James Winter (1919-2006)

winterJames Winter loved teaching. In addition to horn, he taught music theory, history, conducting, brass instruments, and brass pedagogy, and he always saw music in a broad context. He helped steer the IHS in the early years as editor. As president, he started the composition contest and oversaw the first international symposium in Detmold, Germany. In personality, he was warm and witty, with an engaging way of conveying musical concepts.

Jim was born in 1919 in Minneapolis. His family moved several times during his youth, but Jim fortunately had good music teachers. He started on cornet in sixth grade and moved to mellophone in seventh grade and horn in his junior year in Kansas City, where he had group horn lessons with Philip Farkas. He attended Carleton College (Northfield MN, near Minneapolis), where he eventually decided to make a career of teaching. He studied horn with J. Harris Mitchell, and also with William Muelbe of the Minneapolis Symphony.

Jim served in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater from 1942-1946 on combat duty. Afterwards, he earned a master's degree in music history, literature, and musicology at Northwestern University, where he studied horn with Max Pottag. He was encouraged to play horn professionally, but he was intent on a teaching career.

Jim accepted a teaching position at Fresno State College in 1947 and stayed for 40 years, rising from instructor to professor and through two administrative stints to Outstanding Professor and the University's Grand Marshall. From 1948-1968, he led the brass program; the brass choir was the outstanding ensemble of its kind on the West Coast and the students comprised "the sturdy anchor" of the Fresno Philharmonic during those years. Many students attended Fresno State (now California State University at Fresno) in order to study with Jim. His students included David Bakkegard (Baltimore) and David Krehbiel (San Francisco, also an IHS Honorary Member). Jim considered his students "'my' students in a very real sense" and took pride in the memory of them and their accomplishments, not only as horn players, but in many professions.

In 1954, Jim took a leave of absence to earn a PhD in composition (Philip Geeley Clapp and Philip Bezanson), brass pedagogy, and philosophy at the University of Iowa. His compositions include Suite for a Quartet of Young Horns and Canon for Two Horns.

Jim's playing career included principal horn of the Fresno Philharmonic from 1954 and assistant conductor from 1980 to 1997, principal horn of the American Symphony Orchestra League West Coast Workshop Orchestra for ten years, principal horn and soloist of Music from Bear Valley (1970-1982), and hornist with the California Woodwind Quintet.

Jim was an active editor and author. He was horn editor of Woodwind World for ten years and brass editor of the NACWPI Journal for five years. In addition to many articles in The Horn Call and The Instrumentalist, he published a brass method, The Brass Instruments (Alyn & Bacon).

Jim played Geyer horns and often took an extra horn to engagements in case someone else's horn malfunctioned. He advocated using the F side up to C in the treble staff, and in later years warmed up on a Schmidt single F horn.

Jim's support of the IHS is inestimable. He was Editor of The Horn Call (1972-1976), IHS Advisory Council member (1972-1976 and 1981-1987), and IHS President (1983-1986). He was elected an Honorary Member in 1998.

Tributes to Jim appear in the October 2006 issue of The Horn Call, announcement of his election as an Honorary Member in the November 1998 issue, and a biography on the occasion of his retirement in the October 1987 issue. The James H. Winter Memorial Brass Scholarship has been established in his honor at California State University Fresno.

Hermann Baumann

baumann2.jpg"Baumann is an excellent musician, both as a soloist and as a collaborator in chamber works. The hallmarks of his playing are singing tone – he can sound operatic! – and the smoothness and evenness of his tone production, even on 'authentic' instruments." He pioneered the playing of early baroque and classical hand horns in performance, and his recovery from a serious stroke has been astonishing and inspiring.

Hermann Rudolph Konrad Baumann was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1934. Perhaps it is not surprising that his horn playing is compared to singing since he started his musical career as a singer and jazz drummer, switching to horn at age 17. He studied horn with the eminent teacher and soloist Fritz Huth, then played with various orchestras for 12 years, including first horn with the Dortmund Orchestra and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

After winning the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1964, Baumann accepted a professorship at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen and pursued a career as a horn soloist. Solo engagements, recitals, world touring, and recordings all followed, and he became known and admired throughout the world. Baumann's recordings on both modern and natural horn (including the corno da caccia) have received rave reviews.

