherson College in Kansas and masters and Doctors degrees from the Eastman School of Music.  He has been a member of the Wichita Symphony Orchestra, the Baton Rouge Symphony Orchestra, and is currently a member of the Oklahoma City Philharmonic Orchestra.


Alto Trombone questions from Mark Davey and Richard Shirley in Wellington, New Zealand, answered by Dr. Wagner

Three minute video history of the trombone with Irv Wagner on

Six minute video with members of the OU Trombone Choir performing "Ricer Car" on

University of Oklahoma Trombone Choir Myspace site. Listen to the various works they have performed! MySpace

More Links

- Viento Sur
- Rodger Fox
- Trombonanza
- OU School of Music
- International Trombone Association
- Online Trombone Journal
- OU Bands
- OU Symphony Orchestra

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 Copyright 2011 Irv Wagner.