Artistic Biography

RICHARD CARSON STEUART

Richard Carson Steuart's 

EARLY MUSICAL DEVELOPMENT::
While still attending Public- (Grammar) School in Regina, young Richard began to study additional instruments including the Piano, the Clarinet, the Oboe and the Saxophone as well attending classes in Music Theory (including History, Harmony, Form and Counterpoint) at the Regina City Conservatory of Music (then closely associated with the University of Saskatchewan and the Regina Symphony). 
Richard's musical development was very rapid, so that at age 14, he was given his first formal written contract to teach both the Clarinet and Saxophone for the Regina City Public-School System and that same year (1970) accepted a Teaching- Assistanceship for Trumpet and Brass Ensemble to Dr. Mel Carey, Head of the Brass Department of the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus.
Richard held each of these early pedgocial positions through to 1976 when he left Canada to further his own advanced musical studies, having recieved a full four year Under-Graduate Study-Scholarship at  North America's top musical institute: the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U. S. A..
Up to his depature to the U.S.A. he had already performed hundreds of Solo-Trumpet and Cornet engagements, Radio recordings in a variety of musical idioms from Baroque to Big Band and even Rock Band and was an active member in several community service-club Concert Bands in Regina. He  had been the Solo-Cornetist of the Regina City Police Boys Band (starting at age 11), the Royal Canadian Legion Band, as well as being (in his words) "a proud Soloist- member" of the Regina Salvation Army Brass- Band.
Richard was as well, the Solo-Trumpeter and Assistant-Conductor of the Regina Inter-Collegiate Symphony Orchestra, and toured as featured Soloist (i.e. performing the Josef Haydn Concerto in Eb and the Solo parts in Handel's "Messiah") to London, England in 1970.
He was the Solo-Cornetist of both the Saskatchewan Youth Concert Band and Youth Symphony Orchestra and toured throughout Canada and the U.S.A. from 1968 to 1974 with both of these regional ensembles. 
Still attending High-School (from 1969 to 1974), Richard Steuart was  Co-founder and the First -trumpeter of the University of Regina Brass Quinet, the Solo-trumpet of both the University of Regina Symphonic Wind Ensemble (under Dr. John Steinecker) and the University Jazz-Big-Band (lead by Randy Hermann) and was the youngest member of the Regina Symphony Orchestra (beginning in 1970 as 3rd trumpeter), advancing to the Solo-Trumpet position of that "semi-Professional" orchestra in 1972 (under Boris Brott), and holding that position through to his departure to the U.S.A. in 1976.   

This past July (2019) Richard Carson Steuart performed as Featured Concert Artist as well as Master Class Lecturer at the International Trumpet Guild / “ITG” Conference which took place in Miami FL, USA.. This was the third time he had been honoured by an invitation to perform a full concert recital for the ITG at an international conference, having previously performed at ITG international conferences in Manchester, England in 2005 and for the very first Canadian ITG Conference,which took place in 2008 in Banff Alberta.
Mr. Steuart demonatated his new Tromba da caccia in his Recital Programm performing among other works; the Sonata in G-minor by Pavel Vejvanovsky; Timofei Dokshitser's famous arrangment of Bernstein's "Rhapsody in Blue" on a 1930 Conn "Jazz" Trumpet; the Enescu Legend on the La Tromba "Big Daddy" Bb Trumpet and on a new La Tromba Cornet in "A" , J. B. Arban's Fantasie and Variations on "Acteon" in it's original key. The following day he gave an extended Lecture demostrating all of these instruments and his new hand-reflection technique for the Tromba da caccia.

Mr.Steuart has aswell been Ensemble Leader and Featured Soloist in three previous Conferences including  special combined European Trumpet Guild (ETG) and International Trumpet Guild (ITG) conferences. The first two were in Bad Saeckingen, Germany in 2000 and 2001, organized by his colleague and friend Dr. Dr. Edward H. Tarr (USA. and Germany) and the third he personally hosted and sponsored for both the ETG and ITG.
This third Conference took place in 2003 at the Julius Echter University in Würzburg, Germany where he has taught as Full Tenured Lecturer since 1983. Mr.steuart personally invited Soloists, Ensembles and Lecturers from Japan, the USA, England, France, Germany, Slovenia, Poland, the Ukraine and Russia. He also commissioned new solo and ensemble works from various international composers which were premiered at that special event in 2003.

