Tone Sundgård Anker was born in Trondheim, Norway. She was educated as a music teacher at Østlandets Musikkonservatorium in Oslo. After her teaching diploma she graduated with an orchestral diploma from the Hochschule für Musik Trossingen in Germany as a student of professor Francis Orval. Furthermore she took soloist- and chamber music diploma from Hochschule für Musik Winterthur, Switzerland, with teacher David Johnson. Since 1996 Tone Anker has been the solo horn player in Odense Symfoniorkester, Denmark, and has had several solo performances with this orchestra. She is active as a teacher at Odense Musikskole and Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium and Southern Denmark Conservatory of Music. Besides this she frequently plays chamber music and is a member of a trio for horn, violin and piano. She was interviewed for the IHS E-Newsletter by Advisory Council member Kristina Mascher.
Q: Tone, you came to Central Europe to study with David Johnson and Francis Orval. What was it that made you return to Scandinavia?
A: I loved living, studying and working in Germany and Switzerland. I wanted, after 3 years of studying in Oslo, Norway, to get new inspiration and learn from fantastic hornplayers abroad. My plan was to get a job in an orchestra. As you know, you have to work hard, be at the right place at the right time, play your best AND be the one they are looking for..to get a job in an orchestra.I was lucky to be that one in september 1995 in Odense, Denmark. In one break during the audition, I went for a walk and got the feeling, that I would love to stay here, I felt welcome and at home. And I could speak my own language, norwegian, after 4 years of mostly german. I am happy to say, that I am still loving working here in my orchestra and in Denmark.
Q: Would you say that there is such a thing as the Scandinavian horn sound? If so, how would you describe it?
A: I don't know if we have our own sound. First, we play on a lot of different horns: Alexander, Paxman, Rauch, Dieter Otto, Dürk etc. So we do not play the same instrument as in Vienna. I also think that we do have a lot of fantastic hornplayers in each of the nordic countries. And they play their own way. We do have "stars" in each country that have a big influence of how the rest of the hornplayers are inspired to play.
Q: What other Scandinavian musicians have been an inspiration to you?
A: I could mention a lot of inspiring musicians..Frøydis Ree Wekre is one of them. She has had a positive influence for female horn players, by showing us that it is possible to be a woman and a professional hornplayer, in a brass section / world, full of men. I have the pleasure of leading my horn section, of me and 4 male hornplayers, and it has never been a problem, I do feel accepted. I also want to mention the Danish Radio Big Band. I had the big pleasure of playing, with this fantastic group of jazz musicians, a Gil Evans program, in some concerts in Denmark, Norway and Germany. I was totally “high” for weeks and months after. As an orchestra horn player, it was so inspiring to be in this “another world of music and playing”. Much more free! Of course they had music, but they were improvising and playing from their hearts! Beautiful musicians! A gift for me as a classical hornplayer!