Ask a Pro

Coordinated by Bill VerMeulen, the Ask a Pro section offers IHS members only a chance to have their (horn related!) questions answered by leading professionals. Responses will be in the form of videos posted on the IHS YouTube channel and embedded on this page. To ask a question, send an email to: This address is for IHS members only. Either log in above or Join today

This and other IHS videos can be found on our IHS YouTube Channel.

Question:

"We often have dress rehearsals the morning of the performance even when playing works such as Mahler 6! To add insult to injury, we also rehearse the night before which means we play the program 3 times in a 27-hour period (Fri rehearsal 7-9:30pm, Saturday dress rehearsal 10am-12:30pm, and Sat performance 7:30-10pm). What do you recommend as the best way to recover to be able to successfully make it through this demanding schedule of services?"

Bill VerMeulen's Answer

Question:

I am New York state music teacher (trombone) and I judge solo festivals. I had some high level french horn solos the past few years—not many—but a few——sometimes I would suggest asking their teacher about developing vibrato—I thought it was worth exploring——however—recently I was “schooled” by a horn teacher that I should never do that——horn players avoid vibrato like the plague. I never take points off their solo—offer it as a suggestion. I guess I have missed the boat————any way Do you have any suggestions? thanks Matthew Bond

Bill VerMeulen's Answer:

While it is true that some styles of horn playing don’t endorse the use of vibrato, you will find that vibrato use varies dramatically geographically throughout the horn world. Before the digital recording age horn playing developed geographically with sounds and styles that varied greatly. Vibrato was widely used within the French, Russian, East German, Czech horn communities and more. Horn sound and vibrato use was personal and often passed on within the tradition of the region and pedagogy. Although the sound and styles of the horn have homogenized some over the years vibrato use is still a personal and effective addition to expression not dissimilar to its use on any other instrument or voice. As such, I see no harm in encouraging vibrato use done tastefully with service to the music and the tradition of sound and style which best suits your feeling of the composer’s intent. I personally have no problem with judicious use of vibrato on Ravel Pavane or Tchaikovsky 5th but am less inclined to find it effective or necessary for Brahms or Bruckner. In recital and concerto work I am more inclined to endorse vibrato which adds color to the music and sound. Vibrato should be done to add color and increase musical line. Sadly, many use vibrato to mask a lack of center to one’s tone and pitch. Of the types of vibrato; Jaw, finger, breath, lipping, I feel strongly we should emulate singers with breath vibrato. It keeps the air moving and adds to the overall musical line. While many Americans may eschew vibrato use as a matter of dogma I disagree and use quite a bit in my personal solo playing, especially in Jazz styled works and vocal transcriptions. I am glad you don’t take points off and  encourage you to champion anything you believe will best serve the music since that is our sacred trust. 

Links

YouTube: the Horn Channel
Interesting, entertaining, educational and of great historic value. This is a collection of short videos by Ifor James, Hans Pizka and Greg Cass.
Il Club del Corno
The Italian Horn Club. Mostly in Italian with some English translations.
The British Horn Society
Dedicated to the art, craft and fun of horn playing.
www.ivasi.org
Interactive Video Audition Service International ("IVASI"): An Inter-Active Video Guide for Orchestral Preparation, developed by IHS life member James Decker
Nederlands Hoornisten Genootschap
Dutch Horn Society
(in Dutch only)
Horn Articles Online
A large collection of information on horn playing and horn history by John Ericson.
日本ホルン協会
Japan Horn Society
(in Japanese only)
www.hornexcerpts.org
A large site featuring music and recorded examples of horn excerpts by Daren Robbins.
www.waltornia.pl
A site run by Damian Walentek of the Polish National Radio Symphony in Katowice, for the promotion of the horn in Poland (Polish Lanaguage only)
Pip Eastop
Inventions, articles, and much more in a site by a well-known British player.
www.hoorn.be
A Belgian horn site (in Flemish only)
Dick Martz
Photos and descriptions of an interesting personal collection of horns.
www.trompista.com
A Portuguese language horn forum.
Hornplanet.com
A fun site, created by Thomas Bacon.
Hornplayer.net
Free classifieds, 300 page information archive, Walter Hecht's Significa, section listings, and more by Robin Moffatt.
Julia Rose's Horn Page
Notes from master classes by Mark Lawrence, David Krehbiel, Arnold Jacobs, audition lists, and more.
Embouchures.com
Hornist Lucinda Lewis shares information for brass players suffering with embouchure problems or lip injuries.
Bob Ward's Homepage
Check out the warm-up book and other information from this San Francisco Symphony hornist.
http://www.wienerhorn.com
All things horn in Vienna. Includes articles, a forum and a marketplace. In German only.
http://www.iwbc-online.org/
Website of the International women's Brass conference.
An enthusiasm for Dennis Brain
A tribute website to Dennis Brain (1921-1957). [Japanese and English]
Hans Pizka's Homepage
Bios of famous hornists, advice for young players, big pictures, and more.
BLOGS What is a blog? See The Horn Call, Oct. 2006, p. 44. Barry Tuckwell: A Life With French (sic) Horn
A podcast interview from the University of Melbourne. Scroll down to program number 21.
Works with Horn by Female Composers
An excellent resource by Lin Foulk.