Artistic Background of R.C.Steuart

While still in Canada, Richard Carson Steuart won his first National Competition at age 11, performing among other works, the Classical Concerto of Johann Nepomuck Hummel.

In 1970, at the unheard of age of 14 years and while still attending high school, he began to teach at the Music College/University level having received his first teaching assistantship to the American Hornist and Concert Pianist, Dr. Mel Carey of Berklee CA, Head of the Brass Department at the University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus. That same year, Richard Steuart performed the Haydn Trumpet Concerto and Handel’s “The Messiah” in the Westminster Abbey in London, England with the Inter-Collegiate Symphony Orchestra as both Soloist, and as Assistant Conductor to the Main Conductor of that student orcehstra and Concertmaster of the Regina Symphony, Mr. Lloyd Blackamnn.


In 1971, then age 15, he accepted the position of Solo Trumpet with the Regina Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for five years.
In 1976 he performed as both featured Recital-Soloist at the Banff Summer School of the Arts in Banff Alberta Canada, and this for live both National Radio and Television Solo-Recital Broadcasts as well as in the function of Orchestral Solo-trumpeter performing with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra under the world-famous American composer and conductor Aaron Copland. That same year 1976, Steuart won First Prize at the Canadian National Music Festival for ‘All Brass Instruments,’in Toronto Ontario, and competed for won First Prize in the National CBC, Radio and Television Competition (CBC TALENT FESTIVAL) for All Orchestral Wind-Instruments.
That same year he also received the first of three consecutive Canadian National “Arts Council Awards,” with which he began his three years of selective international Master-Class Studies beginning in the fall of 1976.
He had previously journeyed to Philadelphia, competed for one of only four study positions and was awarded a full four year scholarship to the famous Curtis Institute of Music.


There he studied briefly with Frank Kaderabek, then Solo Trumpet of Eugene Ormandy’s Philadelphia Orchestra and was offered a Full “Masters” Scholarship at Yale University under Robert Nagel of the New York Brass Quintet. Steuart, decided however to journey instead to Chicago in the spring of 1977 to study privately with Vincent Chicowitz of the Chicago Symphony. In the spring of 1978 he moved further to New York to study with Mel Broiles of the Metropolitan Opera and in the summer of 1978 traveled to Europe as the Solo Trumpeter of the World Youth Orchestra. Thereafter he continued his Master-Class studies with Philip Jones, then Solo Trumpeter of Covent Garden Symphony Orchestra and Principal of the Trinity College in London. Sir Phillip was the founder of the world-famous Philp Jones Brass Ensemble. In mid September of 1978, he advised Richard Steuart to complete his private Master-Class studies with Rolf Quinque, then Solo Trumpeter of Munich Philharmonic and Professor at the Richard Strauss Conservatory in Munich, Germany.
After one month of studies in Germany Steuart won his first major European Orchestral position, becoming in the early November 1978 the Solo-Trumpeter of the “German Opera on the Rhein”, Dueselldorf. However, in February of 1979, he was offered the position of 1. Solo Trumpeter with the World Touring Bamberg Symphony Orchestra under the founder of the Bavarian State Radio Symphony Orchestra Eugen Jochun. This position he held until the Winter season/semester of 1983/1984 when with the expressed support of the Bavarian Ministry of Culture, an “Artist in Residence” position was created for him at the Herman Zilcher Conservatory of Music in Wuerzburg.
Here Steuart assumed a wide range of teaching responsibilities from the Renaissance, Baroque and Classical Music idioms to modern Big-Band and Contemporary Jazz Ensemble and finally Electronic and Experimental (so called “Neue”) Music.

In September 2001 he was further appointed to a tenured position on the Faculty of the Bavarian State University of Musical Arts (Hochschule fuer Musik) in Wuerzburg, as “Teacher for Special Musical Events” as well as for the Historical Trumpet and Ensemble where he continues to enjoy teaching today.

