Michael Höltzel (1936-2017)

hoeltzel.jpgMichael Höltzel is a soloist, an orchestral and chamber music artist, a conductor, and an influential teacher. He has also established a number of chamber music ensembles and symposiums.

Höltzel was born in 1936 in Tübingen, Germany. After high school, he studied horn and viola at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, completing his studies in horn and conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He was solo horn with the Camerata Academica in Salzburg, the Orchestra Palazzo Pitti Florence, the Bamberg Symphony, and the Munich Philharmonic.

His studies included the wind chamber music class of clarinettist Philip Dreisbach in Stuttgart, where he also benefited from musical lessons with Hans Köhler, violist with the Wendling Quartett. In Salzburg he learned Mozart from Bernhard Paumgartner, president of the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum and of the Salzburg Festival and conductor of the Camerata Academica. As a result of these studies, Höltzel founded and directed the Wind Ensemble of the Bamberg Symphony.

In the summer of 1970, Höltzel wanted to study with Philip Farkas at Indiana University. After Farkas and Dean Bain had listened to the audition tape (Haydn's first horn concerto with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra), they refused Höltzel as a student, but hired him as a visiting teacher instead.

In 1972, Höltzel was soloist and conductor of the Mozart four concertos and Concert Rondo with the Camerata Academica Salzburg, after which the orchestra offered him the position of principal conductor (until 1975).

Höltzel has been professor of horn and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold (1973-1999), Indiana University (1970-71, 1975-76, 1980-81, 2005-06), and currently at the Hochschule für Musik and Theater Rostock as well as the Hochschule für Musik Trossingen. He has conducted numerous chamber music courses (Salzburg, Bloomington, Weimar, Bobbio, Tokyo, Bologna, etc.).

Many of Höltzel's former students have become award winners and play in major symphony orchestras: Radovan Vlatkovic, Eric Terwilliger, Daniel Katzen, Bruno Schneider, Esa Tapani, Alessio Allegrini, and others.

Höltzel appears frequently as guest conductor with various symphony and chamber orchestras, and with ensembles such as the Piccola Academia di Roma, the Wind Academy Sachsen in Chemnitz, the winds of the Hamburg Symphony, and the Radio-Symphony Orchestra Helsinki, Finland.

Höltzel has founded various chamber music ensembles, such as the Detmolder Hornisten, Gran Partita Detmold, and Detmolder Serenadenensemble. Several of his CDs have been issued by the MDG label, including Le Grand Sextuor by Dauprat with his Detmolder Hornisten and Romantic Music for Horn and Piano with Friedrich Wilhelm Schnurr.

In 1980, Höltzel hosted the First European Horn Symposium in Trossingen and in 1986 was host for the IHS Symposium in Detmold. Together with his wife, Petra Mendes, he organized the International Horn Festival 2000 in Detmold and is co-founder of the International Horntage that takes place every two years (established in 2002).

Höltzel's method for horn (Hohe Schule des Horns) has been published by Schott International in three volumes. The third volume, which was awarded a German Book Prize in 2001, is available in English asMastery of the French Horn: Technique and Musical Expression.

Höltzel has served on the IHS Advisory Council (1976-1982 and 1988-1991) and as Vice President (1978-1981). He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2009.

Ethel Merker (1923-2012)

kem1.jpgKathryn Ethel Merker has been a pioneer as a woman in what at the time was a man's world of professional music. She has played with major orchestras, in sessions with recording artists, shows, and jingles and has taught at several universities. The diversity of her work is astounding. She helped design the Holton Merker-Matic horn and has been a clinician and spokesperson for Holton, now Conn-Selmer.

She studied piano first, then and started playing horn in the third grade. She studied with Max Pottag through high school and then at Northwestern University, where she earned BME (1946) and MM (1947) degrees. She free-lanced in Chicago and was principal horn in the Chicago NBC Radio Orchestra (1941-50), where she was the only woman and one of the youngest members.

kem2.jpg
In the late 1950s, Ethel Merker bought her "umpteenth" Geyer horn. In this picture, she is trying it out under the watchful eyes of the maker.

