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.

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)

Julian Christopher Leuba (1929-2019)

leuba3
Being introduced as the newest Honorary Member
La Chaux-de-fonds, Switzerland, 2007

Chris Leuba is known as much for his pedagogical writing and lecturing and his many prominent students as for his distinguished and varied playing career. He taught at the Aspen and Chautauqua festivals, Portland State University, and most notably the University of Washington in Seattle. His publications include A Study of Musical Intonation (highly regarded as a seminal work for teaching the principles of just intonation to musicians),  Rules of the Game, Phrasing Concepts, and Dexterity Drills (all used by brass teachers around the country).

Chris was born in 1929 in Pittsburgh and later lived in Seattle. He started playing the horn during his senior year in high school, studied with Aubrey Brain and Philip Farkas, and served two terms in the United States Army (West Point and the English Midlands). He was a member of the Minneapolis Symphony (now the Minnesota Orchestra), finally becoming principal horn, then served as principal horn with the Chicago Symphony under Fritz Reiner during the 1960-1962 seasons. He has also appeared with the Philharmonica Hungarica under the direction of Antal Dorati.

leuba4
As a student at Tanglewood in the 1940s

Additional indication of Chris's playing range is shown by his having performed fourteen complete Wagner Ring cycles as second horn in the Seattle Opera and appeared with Sarah Vaughn, Quincy Jones, and the Bill Russo big band. While teaching at the University of Washington (1968-1979), Chris was a member of the faculty wind quintet, Soni Ventorum, and participated in the university's Contemporary Group.

Chris was principal horn of the Portland Opera in Portland OR for 23 years and participated in IHS symposiums for many years. He became an IHS Honorary Member in 2007.

Wendell Hoss (1892-1980)

hoss.jpgWendell Hoss, distinguished hornist and revered teacher, is perhaps most often associated with the founding of the Los Angeles Horn Club and the International Horn Society. He served as the first President of the LAHC, and was the first Vice President of the IHS. He is known throughout the horn world for his transcription of the Bach Cello Suites, for many years the transcription to have, and still highly influential. Respected and admired also as a true gentleman, Hoss has been hailed as “the Dean of American Horn Players.”

Hoss enjoyed a wide-ranging career prior to settling in Los Angeles. As early as 1916, he had played extra horn with the Chicago Symphony in their first performance of the Strauss Alpine Symphony. He was principal horn of the Cleveland Orchestra (1921-22). He returned to Chicago (1922-23) as principal horn, but soon left, not wanting to participate in the humiliation of his teacher L. de la Mare, who was dismissed around the same time. He was principal horn of the Rochester Philharmonic from 1924-1930, at the same time becoming the first professor of horn at the Eastman School of Music. From 1928 to 1930 he commuted to New York City for commercial recording and radio work, even playing briefly with the NBC Symphony. He again was principal horn in Cleveland (1930-32), where he also soloed with the orchestra in Mozart’s 3rd Concerto.

hoss2Hoss moved to California in 1933, entering the busy commercial scene. There he remained, interrupted only by a two-year engagement (1940-41) with the Pittsburgh Symphony, Fritz Reiner conducting. (Fittingly, Hoss played Bach for Reiner at his audition.) During his years in Los Angeles, Hoss played with every major film studio orchestra, including 18 years with the Walt Disney studio.

Hoss was soloist with the Rochester and Cleveland orchestras numerous times. He also loved chamber music, performing regularly with the Cleveland Chamber Players and forming the Lobero Trio with his wife, Olive, on violin and viola and pianist Melvin Smith. He recorded the Schubert Octet with the Kolisch Quartet in Washington DC in 1940. He celebrated his 70th birthday with a performance of the Brahms Trio and Schumann’s Adagio and Allego.

Hoss taught at the Eastman School of Music, the University of Wisconsin, the University of Southern California at Santa Barbara, the Music Academy of the West, San Diego State College, and the California Institute for the Arts. His students include composer John Cage, Robin Graham, Keith Johnson, George Cable, Walter Hecht, Warren Greff, and David Jolley.

Hoss was a founding member of the IHS, on the Advisory Council (1970-1976), first Vice President (1971-1972), and was elected an Honorary Member in 1974.

Lucien Thévet (1914-2007)

thevet.jpgLucien Thévet was the last of the horn players of the traditional French school and was called by one critic "Prince of the Horn." In addition to his orchestral playing, he performed all the major solo repertoire, premiered pieces composed and dedicated to him by Le Flem, Françaix, Passani, Landowski, and the Poulenc Elegie (accompanied by the composer), and gave the French premieres of the Britten Serenade (1945 with Peter Pears) and Strauss Concerto No. 2. (1950). He recorded the Ravel Pavane eight times and performed it in concert many more times. His style included vibrato, as was typical of the French school.

Thévet was born in 1914 in Beauvais, France. He studied with his father, an amateur musician, from the age of six, and by age 13 was a soloist with the local band. He studied with Raymond Carlier (not a horn player, but well-rounded musician who played several other instruments) and later with Fernand Reine and Edouard Vuillermoz at the Paris Conservatory, receiving a first prize in 1937, and was appointed principal horn of the Paris Radio Orchestra.