 

Richard Carson Steuart tours internationally, performing and recording both historical and contemporary music for radio and television on both period and modern instruments, many of his own design and manufacture. He has performed for Prince Charles in the “Proms Concerts” in the Royal Albert Hall and with his Munich Brass Ensemble for such high-profile events as the first G7/8 Conference in Munich, performing specific works, some newly written and some specially arranged for each of the heads of the free world, including the American President George H. W. Bush; the Prime Minister of Great Britain, John Majors; the President of France, Francois Mitterrand; Brian Muhlrony, Prime Minister of Canada. and for the first time, the Russian Federation President Boris Yelsin;

Steuart has performed and recorded well over 30 solo and chamber music CDs for his own German-based La Tromba ® Music Productions recording company (since 1989) and continues to produce ensemble and solo CDs.He has aswell recorded for numerous international record labels, including RCA-London; EMI- Electrola, Cologne; Audite- Stuttgart; Orfeo- Munich; Koch-International and MMO-New York, as well for the Radio and Television studios of several European States such as the Bavarian Radio and Television in Munich and Nuerberg, the South West German Radio/TV in Karlsruhe, Stuttgart, Saarbrucken, Freiburg and Baden Baden in Basel, Bern and Geneva Switzerland and in Maribor and Lublian,a Solvenia in Graz, Vienna, Salzburg und Linz Austria.

 

Over more than 50 years of his professional musical career, Richard Carson Steuart has performed not only as both a symphonic solo-trumpeter and chamber ensemble soloist, ensemble conductor and leader, but as well has been a featured soloist and recording artist with diverse pop, rock, big band, brass bands, symphonic concert bands and brass ensembles of all sizes, and this for live concerts as well as CDs, Videos, Radio and Television throughout Europe.

He has been featured soloist in diverse European and Hollywood feature film productions, recorded in Europe (Germany, the Ukraine, Bulgaria and Hungary) including those involving the Oscar Prize Winners Hans Zimmer of Germany and Michel Le Grand of France.

Steuart still finds time to regularly organize concerts, courses, competitions and master classes from Baroque to Modern Jazz and Contemporary Music throughout Europe, the Ukraine and Russia for amoung other organisations, his own European Brass Academy.

 

Steuart is active as arranger and composer, and as co-founder of the German Brass Ensemble was the original solo trumpeter of that world-acclaimed quintet and later large brass ensemble, recording and tour world wide from 1979-1987.


He is the founder and current musical director of the Munich Brass Ensemble (since 1983), the Deutsche Kammersolisten / German Chamber Soloists String Orchestra (since 1989) and the European Baroque Soloists (since 1991) and in 1999 he founded the Prince Bishop of Wuerzburg’s Wind Ensemble, an 18-member Large Brass Ensemble which includes 8 trumpets (from piccolo to bass trumpet) 3 trombones, 3 horns, 2 tubas, timpani and percussion, with which he performs music from the Renaissance to the Modern idiom on both Historical and Modern instruments.

 

Steuart continues to be a sought-after instrumental design consultant, having cooperated for over four decades with firms including Michael Muenkwitz, Rostock and Herman Laetsch, Bremen; mouthpiece makers: Josef Klier and Josef Hablowitz in Diespeck Germany; Yamaha Musical Instruments in Tokyo and Hamamatzu Japan and with Zigmand Kanstul Musical Instruments in Anaheim CA, USA.

 

While still working as orchestral solo trumpet in Canada he considered himself to be very fortunate to perform under and record with conductors as diverse as Arthur Fielder (Boston Pops) in Regina; George Tintner (Australia/Austria) as Solo Trumpet with the National Youth Chamber and Symphony Ochester stating 1970 in Toronto; with Kazuyoshi Akiyama (Tokyo, Japan) with the NYO in Vancouver in 1974 and in 1976 with Aaron Copland (USA) in Banff with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra.

 

From 1978 in Europe he worked with, among others, Jinn Wang (Shanghai China/Vienna, Austria); Witold Rowitzski (Warsaw, Poland); Lawrence Foster (USA/Monaco); Aldo Ciccato and Giuseppe Patané (Italy); Gary Bertini, Loren Maazel, Christopf Eschenbach (USA.), Eugen Jochun (Germany), Michael Gielan (Austria), Horst Stein (Switzerland) as well as Oscar Prize winners Michel Le Grand (France) and Hans Zimmer (Germany).