Ethel has also played with the Chicago Symphony, Chicago Pops, Chicago Lyric Opera, Milwaukee Symphony, Berlin Radio Orchestra, New York City Ballet, New York City Opera, and the Boston Pops, and in shows in Las Vegas.

Ethel has recorded with the Jackson Five, Barbra Streisand, Diana Ross, John Denver, Peggy Lee, Johnny Mathis, Mimi Hines, Ramsey Lewis, Curtis Mayfield, the Smothers Brothers, and Quincy Jones. Peggy Lee insisted on having Ethel in her orchestra and Johnny Mathis called her his favorite horn player. At the Universal Studios in Chicago, a set-up called the Ethel Merker Flying Wedge put Ethel in front, with two trombones, three trumpets, four woodwinds, five rhythm, six violins, and seven low strings. Jingles include Marlboro, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Budweiser, and United Airlines.

She has been on the faculty of Indiana University, DePaul University, Vandercook College of Music (Chicago), Northwestern University, and Valparaiso University. Students include Dan Phillips, Randy Gardner, Herbert Winslow, Jack Dressler, Eric Terwillinger, and Oto Carillo. Ethel believes in exposing students to all types of music. Vandercook College conferred an honorary Doctor of Music degree on her in 1995.

Ethel was a colleague of Philip Farkas, assisting him in the Chicago Symphony on many occasions. They often discussed horns and horn design, and Farkas took her along to the Holton Elkhorn, WI factory to play and listen to the horns he was developing. In 1995 the owner of Holton, Vito Pascucci, asked Ethel to help produce a new horn design. Ethel worked with engineer Larry Ramirez to develop the Merker-Matic.

Ethel has participated in horn workshops and symposiums as a Holton clinician. She was presented with the International Women's Brass Conference Pioneer Recognition Award in 2001 and was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2009.

Randall Faust

Randall FaustHornist, composer, author, and professor, Randall Faust has contributed to the horn community both regionally, in Western Illinois, and internationally, through the IHS and other organizations. Randy has participated in many IHS symposiums and was host of the 2009 International Horn Symposium in Macomb IL.

Randy has been the horn professor at Western Illinois University since 1997, hornist of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet and LaMoine Brass Quintet, and host of the annual Western Illinois Horn Festival and annual BrassFest. He has participated in regional and international symposiums. His compositions, including Quartet for Four Horns in memory of Philip Farkas, are often heard on concerts and in recordings. He has produced an instructional DVD, How to Stop a Horn. He performs and records, including works of contemporary composers. Performance credits include broadcasts over Peach State Public Radio during 12 years as principal horn of the Columbus (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra and recording as a member of the Clarion Wind Symphony.

Randy was born in 1947 in Vermillion, South Dakota, into a musical family. He studied at Interlochen, Eastern Michigan University (BS 1972), Minnesota State University Mankato (MM 1973), and the University of Iowa (DMA 1980). His horn teachers have included Marvin Howe, John Berg, Marvin McCoy, Don Haddad, Eugene Wade, Orrin Olson, Paul Anderson, Michael Hatfield, Arnold Jacobs, and Helen Kotas Hirsch; his composition teachers were Rolf Scheurer, Warren Benson, Anthony Iannaccone, Peter Tod Lewis, and Donald Martin Jenni. He has taught at Shenandoah University (1973-1982) and Auburn University (1982-1997), and has been on the faculty of the Interlochen Center for the Arts for over two decades. In 2006 he recorded Fantasies on American Themes, a CD of compositions by William Presser.

Randy’s articles and reviews have appeared in The Horn Call since 1980. He chronicled the work of his teacher, IHS Honorary Member Marvin Howe, in a 1996 Horn Call article “Marvin Howe, Singer of Smooth Melodies,” in his edition of Marvin Howe's The Singing Hornist (2001), an ongoing series of instructional videos, and in a lecture/performance involving many former Howe students at the 2016 International Horn Symposium.

