- 1968: Born in Champaign, Illinois, USA.
- 1978: Began learning trumpet with Jerry Loyet.
- 1985: Attended the Interlochen Arts Summer Camp, starting his studies with Adolph Herseth. Joined the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra, touring the United Kingdom.
- 1986: Made the finals of the SEVENTEEN Magazine and General Motors National Concerto Competition, held at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Then he went to the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, studying with Ray Sasaki for one year.
- 1987: Enrolled in the Eastman School of Music with Charles Geyer, graduating in 1990.
- 1988: Attended the Grand Teton Music Festival.
- 1990: Won the Eastman concerto competition on the Tomasi Concerto. Invited to substitute in the New York Philharmonic. Attended Boston University Tanglewood Institute in the fall. Appointed principal trumpet of the New Orleans Symphony Orchestra.
- 1991: Joined the New World Symphony Orchestra in Miami.
- 1993: Principal trumpet of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.
- 1995: Appointed principal trumpet of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in Canada. Joined the faculty of the Schulich School of Music at McGill University.
- 1998: New York debut at the Lincoln Center with the New World Symphony Orchestra / Michael Tilson Thomas.
- 1999: Released his debut solo album, A Simple Song (Amberola), with pianist Jennifer Snow, being ranked #1 in Quebec’s classical recording chart in 2000. Named Canadian musical ambassador to China for the inauguration of the Montreal Park in Shanghai, as a soloist with the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra.
- 2003: Released his second solo album, Baroque Transcriptions (Analekta), with organist Luc Beauséjour, being nominated by the ADISQ (Association québécoise de l’industrie du disque) for Classical Album of the Year.
- 2005: Joined the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.
- 2015: Released his third solo album, French Trumpet Concertos (Analekta), with the Montreal Symphony / Kent Nagano, nominated for the JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year — Soloist with Large Ensemble Accompaniment in 2016.
- 2019: Released his fourth solo album, The Enlightened Trumpet (Sony Classical), with the Oxford Philharmonic Orchestra / Marios Papadopoulos.
- 2020: United Kingdom tour with the English Chamber Orchestra, with the Haydn and Leopold Mozart concertos.
- 2022 (scheduled): March release of his fifth solo album, Russian Trumpet Concertos (Naxos), with the Russian National Orchestra / Hans Graf, featuring the Arutiunian Concerto, the Weinberg Concerto (dedicated to Dokshizer), and Dokshizer’s arrangement of the Shostakovich Piano Concerto No. 1.
Content Featuring Paul Merkelo
- Interview (September 7): “Tell a Story When You Play and Believe In Your Own Story”
- Stories (September 14): Russian Trumpet Concertos — New Album by Paul Merkelo Coming Out in 2022
- Website: paulmerkelotrumpet.com
- Spotify: Paul Merkelo
- YouTube: Paul Merkelo
- Instagram: @paulmerkelo
- Facebook: @Paul.Merkelo.OfficialPage
- Twitter: @paulmerkelo