Elegy for Mippy II
Professor Jacques Mauger, and student Kaitai Li work on the Elegy for Mippy II by American composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein. The piece was written in homage to Bernstein’s brother’s dog, Mippy. Heavily influenced by jazz, musicians are invited to take some liberties in the way they choose to interpret the work.
Evoking a dog’s promenade, almost cartoonish in nature, trombonists are inclined to tap their feet to the rhythm of the music. Mauger discusses respiration, intonation, and posture.
Interpreting the piece with some creative license.
Creating a soft and round sound.
Maintaining a stable posture.
Staying in rhythm.
Evoking the context of this piece.
This piece is one of three elegies for brass written by American composer Leonard Bernstein in the spring of 1959. It was dedicated to his brother’s mongrel dog and premiered at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This elegy is for solo trombone and is a very jazz-inspired piece. It features a wide variety of technical aspects and is usually used by students or aspiring professionals to showcase their talent.
Bernstein wrote many compositions for films, including the famous musical West Side Story.
Aim for excellence! You can improve your skills with expert advice. Download the annotated sheet music of this trombone masterclass. Please note that this piece has been annotated in accordance to Jacques Mauger’s feedback and comments.
A prize-winner at international competitions at Markneukirchen and at Toulon.
Jacques Mauger was born in Normandy, France, and studied the trombone at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris. A prize-winner at international competitions in Markneukirchen and Toulon, he started his professional career as First Trombone with the Nice Philarmonic Orchestra, followed by a position as a solo trombonist for the Paris Opera Orchestra.
Since 1990, he has been a concert artist, appearing as a soloist with ensembles, symphony orchestras, and brass and concert bands. He has recorded over 30 CDs featuring his solo works.
Jacques Mauger teaches at the Conservatoire à Rayonnement Régional in Paris and at the HEMU in Switzerland. Moreover, he is a guest professor at the Senzoku Gaquen University of Tokyo, Japan. He frequently gives masterclass in numerous countries: France, UK, Japan, Korea, China, Spain, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, the United States, and South America. In 2007, his collection of studies for trombone (in collaboration with Jean Michel Defaye) were published.
A true Ambassador of the French school and its repertoire, he regularly presents masterclasses all over the world to cultivate the careers of future soloists. Jacques Mauger is the new president of the “Association des Trombonistes Français” and president of the International Trombone Association since 2020.
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990) was an American conductor and composer. His father did not approve of him pursuing a musical career, but Bernstein found ways to pay for piano lessons himself throughout his childhood. He attended Harvard University, where he studied with pianist Heinrich Gebhard and composer Walter Piston, and later studied at Curtis Institute of Music under Fritz Reiner. He was a student at the first summer season of the Berkshire Music Festival, where he worked with Serge Koussevitsky, who would become an important mentor.
In 1943, Bernstein was appointed assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic. Immediately attracting success in this role, he held the position for only a year before gaining traction as a guest conductor across America and abroad. He also served as the conductor of the New York City Symphony and assistant conductor at Tanglewood, where he would eventually take over as director. In 1958, Bernstein became the youngest music director of the New York Philharmonic, where he served until 1969, though he continued to conduct and record with the orchestra for the rest of his life. He also frequently conducted the Israel Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, and Metropolitan Opera.
Bernstein was also an active composer, first rising to prominence with the premieres of his first symphony, “Jeremiah,” and the ballet Fancy Free, a collaboration with choreographer Jerome Robbins. The two continued a fruitful relationship, turning Fancy Free into the popular musical On the Town, and culminating in the production of the famous West Side Story (1957). In addition to his success on Broadway, Bernstein also composed several other orchestral works, including two more symphonies, a one-act opera, and the film score to On the Waterfront.
Bernstein was also an avid educator. His Emmy-winning Young People’s Concerts had a profound influence on the youth of America, particularly future musicians. He also established educational programs for young musicians, including the Pacific Music Festival, a training program in Japan. He was a staunch supporter of American music and composers, and also played a role in popularizing composers such as Mahler in America. Bernstein died in 1990 after a diverse and incredible career. There is perhaps no singular person who has had more of an impact on twentieth century American classical music.