Randy’s compositions have been performed at the International Trumpet Guild, the International Trombone Association, the National Gallery of Art, and the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and have been the subject of several doctoral dissertations. His music has been recorded on Albany Records, MSR Classics, Crystal Records, Summit Records, and ACA Digital Recordings by artists such as The Palisades Virtuosi, Andrew Pelletier, David Griffin, Ralph Lockwood, Steven Gross, Michael Hatfield, Randy Gardner, David Krehbiel, and Douglas Hill. He and his wife, Sharon, have been publishing his compositions through Faust Music since 1974.

In addition to his activities with the IHS, Randy has been president of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (1992-1994) and has served as Interim Chair of the Western Illinois Department of Music. He has been honored by the Western Illinois University Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi as its Outstanding Artist for 2004 and in 2006 and 2010 by the College of Fine Arts and Communication with its Creative Activity Award. He has received the ASCAP Award in annually since 1990 and the Orpheus Award from The Auburn University Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity in 1987.

Randy has served on the IHS Advisory Council (1984-1990), as Secretary-Treasurer (1986-1987), President (1987–1990), Music Review Editor for The Horn Call (1981-1990), and Composition Contest Coordinator since 2013. He received the Punto Award in 2009 and was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2016.

Frank Lloyd

lloyd.jpgFrank Lloyd is renowned for his technical virtuosity, his musicality, and his willingness to share his expertise. Among many memorable performances at IHS symposiums are Paganini Caprices (with David Pyatt) at Tallahassee in 1993, the Britten Serenade at Tuscaloosa in 2005, and the Bach Toccata and Fugue in D minor at several symposiums (2006-2008).

Frank was born in Cornwall in 1952 and began his musical career on the trombone in his school brass band at the age of 13. At 16, he left school to join the Royal Marine Band Service and was subsequently changed to the horn.

On leaving the Royal Marines in 1975, Frank went to study with Ifor James at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Soon after starting, however, he was offered the post of principal horn with the Scottish National Orchestra (now The Royal Scottish Orchestra), where he remained until 1979. He returned to London to take up a post with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and soon after that became a member of the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble, the Nash Ensemble, and the English Chamber Orchestra.

Frank has been on the faculty of the Guildhall School of Music, Trinity School of Music, Royal Northern College of Music and, since 1998, Professor for Horn at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen, Germany, following in the footsteps of the legendary Herman Baumann after Baumann's early retirement. He has toured the world as a soloist, chamber musician, and clinician and has recorded much of the horn solo and chamber literature.

Frank is an Honorary Member of the British Horn Society and a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music. He has served on the IHS Advisory Council (2000-2006) and as President (2004-2006). He was elected an Honorary Member in 2009.

For more information on Frank's life and career, see his website .

A. David Krehbiel

krehbiel.jpgDavid Krehbiel has been a quintessential orchestral horn player, and he is passing on that experience in clinics, a CD, conducting, and teaching. In addition to playing principal horn in the San Francisco Symphony for 26 years, Dave was Chair of the Brass Department at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and is a founding member of the Summit Brass as a player and conductor.

Dave was born in 1936. He took his first music lessons on the trumpet in his hometown of Reedley CA. He was in the eighth grade when he heard his future teacher, James Winter, play, and from then on, he knew that the sound of the horn was the sound he wanted to make. "Recently, I unpacked a horn I hadn't used for a while and out came this smell of an old brass instrument, moldy and musty. Instantly I was back in school again, opening a case for the first time, seeing this magic thing I was going to make sounds with."

He spent three years at Fresno State and played with the newly formed Fresno Philharmonic. During these years, he spent summers pumping gas at Yosemite National Park. "Every night I would take my horn up to Mirror Lake. The sound would float across the lake and reflect off Half Dome and seem to fill the whole valley. This was Horn Heaven."

His teacher suggested that he transfer to Northwestern University in his fourth year to study with Philip Farkas, who was then principal horn of the Chicago Symphony and had been Winter's teacher. A few months later, he won a position as assistant principal with the Chicago Symphony and remained there for five years, being elevated to the position of co-principal horn under Fritz Reiner. He left Chicago to become principal horn of the Detroit Symphony and nine years later, in 1972, went back to California as principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony.