Steuart has had the honour to represent the Canadian Government in Austria, Switzerland, Germany and Russia, performing for the Ambassadors, General Consuls of Germany, Switzerland and the Russian Federation at Canadian Studies Conferences which take place regularily at Garmisch in the German Alps.

He has also been a "Keynote Speaker" and "Performing Lecturer" in the Peter the Great Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia for the Mackenzie Lyon King Cultural Exchange Programme. He has been active in the promotion of artistic trumpet performance and advanced musical study, a key goal of the International Trumpet Guild.

To this end he has, during his entire career, been a continuing champion of both modern-classical and innovative popular music, regularly commissioning, producing, premiering and /or conducting numerous solo and ensemble works, both for live concerts and recordings in Canada, the USA, Russia, China, the Czech Republic, France, England, Switzerland, Germany, Finland, the Ukraine, Russia, Slovenia, Poland, Austria, Bulgaria and Italy, while at the same time actively promoting and supporting the specific contemporary composers from each of these respective countries though the commisoning of their works as well as donating musical instruments and accessories to diverse students.

 

Since his earliest beginning as Solo Cornetist with the Regina City Police Boys Band, as member of The Royal Canadian Legion Band, the Salvation Army Brass Band (Regina Citedal) and University of Saskatchewan Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Big Band, Richard Steuart been especially active in community-oriented activities. To this end Mr. Steuart has been involved with diverse private organizations in both Canada and Europe, including the International Rotary, Lions and Schreiners Clubs since very early in his career, and continues to be supportive to specifically selected private persons seen by him to be financially, educationally or socially disadvantaged.

Richard Carson Steuart continues to accept and embrace his responsibilities to the community in which he lives and the society to which he belongs, through the organisation of diverse Benefit Concerts in diverse venues such as cathedrals, churches, synagogues, public and concert halls with the proceeds going to large ans small organisations and institutions such as Cap Anamor, Doctors without Borders, the Caritas, Children of the Train Station Bucharest, Romania, for the victims of the radioactive fallout of Chernobyl, for the victims of wars in Syria and Yemen, as well as for selected natural disasters and made-made catastrophies.

 

Over his more than 50-year musical career he has gained a truly broad spectrum musical experience and firsthand knowledge of very high-quality professional music making, which he gladly and freely passes on to his students in Germany and in the capacity of Guest Professor, to his international colleagues and their students throughout the world.

Richard Carson Steuart's most important early Brass-Teachers included the gifted Jazz and Classical Trumpeter, Big- Band Leader and Arranger/Composer, Prof. Dr. John Harding (later Professor of trumpet at the Universities of North Carolina in both Chapel- Hill and Charlotte, UNCC) as well as the Solo-Hornist and Concert Pianist, Prof. Dr. Mel Carey (of Universities of Saskatachewan in Regian and Saskatoon and U.S.C Berkley, California). 
Throughout his six year membership as the Solo-Cornet and later Solo-Trumpet of both the National Youth Chamber and National Youth Symphony Orchestras of Canada (from 1970 to 1976) he was fortunate to be able to study with amoung others Mr. Theodore Weiß, then Solo- trumpeter of the New York Opera; Eugen Rittich, then Solo-Hornist of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra; Richard Erb, then Bass-Trombonist of the St. Louis Symphony,as well as the two "original" trumpet- members of the Canadian Brass Quintet (Prof. Dr. Dr. W. Fred Mills and Prof. Ronald Romm).

Richard Carson Steuart began his full professional performance career in the summer season of 1976 with a series of successes. He was both Featured Radio-  Soloist (National CBC) and Orchestral Solo-Trumpeter with the Canadian Chamber Orchestra under Aaron Copland (U.S.A.) and Gervaise DePier (England) in Banff, Canada, First Prize winner of the Canadian National Music Festival (for all Brass Instruments in the catagory "A-Class Open") and First Prize-winner  of the CBC (Canadian National Broadcasting Corporation) Radio and Television Classical Music Competition, ("CBC Talent Festival") and this in the Solo Category forAll Wind- Instruments (both Brass and Woodwind). 
Thereafter he performed numerous concerts as Classical Soloist with numerous Western Canadian Symphony Orchestras including the Edmonton Symphony, the Vancouver CBC Chamber, and the Winnepeg CBC Symphony Orchestras.