Thévet was also principal horn of the Paris Conservatory Orchestra (1938-1967) and the Paris Opera Orchestra (1941-1974). Charles Munch offered him the principal horn position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but Thévet declined.

thevet_hand_positionIn a famous incident at the Paris Opera, Thévet was called to the stage for numerous curtain calls after playing the off-stage solo in Wagner's Siegfried, an event that was reported in the press. The press also praised his solo playing: "Mr. Thévet gives the impression of perfection with his confidence, incredible flexible phrasing, and beautiful sound." Thévet made many solo recordings in addition to recordings with the Paris Conservatory Orchestra and Paris Opera Orchestra.

Thévet taught at the Paris Ecole Normale de Musique, the Nineteenth Arrondissement Conservatory, and for 34 years at the Versailles Conservatory. Students came from all over the world to study with him. Thévet would take students at any level. He taught beginning students in concert pitch, and he taught transposition by clefs rather than intervals.

Thévet played a Selmer horn with piston valves and an ascending third valve (described in the Autumn 1973 issue of The Horn Call). In 1950, he became technical advisor for the Selmer company, and in 1964 he designed a new model of horn for them.

Alphonse Leduc published Thévet's Méthode Complète de Cor (1949). Other publications include Sixty Studies for Horn, Fifty Transposition Exercises for Horn, Sixty-five Sight-reading Studies for Horn, One Hundred Rhythmic Exercises in Two and Three Parts for Instruments in the Treble Clef, and Transposition: A Method for Conductors, Players, and Arrangers.

Thévet was made a Knight of Arts and Letters, was Honorary President of the French National Association of Horn Players, and was elected an IHS Honorary Member (1978). The November 1995 issue of The Horn Call contains an homage to him on his 80th birthday as well as an article by him. Two tributes appear in the October 2007 issue.

Hand position picture courtesy of Pete Exline.

Jerome Ashby (1956-2007)

ashby.jpgJerome A. Ashby was known as a member of the New York Philharmonic but revered even more as a teacher, mentor, and human being. Many colleagues and students hold him in the greatest affection. He died on December 26, 2007 after a long struggle with prostate cancer. He said that his last year, when he drew closer than ever to family and friends, was the best of his life.

Jerome (known equally as Jerome or Jerry) was a native of Charleston SC. He began his studies in the New York City public schools and graduated from the High School of the Performing Arts. He then attended The Juilliard School, where he was a student of former Philharmonic principal horn James Chambers.

After graduating from Juilliard in 1976, Jerome became principal horn in the UNAM Orchestra in Mexico City. There he met and married his wife, Patricia Cantu. He began his tenure with the New York Philharmonic as Associate Principal Horn in 1979 at the invitation of Zubin Mehta and made his Philharmonic solo debut in April 1982.

In 1989 Jerome played the fourth horn solo in Beethoven's Ninth Symphony when Leonard Bernstein conducted members of the New York and Berlin Philharmonics in a historic broadcast to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.

W. Marshall Sealy, a free-lancer in New York, recalled sharing day care with Jerome when they were about 10 years old. Later they formed an all-black horn quartet with Greg Williams and Bill Warnick. "Jerome was my inspiration, my support toward being the best horn player I could be, my role model, my motivation, and my closest friend," says Marshall. Julie Landsman, principal horn at the Metropolitan Opera and a colleague of Jerome's at Juilliard, remarked, "At the funeral service, I was struck by the fact that almost everyone there referred to Jerome as 'my best friend.' The number of 'best friends' Jerome had is a sure testament to his generous heart."

Marshall also commented, "Maybe he was not aware of it, but because of his high standards for excellence and his first-class achievements, he opened many professional doors for other African-American horn players." Julie recalled, "Our endless discussions about our students were invaluable to both of us. We shared a deep mutual concern for our students - a love, really, as they became our children - and I treasure the memories of these times with him." Alan Spanjer, second horn in the Philharmonic, recounted, "Jerry was completely committed to teaching and his students. Once we were talking about how busy he was with teaching so much, and he said to me, 'That's what it's all about, isn't it.'"

Erik Ralske, third horn in the Philharmonic, said, "Jerome taught me a lot about the horn and about life - sometimes by example, sometimes with concise, but gentle words, and often with his humor. His ardent love of music and the horn remained a constant inspiration, and he was unfazed by the trials of professional life." Howard Wall, fourth horn in the Philharmonic, commented, "One of the things I loved most about his playing was his beautiful slurs. He was one of the hardest-working horn players I knew."

An active recitalist and chamber musician, Jerome appeared at music festivals around the world. He performed with The Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and with New York Philharmonic ensembles. He also played in the Gateway Festival at Eastman, a gathering of black musicians, including the Bach Brandenburg No. 1 and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

Jerome was a faculty member of The Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, The Curtis Institute, and the Aspen Music Festival School. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2007.

Extended tributes to Jerome appear in the May 2008 issue of The Horn Call.

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