Baumann's fascination with the natural horn began at the Munich competition, when an audience member, Willi Aebi, a farm-machinery manufacturer from Switzerland, complained after his performance that Baumann didn't know the natural horn, but Aebi then invited Baumann to play his collection of natural horns and also presented him with an alphorn.

Baumann taught many successful students at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen during his 30-year tenure. One of his strong point in teaching, according to a student, was not to have his students copy him, but to respect each individual. He encouraged his students to practice together and attend concerts with him. Throughout the decades, he has lectured and given master classes around the world, continuing to participate in symposiums and other venues even in retirement. His wife of 40 years, Hella, a support for both Baumann and his students, died in 1997.

Baumann commissioned works from such composers as Jean-Luc Darbellay, Bernhard Krol, and Hans-Georg Pflüger. He played the first performance of Ligeti's Trio for Horn, Violin, and Piano in 1982 to great acclaim from the composer. And he has composed his own works, notably the Elegia for hand horn.

In 1999, the Historic Brass Society honored Baumann in Paris with the Christopher Monk Award for his outstanding lifelong contribution to music on period instruments. He has been known to play other natural horns – some not often found on the concert stage - such as the South African Kelphorn, the posthorn, and the Danish Lure.

Baumann became an IHS Honorary Member in 1992, and the August 1998 issue of The Horn Call was devoted to him. In this issue, Baumann recounts his experience with the stroke that paralyzed his right side, and his difficult but successful recovery. Baumann had performed the Strauss Concerto No. 2 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and was discovered in his hotel room the next morning, hours after the stroke. After two weeks in a Buffalo clinic, he was transported to a rehabilitation clinic in Essen. He had to learn to walk, speak, write, hear, and eventually play horn again. He started teaching just five months after the stroke, and in two years was soloist and conductor at a gala concert.

Bernhard Brüchle (1942-2011)

bruechle2Bernard Brüchle is best known for his books documenting the history of the horn and publications for the horn.

Brüchle was born in Munich in 1942, where he studied both the horn and psychology.

He is the author of the first two volumes of a three-volume set called Horn Bibliographie (published by Heinrichshofen Wilhelmshaven), a reference that lists virtually everything published for the horn before 1983. (The third volume was written by Daniel Lienhard.)

Brüchle has also co-authored with Kurt Janetzky illustrated books on the horn, available in both German and English.

Brüchle (R) with fellow hornist and
musicologist Kurt Janetzky
  • (The Horn) Das Horn: Eine kleine Chronik seines Werdens und Wirkens, translated by James Cater, ©1977
  • (A Pictorial History of the Horn) Kulturgeschichte des Horns - Ein Bildsachbuch, translated by Cecilia Baumann, ©1976

Brüchle was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1980.

Peter Damm

photo courtesy of Jan van den Eijnden

Peter Damm has been described as "legendary" - he is known for both his exceptional abilities as a player, and for his editions of many of the standard works in the horn repertoire. In particular, among his performances, his recordings of Strauss with the Staatskapelle Dresden are held in high regard.

Damm was born in 1937 in Meiningen, Thüringen, Germany, which was in the GDR (East Germany) from the end of World War II until reunification in 1990. He began his musical education at age 11 with violin lessons, moving to horn at age 14, studying with Franz Nauber in Meiningen. After a short period as a forestry apprentice, he studied horn with Karl Biehlig at the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar (1951-1957).

Damm began his orchestral career in 1957 as solo hornist with the orchestra of Gera, Thuringia (Orchester der Bühnen der Stadt Gera). He became principal horn in the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig in 1959 and principal horn with the Dresden State Orchestra (Staatskapelle) in 1969. On his retiring from Dresden in 2002, the orchestra made him an honorary member. He balanced a solo career with the orchestral job, which he enjoyed because, "I'm the type of person who feels his best when he is under pressure. … I never wanted to leave the orchestra. For me, the orchestra is a very good critic; when we rehearse, we make comments to each other, and it is only in this manner that an orchestra or a group can maintain a high standard of quality. … The experience between both disciplines brings something extra to each one. I know when I have to play as a soloist and when I have to move back and blend in with the orchestra."