In 1976 Richard Carson Steuart competed for and won the first of three consecutive foreign study "National Arts Grants-Awards" from the Government of Canada.   
Thus began his 3 years of "Private- Selective Studies": firstly in Philadelphia, with members of the Philadelphia Orchestra (with Mason Jones, Solo Hornist; Glen Dogson, Solo-Trombonist and Frank Kaderabek, Solo Trumpet) at the Curtis Institute (1976/77). In the spring of 1977 he left Philadelphia to study in Chicago with members of the Chicago Symphony (Vincent Chicowitz and Adolf Herseth) and at North Western University (1977/78). Then in the Spring of 1978 he journeyed to New York to study with amoung others Mr. Mel Broils, the Solo-trumpeter of the Metroplitian Opera of New York at that time

In June of 1978 Steuart left North America for Europe to assume the position of Solo-Trumpeter with the World Youth Orchestra (Orchestre du Mondial) which that year was directed by Lawrence Foster now Musical director of the Monte Carlo Symphony Orchestra. 
Following summer Concert tours with the WYO in Switzerland and the "Proms" concerts in the Royal Albert Hall in London, England, Mr. Steuart resumed his "Private-Studies" in September of 1978 with Sir Philip Jones, the Founder and Director of the world renown Philip Jones Brass Ensemble and then Principal of the Trinity College of London, as his Study Advisor.

In mid-September 1978, Mr. Jones suggested that Mr. Steuart journey to Munich, to prepare for Orchestral Audtions with the former Solo-Trumpeter of the Munich Philharmonic and Professor of Trumpet at the Richard Strauss Conservatory, Herr Rolf Quinque and on November 4th, 1978 Richard Carson Steuart won the position of Solo-Trumpet of the German-Opera in Duesseldorf. On February the 3rd, 1979 he he was invited personally by express-Telegramm by the Orchestral Managment of the "Bamberger Symphoniker" to play for the position of 1st-Solo-Trumpeter of the Bavarian-State's world famous Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, a position he assumed in July, 1979.  That year he also Co-Founded the German Brass Ensemble (formerly known "Das Deutsche Blechbläser Quintet") together with Enrique Crespo and Wolfgang Gaag. Steuart was the leading Solo trumpeter of the German Brass from 1979 to 1988. In the Spring of 1983 he formed his own Munich Brass Ensemble (which he continues to lead today). In September of 1983 the City of Wuerzburg, with the expressed support of the Bavarian State's Ministry of Culture created an all new "Artist in Residence" lecturing position especially for him in their City Music Conservatory at which time he left the Bamberg Symphony.
As a consiquence to his 18 years of exceptionally successful lecturing (from Baroque Trumpet and Ensemble to Jazz Big-Band) at the Wuerzburg Conservatory, he was awarded a position in 2001 as Baroque Trumpet lecturer at the newly reorganised Bavarian State "Music University" in Wuerzburg (Hochschule für Music Wuerzburg).

Mr. Steuart's International College Level Teaching in Europe has taken place in amoung other Institutions the City Consevatory and State Universities of Music in Wuerzburg, Weimar and Hmaburg but also in the Thaikowsky Conservatory and Gnessin Institute in Moscow, the Rhymsky Korsakoff Conservatory in St. Petersburg in Russia, the Conservatory of Music in Danzig Poland and in the State University in Kiev, Ukraine.  
In appreciation for his diverse accomplishments and 25 years of service (1983-2008), the Freistaat Bayern's Kultus Ministerium / Bavarian State's Ministry of Culture honored him with a special "Dankurkunde" accompanied by a special finacial gratifiction. 

