Xeno Behind Stories

A Legacy of Passion Transcending Space and Time — Development Story of Xeno Series Trumpets

Chapter Five: Journey Without End

With the release of the second generation of Xeno Artist Model trumpets from 2013 to 2017, more and more players began to choose Yamaha, making it the most widely used trumpet among the top seven orchestras in the US in 2017. David Bilger, principal trumpet of The Philadelphia Orchestra, played a major role in the development of the New York Series. He did not play a Yamaha instrument when the development team asked him to collaborate with them, but as they worked together to take the trumpet to the next level, Bilger became satisfied with the new trumpet, which led to the conversion of the whole trumpet section of The Philadelphia.

Orchestra to the Xeno Artist Model New York Series. Moreover, this opened up the opportunity to work with The Boston Symphony Orchestra. In 2016, Yamaha approached Thomas Rolfs, Principal Trumpet of the Boston Symphony to explore a variation of the New York, Artist Model C trumpet. He agreed and his collaboration on the YM bell version*4 led to all members of The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s trumpet section switching to Yamaha trumpets. This finally marked the fulfillment of Kawasaki’s long-standing dream.

Robert Sullivan

David Bilger

Thomas Rolfs

Norihisa Fukuda

The third generation of Xeno Artist Model trumpets was released in 2019. Featuring improved blowing feel and response, design of these models was overseen by the B&O Division’s Norihisa Fukuda and Katsuhiko Furumi, who say they belong to a long line of designers who believed that the artists are the true stars, and whose mission is to create the ultimate partner to help those artists produce the best musical expression they are capable of. These two men carry on the legacy of passion passed down from their predecessors and still alive in Yamaha trumpets today. They also hope to pass this same passion on to future designers.

Katsuhiko Furumi

In order to continue providing artists with trumpets which make them shine, the designers continue efforts to listen to the players, identify issues, and make improvements. Anything less would not be worthy of the legacy passed on by Yamaha designers—a legacy which transcends space and time. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Xeno. Furumi and his colleagues will undoubtably continue treading a path of evolution which adapts to the current generation by listening closely to player feedback and responding appropriately. Just like Kawasaki and other designers before them, they are travelers on a journey without end.

Boston Symphony Orchestra trumpet section members with their Xeno Artist Models

*4 “YM bell version” is an additional version of the New York model C trumpet. It features a YM bell taper which is more steeply flared and was designed to achieve a clear, richly defined tone