Artist Spotlight: Abbie Conant

The International Trombone Festival is excited to announce that Abbie Conant, Professor of Trombone at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik Trossingen (Germany), has joined the roster of artists for 2018!  Abbie is well-known to trombonists around the world for her expressive and brilliant playing, cutting-edge performance art, and strong advocacy of female and minority musicians. 


Abbie has traveled the globe as a trombone soloist, frequently performing the works of her husband, composer William Osborne.  Together, Abbie and Bill have pioneered an entirely new artistic language for the trombone, as their theatrical works have explored and transcended the tonal and creative boundaries of brass-playing.

For the 2018 ITF, Abbie will reprise Miriam, one of the signature works of the Conant/Osborne collaborations.  A deeply moving reaction to the heinous discrimination Conant experienced during her tenure as Solo Trombonist with the Munich Philharmonic (learn more here: “You Sound like a Ladies Orchestra!”), Miriam is a meditation on the spiritual, psychological, and physical damage caused by oppression, particularly as it is experienced by women.  Exploring a manic array of emotions, from tenderness and confusion, to fear and anger, the eponymous character at the center of the story struggles to find her sense of self amid the unrealistic and demanding expectations of others.  Miriam looks for meaning in her experiences, and strives to create art – beauty – out of the pain she is experiencing.


Miriam is a staged, theatrical work for trombone, soprano, spoken word, pantomime, and computer-controlled piano.  


You can learn more about Abbie and Bill here:

Listen to Abbie’s ethereal performance of Osborne’s Pond in the video below. In addition to the gorgeous melodic playing, there are some very cool performance techniques to check out (hint: the valve slide has been removed)!

See you in Iowa City!