Dr. Donald S. Reinhardt combined in his brilliant career a superb background in all forms of music, a rare gift of pedagogy, an exceptional analytic talent and a singular ability of expression through the written and spoken word. An alumnus of Philadelphia’s world-famous Curtis Institute of Music and Combs College of Music, he sought in addition the tutelage of eighteen master music instructors and continued in the profession to acquire an enviable reputation as a performer on the Trombone.
He possessed a Doctorate in his chosen field.His wealth of experience, plus a natural power of apt and vivid presentation, resulted in teaching accomplishments that quickly made him one of the most successful brass authorities in the world. The foremost performers of the symphonies, the studios and the name bands sought his assistance and advice.
His investigations into brass problems include the acoustics of instruments and mouthpieces, and daily associations with the celebrities of the brass world provided unmatched opportunity for research and experimentation. Dr. Reinhardt was a consultant for the leading brass instrument manufacturers both here and abroad, the designer of PIVOT SYSTEM Plastic Mouthpieces and Don Reinhardt Metal Mouthpieces. These numerous achievements, together with his famous clinics to large groups of music supervisors and professionals through the world, have earned for Dr. Reinhardt the respect, love and endorsement of the finest teachers and brass men in the world, both then and now.
Dr. Reinhardt passed away May of 1989 -- undoubtedly one of the greatest minds in brass pedagogy. His ENCYCLOPEDIA OF THE PIVOT SYSTEM marks the culmination of over sixty years of dedication to the brass players of the world in achieving their maximum potential with the resources available, i.e. within each performers’ physical limitations. Regardless of teeth (long, short, slanted, crooked, missing), muscles (strained, injured, misused), combinations of teeth, lips, muscles or any myriad of embouchure problems, Dr. Reinhardt would find a way for it to work for them.
For every great and famous player that Doc worked with (and there were many), there were hundreds and hundreds who simply found joy in achieving their goals on their respective instruments. As controversial as he was, the controversy always stemmed from those who did not study with him. Only a Reinhardt student would know the truth - and that is that "Doc only abandoned tradition when it stepped on Mother Nature’s toes."
Although Donald S. Reinhardt can never be replaced, especially his problem solving abilities one-on-one in his studio, he did leave a wealth of written material, a handful of students who are now teaching his principles, and players great and small who might otherwise have given up. Those how knew him and studied with him loved him. The Reinhardt Foundation honors his memory.