The Horn List at Yahoo! Groups

This horn list is intended as a forum for the exchange of information and opinions related to the horn and horn performance. It is a meeting point where all hornists - professionals, students, and amateurs alike - can trade ideas in a congenial, constructive atmosphere, governed by the rules of mutual respect and common courtesy. Over 1000 members.

View the latest messages.
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"The Hornlist"

The purpose of the Horn Discussion Group is to provide a forum for electronic conversation about all things relating to the horn's playing technique, repertoire, ensembles, personalities, and so on. Sending a message to the list causes it to be distributed automatically to a subscribing membership of about 900 people worldwide. So questions get lots of answers, and issues get lots of responses. Like hornists themselves, the list is usually full of friendly banter and helpfulness with the occasional curmudgeon. All are welcome.

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Network

Marketplace
Buy or sell horns, accessories, music, etc. Only IHS members are allowed to post and only registered site users may view contact information for items listed.

Member News
IHS news, as well as news items from the horn world submitted by IHS members.

Horn Event Calendar
Add your concert, clinic or workshop to the horn events calendar. Only IHS members are allowed to post.

Performance Job Listings
Compiled and updated quarterly by Jeffrey Agrell

Jobline
A listing of horn related employment opportunities, primarily academic. To post a job opening announcement contact Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..

Assistantships
Assistantships, fellowships and other financial aid opportunities for student hornists. To post an announcement contact Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo..

IHS Forum
Join fellow horn players in a broad ranging forum. Only Only IHS members are allowed to post. The forum includes an"Ask the Pros" section with a different correspondent every other month.

Links
Some of the best the web has to offer for horn players, including many national or regional horn related sites.

Horn Performance Jobs

Compiled by Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

IHS Members are invited to submit information on any upcoming horn auditions not listed here.


Armenia

Australia

Austria

Mozarteumorchester Salzburg

koord. Solo-Horn Verpflichtung zu Diskanthorn + Wagnertuba. Application deadline: April 30. Audition date: Not listed.

Belgium

Brazil

Bulgaria

Canada

Orchestre symphonique de Québec

2nd horn / 2e cor. Application deadline: Sep. 8. Audition date: Sep. 21.

Chile

China

China NCPA Orchestra

French Horn Tutti. Application deadline: see notice. Audition date: see notice.

Guiyang Symphony Orchestra

Horn, associate principal. Application deadline: May 31. Audition date: not listed.

Harbin Symphony Orchestra

All Brass. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Kunming International Philharmonic.

French Horn (One-year contract). Application deadline: Not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Shanghai Symphony Orchestra

Principal Horn. Application deadline: June 7. Audition date: August.

Wuhan Philharmonic Orchestra

Principal horn, 2nd horn. No dates given.

Colombia

Croatia

Cyprus

Czech Republic

Denmark

Ecuador

Egypt

Cairo Symphony Orchestra

Principal Horn, Associate Principal Horn, Horn 2 + 4 (all one-year contracts). Application deadline: June 15. Audition date: July 2-3.

Estonia

Europe

Finland

France

Orchestre National de France

Second Horn playing 4th and 6th. Application deadline: May 28. Audition date: June 15-16.

