The American conductor, trumpeter, composer and arranger, Jeff Tyzik, began his life in music at nine years of age, when he first picked up a cornet. He studied both classical and jazz throughout high school, and went on to earn both his Bachelor of Music (1973) and Master of Music (1977) degrees from the Eastman School of Music, where he studied composition/arranging with Radio City Music Hall’s Ray Wright and jazz studies with the great band leader Chuck Mangione, both of whom profoundly impacted him as a musician.
Jeff Tyzik spent the next few years (1973-1980) working with Mangione, soaking in every part of the music business. He became a skilled record producer, while continuing to be active as a performer and arranger (which included composing and arranging music for the Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman Orchestras). These experiences led Tyzik to one of the great early opportunities of his career - the chance to co-compose a trumpet concerto with friend and virtuoso trumpeter Allen Vizzutti to be recorded by pops legend Doc Severinsen. Severinsen brought Tyzik to London to work on two albums with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. After the first recording projects, Tyzik worked closely with Severinsen on many projects including orchestrating many of the great band leader’s symphony orchestra programs.
Jeff Tyzik recorded six albums as a solo trumpeter between 1981 and 1990, appearing on Capitol Records, Polydor Records (PolyGram), and Amherst Records. He performed in the Rochester area with his own big band in the late 1980's and early 1990's. During this time, Tyzik was also busy with Severinsen, serving as arranger and record producer for Severinsen and the Tonight Show Band. Tyzik won a Grammy Award in 1987 for producing the 1986 album "The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen". To this day, he credits Severinsen as his greatest musical and professional inspiration.
In 1994, Jeff Tyzik was named Principal Pops Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), a position he still holds. Since then, he has established himself as one of the country's preeminent Pops conductors and arrangers, acting as Principal Pops Conductor for the RPO, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Described by the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle as “among the best pops conductors in America,” Tyzik is recognized for his brilliant arrangements, original programming, and engaging rapport with audiences of all ages. During the 2008-2009 season, Tyzik celebrates his 15th season as Principal Pops Conductor of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO). Also this season, he begins a new role as Principal Pops Conductor of the Oregon Symphony and continues to serve as Principal Pops Conductor of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
In his 15 years with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, where his contract was recently extended to 2011, Jeff Tyzik has developed an incredible relationship with devoted Rochester audiences who appreciate his creative pops programming. Over the course of his tenure, he has written over 160 works for the orchestra. A consummate musician, Tyzik is so appreciated in Rochester that the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra has taken the unusual step of inviting their principal pops conductor to appear as a guest conductor in the orchestra’s classical subscription series calendar on a regular basis.
Jeff Tyzik has recently begun branching out into more traditional orchestral styles, conducting a few RPO concerts outside of the Pops series. On his classical series concerts, Tyzik has performed works by some of the greatest American composers to critical acclaim. He also conducted the premiere of his own Trombone Concerto, which was funded by a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts and subsequently performed at Carnegie Hall. Later he premiered his wind ensemble orchestration of the same piece with the Eastman Wind Ensemble at Carnegie Hall. In May 2007, the Harmonia Mundi label released his recording of works by Gershwin (Piano Concerto in F, Rhapsody in Blue, and Cuban Overture) with pianist Jon Nakamatsu and the RPO which by the summer had reached No. 3 on the Billboard classical chart. The album, received very positive reviews, with David Hurwitz calling it "unquestionably the best Gershwin disc to come along in years" and Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker, called it “one of the snappiest Gershwin discs in years”.
Highly sought after as a guest conductor for numerous other orchestras in the USA., Canada, and even Orchestre Philharmonique de Monte-Carlo, Jeff Tyzik He has recently appeared with orchestras such as the Boston Pops Orchestra, Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, New York Pops, Philadelphia Orchestra at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at the Hollywood Bowl. In addition to his commitments in Rochester, Oregon and Vancouver, during the 2008-2009 season he continues his annual appearance with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and performs with orchestras across North America including the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony and New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, as well as The Florida Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, among others. He also conducted the Brass Band of Battle Creek for a 1996 independent album. This summer he returns to the Saratoga Performing Arts Center to conduct the Philadelphia Orchestra, and to the Chautauqua Institute, among other concert appearances.
Committed to performing music of all genres, Jeff Tyzik has collaborated with such diverse artists as Tony Bennett, Art Garfunkel, Dawn Upshaw, Marilyn Horne, Arturo Sandoval, The Chieftains, Mark O'Connor, Doc Severinsen, John Pizzarelli, Billy Taylor and Lou Rawls, and has created original programs that include the greatest music from jazz and classical to Motown and swing.
As an accomplished composer and arranger, Jeff Tyzik has had his compositions recorded by ensembles including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Summit Brass, and His arrangements of popular and jazz tunes for full orchestra have been widely performed. Publisher G. Schirmer commissioned Tyzik to arrange some of Duke Ellington's jazz suites for orchestra, including Black, Brown and Beige and The Nutcracker Suite. his arrangements have been recorded by groups including Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, the RPO, the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra, and Doc Severinsen with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in London. He has also produced and composed theme music for many of the major television networks, including ABC, NBC, HBO, and Cinemax, and released six of his own albums on Capitol, Polygram and Amherst Records.
Actively sharing his passion for music with others, Jeff Tyzik has been recognized for his community service and educational work by Rotary International, the MonCounty Music Educators, and the Rochester Philharmonic League. He is also the recipient of the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester's 2002 Performing Artist award. Tyzik currently serves on the Board of Managers of the Eastman School of Music, and as a board member of the Hochstein School of Music and Dance. He lives in Rochester, New York, with his wife Jill. Their daughter is mezzo-soprano Jami Tyzik.