Competitions include the International Competition Moscow 1957 (Silver Medal), International Music Competition of the ARD München 1960 (Second Prize), and the International Competition Prague Spring 1962 (First Prize).

Other honors include the titles Kammermusiker (1969) and Kammervirtuose (1971), Art Award of the GDR (1972), National Award of the GDR (1979), Fritz-Busch-Award (1995), and Art Award of the City of Dresden (1998).

Damm has appeared in solo performances in Europe, Japan, South America, and the United States. He has played the Strauss Concerto op. 11 in over 150 performances. His editions of the standard literature are published by Breitkopf and Härtel, and he has recorded some thirty solo works on the Eterna label. His recordings of the Mozart concertos with Neville Marriner are the result of decades of research. His extensive repertoire of solo works, chamber music, and concertos ranges from 18th century works to contemporary music.

In an interview in the November 1994 issue of The Horn Call, Damm describes the difficulties of traveling from the GDR (East Germany). "If you played in one of the big orchestras, then you had a bit more freedom. All the concerts that I did in the West were through the initiative of outside invitations, and I wasn't always allowed to leave the country! I discovered much later that there were two years where the agency simply told everyone that I wasn't available. However, after I came to Dresden, as long as I could arrange with the other horn players to have the time off, then I could accept most offers, and was allowed to travel."

"Another problem was that we had to give up part of what we had earned – a so-called 'mandatory transfer' into East German currency – and there wasn't much money left over. Sometimes I would rather eat in supermarkets than in restaurants, and buy music instead. Finally I went to the Ministry of Culture in Berlin to explain that it was necessary to buy music to get new repertoire, and they agreed to reduce by ten percent the amount that I had to transfer. … Now if I decide I want to do something, I can simply get in my car and go; I don't have to ask permission, and apply for permits and so on."

Until 2007, Damm was honorary horn professor at the Carl Maria von Weber Conservatory in Dresden and is a frequent guest professor all over the world. "I enjoy working with young people, especially when they are interested in learning. … It is important not just to practice, but to practice intelligently. … I worked for many years at the International Music Seminar in Weimar where my goal was to bring the East and the West together. After the German reunification, I stopped working there because I felt I had achieved my goal." He has been president of the International Competition for Wind Instruments in Markneukirchen since 1986. He was elected an Honorary Member of the International Horn Society in 1992.

After 56 years, Damm played his last solo performance at the 2007 International Horn Symposium in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. His motto: "Finish your career as long as people still regret it..."

Mason Jones (1919-2009)

jones.jpgMason Jones is best known for his long tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra, but he also published music for horn players, recorded chamber and solo literature, and taught many students at Curtis Institute and at home, passing on the traditions of Anton Horner, Marcel Tabuteau, and Fritz Reiner.

Jones was born in 1919 in Hamilton NY, where his father was a professor of Romance Languages at Colgate University. His mother was a pianist, and Jones first played the piano, then the trumpet. The local conductor switched him to horn (which he liked much better) and suggested he audition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. While in high school, Jones played in the Utica NY Symphony on a brass Kruspe borrowed from Colgate University.

From 1936 to 1938 Jones was a student of Anton Horner at Curtis. He was invited to audition for the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1938 when three of its horn players left, and he was hired as third horn. He became principal horn the following season, playing under both Stokowski and Ormandy. His first recording was the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Stokowski.

During WWII Jones served as principal horn of the Marine Band in Washington DC. In 1946 he returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra and remained principal horn until his retirement in 1978. He also joined the Curtis faculty in 1946, retiring in 1995. After he retired from playing, he continued as Personnel Manager of the orchestra (1963-86) and conducted school concerts (1972-82).

In an interview in the February 1996 issue of The Horn Call, Jones commented, "It [the Philadelphia Orchestra] was my only position and when I was young, it was like heaven. I had no desire to go any other place and was perfectly happy in Philadelphia all the way through." Playing the Shostakovich Cello concerto with Rostropovitch, with Shostakovich present for rehearsals, concerts, and recording, was a highlight.