Orchestre Victor Hugo Franche-Comté

1 cor solo (pouvant jouer 3ème) – 1ère catégorie (Part-time). Application deadline: June 22. Audition date: July 8.

Germany

Essener Philharmoniker

3./2. Horn mit Verpflichtung zur Wagnertube. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Frankfurt Radio Symphony

Solo-Horn. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Granada

Greece

Hong Kong

Hungary

Iceland

Ireland

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Section Leader French Horn. Application deadline: n/a Audition date: not listed.

Israel

Italy

Fondazione Arturo Toscanini

Quarto corno, con obbligo del secondo e della fila - n. 1 posto. Application deadline: June 18. Audition date: not listed.

Teatro Regio di Torino

Secondo, quarto corno e seguenti con obbligo del terzo. Application deadline: Jun. 24. Audition date: not listed.

Japan

Tokyo Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra

Horn (Principal). Application deadline: Aug. 1. Audition date: Sep. 20

Latvia

Lithuania

Luxembourg

Macao

Malaysia

Malta

Mexico

Monaco

Montenegro

Netherlands

Rotterdams Philharmonisch Orkest

4./2. Horn 90% (1) – Permanent. Application deadline: May 20. Audition date: July 1.

New Zealand

Royal New Zealand Navy Band

Horn. Ongoing auditions.

Norway

Palestine/Israel

Poland

Warsaw Philharmonic Orchestra

ORCHESTRAL MUSICIAN – FIRST HORN (FULL-TIME). Application deadline: Aug. 19. Audition date: Sep. 2-3.

Portugal

Qatar

Russia

Scotland

Serbia

Slovakia

Slovenia

South Korea

Spain

ADDA Simfònica

Horn (2 positions). Application deadline: May 31. Audition date: not listed.

Orquesta Sinfónica y Coro RTVE

Horn. Application deadline: May 24. Audition date: not listed.

Orquesta Sinfónica de Euskadi - Basque National Orchestra

Principal Horn Player. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Orquesta Sinfónica de Navarra

Audiciones para 1 plaza de Trompa 2ª/4ª. Application deadline: Aug. 26. Audition date: Aug. 26.

Sweden

Royal Swedish Opera

Principal French Horn. Application deadline: May 13. Audition date: not listed.

Switzerland

Taiwan

Turkey

Bilkent Symphony Orchestra

Principal Horn. Application deadline: June 10. Audition date: June 17.

United Kingdom

City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra

Principal Second Horn. Application deadline: July 6. Audition date: not listed.

Corps of Army Music

Horn. Ongoing auditions.

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Foyle Future Firsts Development Programme 2019/20 - French Horn (Apprenticeship/Academy Position). Application deadline: May 1. Audition date: June 26.

Royal Air Force

Horn - ongoing auditions.

Southbank Sinfonia

Southbank Sinfonia 2020: Horn (Apprenticeship/Academy position). Application deadline: Jul. 1. Audition date: not listed.

Thursford Enterprises

Orchestral Brass Players. Application deadline: May 24. Audition date: not listed.

USA

Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

Per Service Fourth Horn. Application deadline: Aug. 23. Audition date: Aug. 24.

Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Principal Horn. Application deadline: Aug. 2. Audition date: Sep. 16-18.

Charlotte Symphony

Principal Horn. Application deadline: June 1. Audition date: Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Fort Wayne Philharmonic

Principal Horn (One-year contract). Application deadline: Sep. 1. Audition date: Sep. 30.

New York Philharmonic

Principal Horn. Application deadline: not listed. Audition date: not listed.

Shen Yun Orchestra

Horn. Application deadline: ongoing. Audition date: ongoing.

St. Louis Symphony

Assistant/Utility Horn. Application deadline: June 15. Audition date: Prelim - Sept. 8, 9, 23; Final - Sept. 24

US Marine Corps Musician Enlistment

Horn. Ongoing auditions. For further information please contact Gunnery Sergeant Jonathan Bley at 757-613-8215. Or by e-mail at Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.

US Marine Music (multiple auditions)

US Marine Music French Horn Audition - Albuquerque, NM. Application deadline: Jun. 26. Audition date: Jun. 26.

Vietnam

Sun Symphony Orchestra

Associate Principal French Horn. Application deadline: Aug. 5. Audition date: Aug. 12.