Norman Schweikert was a huge influence not only on stage but through his teaching. In the 80’s and early 90’s, he conducted the horn choir at Northwestern University. Norman transcribed a number of works, but the Vaughan Williams struck me as a wonderful tribute to him. With the Chicago Symphony Orchestra dedicating a concert to Norman last November 1st, I thought the timing was right for a large horn choir with former students and current students. It would have been the way Norman would also want to be remembered.

Gail Williams, Horn Professor
Northwestern University

schweikert tribute

This concert turned into more than I ever expected. I would suggest it to one horn player, and the word got around about the recital - more and more people wanted to play. Brian Thomas, 2nd horn of the Houston Symphony and a former Schweikert student, provided me with programs from his era at NU. The program included a few works from those programs and in this order! Nu Horn students Chicago Symphony Horn Section joined by former students Chicago Horn Consort The Wilder work was performed with Norman many years ago. Vaughan Williams with 45 Hornists and Tuba, Gene Pokorny We sent Norman a huge lovely sound and certainly a memorable tribute.

Gail Williams, horn
Guests from Chicago Symphony Horn Section
Guests from the Lyric Opera Horn Section 
Distinguished Alumni
Chicago Horn Consort
Fiona Queen, harpsichord
Eric Schweikert, drum set
Julian Paul Richey, guitar
Adam Maloney, bass
NU HORN Ensemble

Sunday, November 3, 2019, at 3:00 P.M.

Halcyon (2013) for Eight Horns - James Naigus (b. 1987)
Sylvia Denecke, Blaine Dodson, Kimmi Hebdon, Molly Kaplan, Steven Kirby, Alex Moore, Mark Morris, Jared Sander, Scott Sanders, Eden Stargardt, Michael Stevens, Julian Stiles, Sam Williams

Color Contrasts for Eight Horns - George Hyde (1921-2014)
Jonathan Chiou, Jordan Dinkins, Kali Dodd, Kara Miller, Justin Ruleman, Sophie Steger, Mira Vanchiswar, Helen Wardelin, Kyli White

Prelude and Fugue in A Minor - Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) (transcribed for Eight Horns by Lowell Shaw)
Alleluia - Randall Thompson (1899-1984) arr. John Schrekengost
Chicago Horn Consort, Mary Gingrich, conductor

Suite for 8 Horns - Ronald Lo Presti (1935-1985)
Fanfare, Nocturne, March
David Cooper, James Smelser, Oto Carrillo, David Griffin, Susanna Gaunt, Bernhard Scully, Adam Unsworth, Brian Thomas, Erich Peterson, Jason Snider, Seth Orgel, Russell Rybicki, Ryan Little, Mary Jo Neher, Jeremiah Frederick, Matt Oliphant, Valerie Whitney

Jazz Suite - Alec Wilder (1907-1980)
Gail Williams, Adam Unsworth, Ryan Little, Brian Thomas, horn
Fiona Queen, harpsichord
Eric Schweikert, drums
Julian Paul Richey, guitar
Adam Mahoney, bass

Fantasia on a Theme of Thomas Tallis - Vaughan Williams (1872-1958), arr. Norman Schweikert
CSO Horns: David Cooper, James Smelser, David Griffin, Oto Carrillo, Susanna Gaunt
Lyric Opera Horns: Jonathan Bowen, Fritz Foss, Samuel Hamzem
Alumni: Jason Snider, Adam Unsworth, Russell Rybicki, Seth Orgel, Brian Thomas, Ryan Little, Erich Peterson, Bernhard Scully
CHC: Anna Jacobson, Beth Mazur-Johnson, Jeremiah Frederick, Lee Shirer, Mary Jo Neher, Matt Oliphant, Michael  Buckwalter, Parker Nelson, Valerie Whitney, Mary Gingrich
NU HORN Ensemble: Jonathan Chiou, Sylvia Denecke, Jordan Dinkins, Kali Dodd, Blaine Dodson, Kimmi Hebdon, Molly Kaplan, Steven Kirby, Kara Miller, Alexander Moore, Mark Morris, Justin Ruleman, Jared Sanders, Scott Sanders, Eden Stargardt, Sophie Stever, Michael Stevens, Julian Stiles, Mira Vanchiswar, Helen Wargelin, Kyli White, Sam Williams

Gail Williams, Conductor

Tribute to Norman Schweikert (1937-2018)

Norman Schweikert, former associate professor of horn and longtime member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, died December 31, 2018, at age 81.

A native of Los Angeles, Schweikert began piano lessons at age six, added violin soon after, and turned to the horn at age 13. His first horn teachers were Los Angeles Philharmonic members Odolindo Perissi and Sinclair Lott. During high school, Schweikert won a scholarship to the Aspen Music Festival, where he studied with Joseph Eger. At age 18 he auditioned for Erich Leinsdorf, then music director of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, and won his first professional post at the RPO’s youngest member. Initially hired as fourth horn, he went on to play second and third horn. 

While in Rochester, Schweikert attended the Eastman School of Music, studying with Morris Secon and Verne Reynolds. He graduated in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree and performer’s certificate in horn. During his 11-year RPO tenure, Schweikert served three years with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point as well as five years on the faculty of the Interlochen Arts Academy as horn instructor and a member of the Interlochen Arts Quintet.

In 1971, at the invitation of music director Georg Solti, Schweikert joined the Chicago Symphony as assistant principal horn, just in time for the orchestra’s first European tour. In 1975 he was named second horn, the position he held until his retirement in 1997. From 1973 until 1998 Schweikert was an associate professor of horn at Northwestern. A founding member of the International Horn Society, he served as its first secretary/treasurer. 

In retirement, Schweikert and his wife, Sally - a 30-year veteran of the Chicago Symphony Chorus - made their home on Washington Island in Wisconsin, where he performed with the Washington Island Music Festival. Schweikert also continued his research into the lives of US orchestra members, a project he had started while studying at Eastman. In 2012 his book The Horns of Valhalla - the story of horn players Josef and Xaver Reiter - was published by WindSong Press. 

Schweikert is survived by his wife and their son, Eric, principal timpani of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

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