Jones was a co-founder of the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet (1950) and the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble (1957). His conducting included the Episcopal Academy Orchestra (1958-60) and the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra (1961-64).

Colgate University bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Music degree on Jones in 1970. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1979 and served as President in 1986-87.

His recordings of the standard horn repertoire include the concertos of Mozart and Strauss, and the Hindemith Sonata with pianist Glenn Gould. Many recordings of standard solo repertoire were part of the Philadelphia Orchestra series "First Chair" and "First Chair Encores."

Some of his published editions, which are still available, include:

First Solos for the Horn Player
Solos for the Horn Player
Intermediate French Horn Solos
20th Century Orchestra Studies

Walter Lawson (1923-2007)

lawson.jpgWalter Lawson is remembered for his warmth and caring as much as for the horns he built and repaired, and he led the way in research into what made horns sound beautiful. He contributed to the horn world in important ways and inspired many people with his energy, kindness, and creativity.

Lawson, the son of British parents, studied piano and horn as a youngster growing up in Binghamton NY. During World War II, he was a teletype mechanic for the Associated Press and served in the US Army Military Police and Signal Corps in the South Pacific. In 1947, he entered Peabody Conservatory, studying piano with Frederick Griesinger and horn with Jerry Knop and Ward Fearn. He was second horn in the Baltimore Symphony from 1949 to 1976. "He had an ability to match tone and intonation that was uncanny, and he made anyone he played with sound good and feel comfortable," says Bill Kendall, his lifelong friend, colleague in the Baltimore Symphony, and employee in the shop. "A true section player, he was always in 'support mode' on stage as well as off."

Lawson began working as an instrument repairman in 1949 at Ted's Musicians Shop and opened his own shop (Lawson Brass Instrument Repair Company) in 1956. His reputation as an expert repair technician and custom mouthpiece maker spread quickly, and many leading horn players sough his expertise and support. A fascination for improving horn mouthpieces led to his development of a mouthpiece kit with interchangeable rims, cups, throats, and back-bores that had over 12,000 possibilities! This allowed hornists to experiment and perfect a truly custom mouthpiece, which Walter would then produce. This led to studies of the lead-pipe, and by the early 1970s, Lawson was making custom pipes of his own design for installation on stock horns with great success. He then moved to investigating the properties of alloys and hardness of bell flares.

When he left the Baltimore Symphony, he moved to Boonsboro MD and in 1980 formed Lawson Brass Instruments with his sons Bruce, Duane, and Paul. Research and development of custom parts continued with modifications to existing instruments and production of the first Lawson horns in 1981. The Lawson Team continued to make acoustic and mechanical innovations, and the company thrived, producing many different models of double and descant horns as well as mouthpieces and custom parts.

The input of many professional players, including Barry Tuckwell (who lived nearby), was essential to their work, and Lawson equipment can now be found in the ranks of orchestras and on recital stages throughout the world, used by professionals, amateurs, and students alike. Walter Lawson retired in 2006 and the family sold the company to Kendall Betts, who carries on the Lawson tradition in New Hampshire.

Lawson exhibited his horns at international and regional workshops, often giving presentations that helped open communication between hornists and makers. He was a member of the IHS Advisory Council from 1977-1983 and elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2001. Tributes appear in the October 2007 issue of The Horn Call.

Paul Mansur (1926-2009)

mansur.jpgPaul Mansur has been dedicated to the horn, to education, and to the IHS. The success of The Horn Call and a scholarship in his name assure his legacy with the IHS.

Paul was born in Oklahoma in 1926 and began playing horn in the Wewoka High School Band. He graduated from the Oklahoma Military Academy and entered the US Navy in 1944, serving in the Philippines. On discharge in 1946, he began studies in civil engineering at the University of Oklahoma, but then changed to music, completing degrees in theory and horn in 1951, followed by a master's degree in education from Arizona State College in 1953. After teaching in public schools for six years, he earned a doctorate in Music Education at the University of Oklahoma.