While with the Detroit Symphony, Dave and Tom Bacon (also a member of the orchestra) played in a rock group, Symphonic Metamorphosis, which recorded twice for London Records and played a concert with the Detroit Symphony.

In addition to his position at San Francisco Conservatory, Dave has been on the faculty at DePaul University, Wayne State University, San Francisco State, Fresno State, Northwestern University, and most recently at Colburn School in LA. He is a member and conductor of Summit Brass and Bay Brass. He has taught and conducted at the Music Academy of the West for ten years. He has conducted members of the San Francisco Symphony in special concerts, including a performance commemorating the first anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake. In 1998, the National Academy of Recording Art and Sciences presented him with a special award in honor of his many musical contributions to the community, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music named him Professor of the Year. He is also involved with the educational activities of the New World Symphony in Miami.

Dave has been a soloist with many orchestras. His CD, Orchestral Excerpts for Horn on the Orchestral Pro Series with Summit Brass, has been a boon to horn students everywhere.

Dave continues to teach, play, and conduct, including participating in IHS symposiums. He has contributed articles to The Horn Call and was interviewed for the February 1997 issue. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2008.


Douglas Hill

hill2.jpgDouglas Hill's books are classics of horn pedagogy; his playing, compositions, and teaching are aimed at extending students' and colleagues' imaginations; and he has served the horn community as soloist and clinician and IHS Advisory Council member and President.

Doug was born in 1946 in Lincoln, Nebraska. His varied musical interests (including jazz bass, and composition) were largely initiated and nurtured by his junior high school music teacher, Kenneth Freese. During his high school years, he solidified many of his horn playing techniques while studying from Jack Snider, Professor at the University of Nebraska. He earned a BM and a Performer's Certificate at Indiana University, studying horn with Philip Farkas, and later an MM from Yale University with Paul Ingraham, with whom he performed often in the New York City and Joffrey Ballet Orchestras.

Doug has served as professor of horn at the University of Wisconsin since 1974. He began there performing and recording with the Wingra Woodwind Quintet and now performs and records with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. After graduation from IU, Hill played solo horn with the Rochester Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Contemporary Chamber Ensemble of New York, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Henry Mancini and Andy Williams Orchestras, and for 30 years with the Madison Symphony. He was an original member of the Spoleto Festival Brass Quintet and has performed with the New York and American Brass Quintets.

Previous faculty appointments include Oberlin Conservatory, Aspen Music School, Conservatories of Music in Beijing and Shanghai, the Asian Youth Orchestra, Wilkes College, University of South Florida, Sarasota Music Festival, Yale Summer School at Norfolk, the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong, and the Kendall Betts Horn Camp. He recently served as the Wind and Brass Adjudicator and Chair of the Classical Music Division for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, as a judge for the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions, and on the judging panel for the first International Horn Competition held in Toulon, France. Hill has appeared as soloist and clinician throughout the US, Germany, France, and China, including numerous international, national, and regional brass and horn workshops and symposia.

Doug's extensive publications include Collected Thoughts on Teaching and Learning, Creativity, and Horn Performance (2001), Extended Techniques for the Horn (1981/1996), Introducing the Instruments: Horn Home Helper (2005), Warm-ups and Maintenance Sessions for the Horn Player (2002), High Range for the Horn Player (2005), From Vibrato to Trills to Tremolos for the Horn Player (2004), dozens of articles, scores of original compositions and pedagogical etude books, the educational video/DVD Hill on Horn, and three solo recordings and a variety of orchestral and chamber ensemble recordings including Thoughtful Wanderings: Compositions by Douglas Hill, featuring alumni, faculty, students, and staff of the UW School of Music. As a frequent recipient of research grants, he has studied unrecorded horn and piano repertoire, extended techniques, hand horn, extemporization, and compositional techniques and applications.

Douglas Hill served on the IHS Advisory Council from 1976-82 and 1994-97. He was elected IHS President for three years beginning in 1978. During his tenure the society created its Articles of Incorporation, solidified its Constitution and Bylaws, developed the Communications Network of regional coordinators and area representatives, hired its first executive secretary, fully developed its composition contest and commissioning projects, and tripled its membership.

