Free concert celebrating renowned, Chicago-based brass musician Jim Mattern

  • Jim (James) Mattern spent the majority of his career in Chicago arranging, composing, and performing brass music. friend of Jim Mattern

    Jim (James) Mattern spent the majority of his career in Chicago arranging, composing, and performing brass music. friend of Jim Mattern

Updated 8/3/2022 1:21 PM

Open to the public, fans of exquisite musicianship are invited to join for fun and celebration with renowned, now retired, brass musician Jim (James) Mattern at a concert in honor of his music career on Friday, August 26 at 7:30 p.m. in Lampe Recital Hall, Alverno College, Milwaukee. Mattern spent the majority of his music career based in Chicago which included regular performances with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Chicago Symphony, the Nutcracker Ballet, as well as performances alongside the likes of Liberace, Mickey Rooney, Luciano Pavarotti, and John Denver.

The program for the evening, which will be emceed by Mattern himself, will feature a variety of his compositions and arrangements performed by a quintet of the internationally acclaimed, Chicago-based Millar Brass Ensemble. Attendees, which will include Mattern's friends, family, and former colleagues and students, are welcome to arrive early to mingle, enjoy the concert, and stay for a reception to follow.


Mattern is most widely known for his award-winning composition Sonata Breve for Brass Quintet, which has been sought and performed by brass musicians around the world since its composition in 1960. From his student apartment near Northwestern University in 1965, Mattern founded the Chicago Brass Quintet (CBQ), which quickly rose to popularity and toured around the world. The group maintains a dedicated following and impressive performance schedule today. In founding the CBQ and composing and arranging an abundance of music for the brass quintet medium, Mattern was an early pioneer and ground-breaker of the brass quintet as a modern genre, helping to bring brass chamber music into popular fashion.

"Jim's skill at arranging classical music into the modern brass quintet genre is unparalleled," said Matthew Lee, a current member of both the popular CBQ and the Millar Brass Ensemble. "He provided the most impressive repertoire for the Chicago Brass Quintet for decades. His arrangements continue to be sought by brass groups across the world, and for good reason! Jim is really just the best in the business."

The concert with Mattern will be held in Lampe Recital Hall within Alphonsa Hall, at Alverno College (3400 S. 43rd Street, Milwaukee WI). Parking is available at Morgan and 34th streets.

Born in Menasha, Wis., Mattern is now retired and resides in Oak Creek, Wis., where he enjoys spending time with his family and still enjoys music of all kinds. Mattern received his B.A. from Lawrence University, Appleton, Wis., and his M.M. from Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. He taught at all levels, including St. Mary Springs Academy in Fon du Lac, Wis., and Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Ill.

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