Douglas Yeo has been bass trombonist of the Boston Symphony Orchestra since 1985; prior to his appointment, he served as bass trombonist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, a high school band director in Edison, New Jersey, and a freelance musician in New York City, where he played for numerous Broadway shows and symphony orchestras and have a four-year tenure with the Goldman Band. A graduate of Wheaton College (Illinois), where he studied with Edward Kleinhammer, and New York University, he is currently on the faculty of Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. He has given master classes on five continents and frequently travels to give recitals and conduct teaching residencies in such places as the Banff Centre in Canada and the International Wind Instrument Academy and Festival in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Yeo’s four best-selling trombone solo recordings – Proclamation (with Britain’s Black Dyke Mills Band), Take 1, Cornerstone, and Two of a Mind (with British tenor trombonist Nick Hudson and the Williams Fairey Band) – cover a wide range of repertoire. A leading exponent of historical low brass instruments – serpent (Baudouin, Paris, c. 1820), ophicleide (Roehn, Paris, c. 1855), bass sackbut (Glassl, Nauheim) – Yeo has also performed with many early music groups, including Boston Baroque, Handel and Haydn Society, and Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra. He has been a frequent lecturer on the serpent and related instruments at museums around the world, and his playing may be found on many museum audio guides. In 2002 he released his pioneering recording, Le Monde du Serpent, which established him as one of the world’s leading players of the instrument. He is named in the entry on the serpent in Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians.
From 1998-2008 he served as music director of the New England Brass Band (he now serves as the band’s Music Director Emeritus), leading the band to two North American Brass Band Association National Championship titles (2004 and 2006) and conducting five best-selling recordings, all recorded in Boston’s Symphony Hall. The band’s 2007 release, Be Glad Then America, won the North American Brass Band Association’s “Recording of the Year” award.
Yeo has been a frequent soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra. He was the first bass trombonist to perform John Williams’ “Tuba Concerto” on bass trombone (with John Williams conducting). He performed Simon Proctor’s “Serpent Concerto” (also with John Williams conducting) and he has championed Christopher Brubeck’s two “Bass Trombone Concertos” (conducted by Keith Lockhart and Gerald Steichan).
A prolific writer, Yeo has penned dozens of articles about the trombone, historical brasses, and music making in a variety of publications, including the International Trombone Association Journal, The Brass Herald, Historic Brass Society Journal, and The Instrumentalist. His many music editions are published by G. Schirmer, International Music, Southern Music, and Sarastro Music. The book, Mastering the Trombone, which he co-authored with Edward Kleinhammer, is published by EMKO Publications.
A Yamaha International Performing Artist, Douglas Yeo plays the Yamaha YBL-822G bass trombone and the Yamaha Douglas Yeo Signature Series Mouthpiece; he collaborated closely with Yamaha in the design of the equipment he plays.