While working on his doctoral dissertation, Paul was Director of Music Therapy at Central State Griffin Memorial Hospital. "I count the experience as one of the best learning experiences and most satisfying job of my life along with being the poorest paid position of my career."

Paul began his 25 years at Southeast Oklahoma State University (SOSU) in Durant OK in 1969 as Chairman of the Music Department and retired in 1990 as Dean of the School of Arts and Letters; he is now Dean Emeritus.

Paul's playing experience includes the Oklahoma City Symphony (as an undergraduate), the Phoenix Symphony (as a master's student), and principal horn in the Sherman (TX) Symphony for 20 years while at SOSU (including transporting SOSU students).

During his years at SOSU, Paul was a representative to committees and conventions of the state association of college music departments, the Music Educators National Association, and the Jazz Educators Association. SOSU engaged in a thorough self-study and became an accredited full member of the National Association of Schools of Music during his tenure. He also preached for the Blue Church of Christ and later with the Utica congregation.

Paul has contributed immeasurably to the IHS since its inception. He served as the third Editor of The Horn Call for 17 years, from 1976 to 1993. During this era he was an ex-officio member of the Advisory Council and afterward served for two three-year terms as an Advisory Council member. From 1976 through 1999 he was the "corporate memory" of the IHS. In addition to his editorship, he contributed many articles to The Horn Call, including workshop reports, interviews, profiles, recording and book reviews, and the column "Mansur's Answers." He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2003.

Paul was further honored by the establishment of the Paul Mansur Scholarship, which provides opportunities for full-time students attending the IHS international symposium to receive a lesson from a world renowned artist or teacher (a featured artist or Advisory Council member) and a one-year IHS membership.

Paul and his wife, Norma, moved to Tennessee in 1995 to be near family.

Valeriy Polekh (1918-2007)

polekh.jpgValeriy Vladimirovich Polekh was one of the leading Soviet horn players and teachers of his generation. He sang on his instrument, playing with lightness and mastery of technique. He led in the development of Soviet orchestral and solo wind playing and wrote magnificent pieces and exercises for the horn. He was known as an interpreter of the horn miniature.

Polekh was born in Moscow in 1918. Music was an important part of his family's life; he attended the Bolshoi as a child and played a balalaika at home. Polekh studied at the October Revolution Musical Technical School with Vasily Nickolaevich Solodyev and Anton Aleksandrovich Shetnikov, both members of the Bolshoi. In 1936 he played in the chamber theatre and gave his solo debut; the next year he studied at the Moscow Conservatory with Ferdinand Eckert, a Czech who had studied at the Prague Conservatory and settled in Moscow after a tour with an Austrian orchestra. The following year Polekh auditioned for the radio orchestra and became assistant principal. However, being drawn to opera, the next year he auditioned for the Bolshoi Theater and was accepted. The following year (1939), he began his compulsory service in the Red Army, playing in the Moscow army headquarters orchestra.

polekh3Polekh won the All-Soviet Union wind instrument solo competition in 1941 (while still in the army and on a borrowed horn), and in 1949 he won first prize at an international solo competition in Budapest when at a Festival of Youth and Students in Hungary with a Youth Symphonic Orchestra from Moscow.

Polekh was the inspiration for Gliere to write his concerto for horn, and Polekh gave the first performance in Leningrad in 1951 with Gliere conducting the Leningrad Radio Symphony Orchestra. The concerto is dedicated to Polekh, and Polekh wrote a cadenza that is in the style of the concerto and most often performed today.

Polekh toured with the Bolshoi to Covent Garden in London. He made the acquaintance of the horn players of the theater, who presented him with the music for the Britten Serenade. Polekh gave the first Russian performance of the Serenade in 1965 at the Moscow Conservatory.

Polekh played principal horn at the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow for 34 years and taught at the Moscow Conservatory beginning in 1981. He published a horn method and edited the Mozart horn concertos.

Polekh was elected an Honorary Member in 2002. Through the intercession of James Decker, his detailed autobiography (Your Valeriy Polekh, translated by David Gladen) is serialized in The Horn Call beginning in the February 2007 issue.

This website uses cookies to enhance user experience, including login status. By using the site you are accepting the use of cookies.