Hill was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2008 at the 40th International Horn Symposium, where - appropriately - he performed, served as moderator for four panel discussions on pedagogy, led his university horn choir in concert, and heard his Set of Songs and Dances performed by Gail Williams and his Jazz Soliloquies performed by Bernhard Scully just hours after the honor was announced.

His principal horn related compositions include:

Ten Pieces for Two Horns (1969)
Five Pieces for Three Horns (1970)
Trio Set for Horns (1971-72)
Character Pieces for Solo Horn (1973-74)
Jazz Soliloquies for Solo Horn (1978)
Abstraction for Solo Horn and Eight Horns (1980)
Jazz Set for Solo Horn (1985)
Thoughtful Wanderings for Natural Horn Percussion/CD (1992)
Song Suite in Jazz Style for Horn and Piano (1993)
A Place for Hawks for Voice, Horn and Strings (1994-95)
Shared Reflections for Four Horns (1994)
Reflections for Horn Alone (1996)
Timepieces for Brass Quintet (1997)
Elegy for Horn Alone (1998)
Elegy for Violin and Horn (1998)
Americana Variations for Four Horns (1998)
Scenes from Sand County for Mixed Nonet and Narrator (1999)
Tribal Images for Brass Quintet and Percussion (2000)
The Glorious Privilege of Being for Horn Quintet (2000)
Oddities for Four Horns (2004)
Oddities for Solo Horn (2004)
Greens/Blues/Reds for Horn and String Quartet (2005)
Greens/Blues/Reds for Solo Horn (2005)
Americana Variations for Brass Quintet (2005)
A Set of Songs and Dances for Clarinet, Horn, Vibes and String Bass (2006)
A Set of Songs and Dances for Horn Alone (2006)
Recollections for Horn Octet (2007)
Three Moods for Woodwind Quintet (Horn feature) (2005/2008)
Abe Lincoln's Song Book for Horn Trio with Dialogue
(And for horn with various brass, strings, or winds)

Daniel Bourgue

bourgue.jpgDaniel Bourgue, "who must surely be the last representative of the old school of French playing," has been acclaimed as one of the finest soloists of his generation, praised for his virtuosity, his tone quality, and the elegance and purity of his style. In addition, he is a renowned teacher and his publications are major contributions to the horn literature.

Bourgue was born in 1937 in Avignon, France and began his musical education there, studying cello, horn, harmony, music history, and chamber music. After receiving a Premier Prix at the Avignon Conservatory while still in secondary school, he entered the Paris Conservatory, where after eight months he obtained a Premier Prix in horn in the class of Jean Devemy. At this time he began his career as soloist and chamber musician, which has taken him throughout the world.

Bourgue has performed with the Orchestre National de France, the Concerts Pasdeloup, the Nouvel Orchestre Philharmonique, the Ensemble Orchestral de Paris, the London Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Mexico, the orchestras of Munich, Sofia, and Cologne, and the Salzburg String Quartet. From 1964 until 1989, he served as principal horn of the Orchestre du Théâtre National de l'Opéra de Paris.

Numerous composers, such as M. Bleuse, G. Barboteu, G. Delcrue, M. Constant, A. Tisne, and E. Cosma, have dedicated works to Bourgue, and he has given premier performances of numerous contemporary compositions by Messiaen, Delerue, Pousseur, Jolas, Ballif, Constant, and Francaix.

Bourgue's publications include five volumes of the method Techni-Cor, a book Parlons du cor (translated into several languages), a transcription of the Bach cello suites, and numerous editions and arrangements of horn literature. He is a director of the publisher Edition Billaudot.

In later years Bourgue has been devoting himself to solo performances and teaching. He has been on the faculty of the Versailles Conservatory until recently (now retired) and frequently participates in conferences and leads master classes. Since 1987, he has directed programs for the National Youth Orchestra of Spain. His discography has been awarded Grand Prix du Disque.

Bourgue is President of the Association Nationale des Cornistes Français. He has served two terms on the IHS Advisory Council (1980-86), was host of the 1982 International Horn Symposium in Avignon, France, and was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2008.

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