Richard Carson Steuart's Orchestral and Chamber Music Recording activities in Europe have included International Concert Tours with Symphonic and Chamber Orchestras, Brass and Symphonic Wind Ensembles, Classical Ballet, Musical - Theatre, Choir and Opera Companies as well as diverse recordings for CD, Radio, Television and even Hollywood and European Feature- Film Music ranging from Historical Music on Period instruments (ie. The Baroque/Natural trumpet) to Contemporary Jazz, Big Band, Pop, Rock, Modern Classical and modern "Experimental" Music.
Numerous Solo and Ensemble Works have been written for as well as commissioned and recorded by Mr. Steuart and these in various musical constellations. Composers and arrangers ranging from regoinal personalities to internationally renowned Composers such as Konstantin Wecker, Herbert Blendinger, Valery Strukov, Werner Egk, Helmut Timpelan and Bertold Hummel have written works for Mr. Steuart.

Mr. Steuart has produced several of his own Solo and Chamber Music CD recordings and these under his recording label La Tromba ® using both his own and other top quality Recording Studio Technicians in Germany and through-out Europe including the Ukraine and Russia.
The La Tromba produced CD: Music for Trumpet and Guitar - "Richard Carson Steuart and Friends" (a broad spectrum collection of recordings in the Trumpet and Guitar genre done in Europe starting as far back as 1987) was produced for and released through the International Trumpet Guild in March of 2010 and was eventually proclaimed their "CD of the Year". This release, donated by Mr. Steuart contiunes exclusively available through the ITG at:
http://www.trumpetguild.org/products/recordings/index.htm

He can also be heard on a number of other international recording labels including Audite, Stuttgart; Koch International; RCA; Orfeo/International, Munich; MMO/New York and EMI-Electrola.
Since 2005 Richard Carson Steuart has recorded five pedagogical CDs for the MMO (Music Minus One) company of New York U.S.A.. These Solo-CDs are accompanied by Symphony Orchestra ranging from Grand Opera Arias and light Operetta over original Romantic and Traditional Cornet and Trumpet Solo Works with Concert Band: They also include Big Band and popular favouites with amoung other chmaber groups, his Munich Brass  Ensemble. Please see: (www.musicminusone.com).
Richard Carson Steuart continues to record regularly in a wide variety of musical venues such as in the State TV-, Radio-studios in Germany as well as in studios thoughout Europe and can even be heard on Hollwood Film- Music Sound tracks of such famous film composer as the Michael LeGrand and Hans Zimmer.

He has aswell performed and recorded with Artists and Ensembles as diverse  as the St. Peterburg Baroque Ensemble and the Russian Brass Quintet, Gary Brooker (of the legendary English Rock Band, Procol Harum), the controversial German "Lieder Macher" and European Film-Music Composer Konstantin Wecker, the Pan-European Jazz-Educator, Big- Band Leader and Composer-Arranger Peter Herbolzheimer. He has recorded with top Hollywood Film- Music Composers and Oscar Prize- winners including the "grand" master Michael Legrand and the currently hugely successful (i.e. with Disney Films), German-born Hans Zimmer.  

Mr. Steuart's extensive "Research and Development" initiatives with regards to the construction of both Modern and Historical Brass Instruments and their repective Mouthpieces is based on decades of co-operations with renowned instrument manufacturers including Yamaha, (Hamamatzu, Japan); KMI / Kanstul, (Anaheim California, USA) and Adolf Egger, (Basel, Switzerland) amoung others and all of which have greatly helped him in the ulimate development and production of his own brand of La Tromba?® Trumpets, Mouthpieces and Accessories, manufactured in Germany since 1999. He aswell a highly sought after International Competition Jury -member, Guest- Lecturer and Orchestral and Chamber Music Conductor. He can be found working regularily in top recording studios as well as Conservatories and Universities world-wide and most especially throughout North America, Russia, Japan, China and Europe. 

As the former Solo-Trumpeter of both theGerman Opera in Düsseldorf and the world famous Bamberg Symphony Orchestras, co-founding Leading-1st- Trumpeter of the prestigeous German Brass, founder and continuing leader of his own Munich Brass and Prince Bishop of Wuerzburg's WindEnsembles he is as well as the founder and leader of both the European Baroque (on both Modern and Historical instruments) and the German Chamber Soloists (String orchestra) Richard Carson Steuart is not only regarded by many today to be one of the foremost International Classical Solo-Trumpeter of his generation but aswell one of the world's most musically versatile.

