Arkady Shilkloper has electrified IHS symposiums with jazz and improvisation on horn, alphorn, and various other instruments since his first appearance at the 1992 symposium in Manchester, England. He had already impressed the jazz world at various venues, at the same time being a member of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to his contributions to numerous IHS symposiums, Arkady has served on the Advisory Council (2001-2003).
Arkady was born in Moscow in 1956 and now lives in Germany. He started on an alto horn at age six and switched to horn when entering the Moscow Military Music School at age 11. After two years of military service, he studied at the Moscow Gnessin Institute (1976-1981). He was a member of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra (1978-1985), formed a jazz duo with bassist Mikhail Karetnikow in 1984, and performed and toured with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra (1985-1989).
Arkady has collaborated with pianist Mikhail Alperin since 1986; the duo then formed the Moscow Art Trio in 1990 with clarinetist and researcher Sergey Starostin to perform Russian ethno jazz. In 1990 Arkady visited the US for the first time, performing at the University of Idaho Jazz Festival. Pago Libre was formed in 1995 with Austrian violinist Tcho Theissing, Swiss pianist John Wolf Brennan, and Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid; bassist Tom Götze from Dresden joined in 2012. Later Arkady formed the Mauve Trio with Brazilian guitarist Alegre Correa and Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid (their debut album was awarded the Hans Koller Prize as CD of the Year).
Arkady started playing alphorn in 1998, an unusual instrument for improvisational music. He performed the Concerto for Alphorn and Orchestra by Daniel Schnyder, commissioned by the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, in 2004. He has recorded albums with alphorn as well on horn with various ensembles.
Arkady has changed the perception around the world of what is possible on the horn and on instruments related to the horn, especially in the realm of jazz.
The Dutch hornist Ab Koster was professor of horn at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg for 39 years, retiring in 2019; 94% of his former students hold positions as professional performers. Ab is also known as an outstanding orchestral player and as soloist on both natural and modern horn. He has been active in the IHS as a featured artist at IHS symposiums and serving on the Advisory Council for two terms (1998-2001 and 2014-2016).
Ab was born in The Hague, Holland, the son of a Dutch hornist. He completed his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in his hometown with a Prix d’Exellence, then continued at the Folkwang University in Essen, Germany with Hermann Baumann, who called him one of the “leading hornist of his generation.”
Ab held the position of principal horn in the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Germany from 1977 until 1990, when he left in order to accept many invitations as soloist and chamber musician. He has collaborated with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Gustav Leonhardt, and Frans Brüggen (Orchestra of the 18th Century) and earned an international reputation with solo performances, records, radio, and television recordings in various countries. Concert tours have led him to almost all countries in Europe as well as in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, China, and Taiwan.
For years, Ab has belonged to the small circle of soloists who are sought after world-wide, on the natural horn as well as on the valve horn. His interpretation of the concertos by Mozart and Strauss are particularly celebrated all over the world.
John Clark has advanced horn playing in both classical and jazz improvisation, playing and teaching, recording, composing, and publishing. He is one of the first and one of the few full-time jazz horn artists in the US. He has been a leader and teacher in modern and free jazz and free improvisation. He received a patent for the “hornette,” an instrument with the same range as the horn but with a forward-facing bell. His book, Exercises for Jazz French Horn, has been a standard for both jazz and classical students since its publication in 1993.
John was born in Brooklyn in 1944 and grew up in Rochester, New York. He earned a BA at the Eastman School of Music, played in the US Coast Guard Band, and then earned an MM degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston. John’s teachers included Verne Reynolds, James Stagliano, Thomas Newell, and Paul Ingraham on horn and Jaki Byard, Ran Blake, and George Russell for composition and improvisation. He taught at SUNY Purchase (2001-1008), then at the Manhattan School of Music.
John hosted the Northeast Horn Workshop at SUNY Purchase in 2005, featuring three IHS Honorary Members: Gunther Schuller (discussing the horn solo in Till Eulenspiegel), Willie Ruff (in performance with his duo partner, pianist Dwike Mitchell), and Verne Reynolds; although Reynolds was unable to attend, his 48 Etudes were performed and recorded by a series of artists.
John has freelanced in the New York City area and performed and recorded with many jazz and popular artists and ensembles, classical ensembles, and on films. His recording and publishing label is Hidden Meaning Music. His awards include the Down Beat Critics’ Poll (1979-1982), a National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Award (1986), and IHS Honorary Member (2018).
Hector McDonald has been principal horn with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Concentus Musicus Wien, performing on the Vienna, Baroque, Classical, natural, and modern double horn. Over his 45-years playing brass instruments, he has also played tenor horn (alto horn in the US), euphonium, and trombone. He recently retired from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1989-2018) and as Professor of Horn at University for Music and the Performing Arts in Graz, Austria (1997-2018).
The Vienna Symphony stated, “A true legend bids farewell. Having shaped the sound and life of the orchestra for close to three decades, our Principal Horn retires. We will miss him deeply.” Peter Luff, Griffith Conservatory in Brisbane, says, “Next to Barry Tuckwell, Hector is the most influential living Australian horn player/pedagogue, and along with Barry was a major inspiration to me as a student and still is!”
Hector was born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia in 1953. He studied with Alan Mann and later with Campbell Barnes and Hermann Baumann. He played in the RAAF Band and the ABC Training Orchestra before becoming a member of the Berlin Philharmonic 1976. He returned to Australia in 1980 to teach at the Canberra School of Music. His playing and teaching have influenced horn playing in Australia and around the world. He appears regularly at International workshops and seminars.
Hector has performed as soloist with leading orchestras in Europe, the US, South-East Asia, and Australia. He is professor of horn at the University for Music and the Performing Arts in Graz, Austria (kug.ac.at) and appears regularly at workshops and seminars around the world. He has recorded solos and chamber music, including Weber's Concertino and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante K.297b on natural horn as well as concertos by Haydn, Telemann, Förster, and Teyber. More recently, he has performed as Principal Horn with the Australian World Orchestra with Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, and Simone Young.
Hector received the Punto Award at the IHS symposium in Brisbane, Australia in 2010 and was elected an Honorary Member at the IHS symposium in Muncie, Indiana in 2018.
Paul Staicu has been an orchestral player, a professor, and a conductor who escaped from behind the Iron Curtain in Romania to settle in France. He was solo horn in the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra (1961-1968) and professor of horn and chamber music at the Bucharest Academy (1966-1978). He founded and conducted the Constanta Symphony Orchestra in 1980, which later toured outside communist Romania, including the US in 1984 and 1989. He was denied a departure visa for many years, but in 1989, after suffering two heart attacks, he was allowed to leave Romania to serve on the jury for the Munich Woodwind Quintet Competition. Rather than return to Romania, he went to France, had heart bypass surgery, was advised to give up playing horn, and, as a conductor, founded a new orchestra in Montbéliard in northwestern France.
Paul was born in 1937 in Bucharest, Romania. He graduated from the Prague Academy of Music in 1961 and the Vienna Academy of Music in 1970. He won international competitions, including Bucharest (1953), Moscow (1957), Birmingham (1965), Geneva (1965), and Prague (1967). He adjudicated solo horn and chamber music competitions in Munich, Prague, and Cassello di Duino, Italy. His students have won international prizes and play in orchestras around the world.
Paul recorded the three Mozart concertos in E-flat as both soloist and conductor in 1987. He was awarded a Cultural Medal in Romania in 1968, the Richard Wagner Anniversary Medal in Bayreuth in 1974, and a special Life Achievement Prize and Medal of Honor from the city of Montbéliard. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2017.