Richard Carson Steuart:
"UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL"


When asked (in a recent magaine interveiw) if he considers himself to be "the best" in his field, Mr. Steuart answered very softly and slowly:

"...Music is for me, the purest Art-form ... 
...it is not a some brutal sport nor some superficial game ... nor is it some "testing" pseudo-intellectual exercise. 
Therefore it cannot be defined through competitions of any sort..., neither physical nor mental.  
I believe true music making demands that one honestly strive to (humbely) do "his" best,... yes of course! and this means one must certainly strive to perfect both his physical and mental"gifts" for musical expression, ...quite obviously !, since these are the tools that one must use to describe his truest and deepest feelings. I sincerely believe by the way, that one can best develope these musical gifts through the devoted support of loving parents, generous and sincere colleagues and not to forget very special and gifted teachers..."competition" as a general "way of thinking", more often than not creates only negative ego-attitudes towards music and other musicians and even petty jealousies towards other person's hard-earned achievments, when infact sincere respect and honest praise and appreciation would be a more appropriate response when to relating to someone elses musical gifts and their artistic accomplishments. 
I have all to often, seen students and music colleagues both young and old, (and yes far too many simple "trumpeters" amoung them!), who want to impress "someone" into thinking they are somehow "great" by playing fast often mechnaical technically brilliant passages like The flight of the Bumble Bee in 10 seconds flat WoW ?! how stupid! or esepcially for trumpeters, "high, fast and very loud notes". Through this, they believe they show they are  very special even "the BEST" or atleast "better than" someone else... oh boy, how foolish are such superfical attitudes and comparisons! This is Sport NOT Art!
This is I think, also very very sad, because all that very heavy "Ego Baggage" they develope (and consiquently have to continually carry around every day) through such competitive thinking and actions only gets in the way of them seeing and hearing themselves
truthfully and therefore not allowing their feelings to be honestly reflected in the music that they are making. Granted a difficult concept for many competitive people to comprehend.
They resultently end up never knowing what music really is or can be, nor enjoying their own honest and sincere feelings that become revealed
to them through this Godly form of art,... instead they only experience a shallow "comparision" to others, caught up in empty primitive competitive motivations... like in an Old-Time Jazz "cutting- session" where the musicians used to try to "out do" each other by playng faster or higher or louder than eachother... and resultingly never developing any meaningful musical dialogue,... that is, only "ego-tripping"!  

I see it as very simple ZEN: you have to first defeat your ego and turn your back on vain desire meant to impress others.
Then and only then, can you "really tell the (musical) truth", (
...that is only IF you really have something "truthful" and meaningful to say in the first place!... which is a question of personal and musical maturity). 
At that moment there is no stress nor nervous fear of failure, only natural, musical expression of truthful human emotion that everyone can relate to.

...now back to competition:
It is a fact that I have won virtually every so called "competitions" (the i.e. the national and international Canadian, Swiss and German Radio  and Television Trumpet competitions) that I have ever entered into... but having said that, it should be clearly understood that I have never (consciously) competed "against" another person in any such event, but rather only ever "competed", with my own personal "artistic ideals", trying to play in an increasingly more human, more expressive, and ultimately more truthfully natural manner. This si what the juries heard not a trumpeter trying to be "the best". 
The goal was always to "sing" a very personal musical story... of what the Romantics call "the  song of the heart",...that which
we allfeel in our quietest moments of most sensitive, personal reflections and should value the most...

This concept of truly personal, sincere music making, in a "singing style" is what I try to impart to students, colleagues and ultimately concert listeners when ever I perform.

You know Bobby, I was asked in a German/Bulgarian magazine- interview several years ago...

"what does playing the trumpet (really) mean to you?"


I thought for a few moments and answered,...

"...I take the trumpet to my lips and with it, look through the mirror of my mind, into my soul!"


Therefore I hope you understand, for me there is no such thing as the "best" in any true Art-form, since "Art" originates only from the "gift" of sincere love for the meaning of pure beauty and the highest truth,
...nor can there ever be a "best" in true Music making...  rather only a sincere striving for one's highest goals and the most honest expression of  artistic ideals...

Now, I ask YOU Bobby, what could this kind of perspective on "music making" possibly have to do with "competition" and your question:
"who is the best?"


(edited excerpts from an interview with Rudolf (Bobby) Langer. August, 2008)