Antonio Iervolino was responsible for developing horn playing in Latin America, through his students and with the Association of Trompas of Latin America (ATLA), which was formed in 1987.
Iervolino started playing professionally at age 15 in the movie theaters, zarzuelas, and operas in his native Buenos Aires. He became first horn in Montevideo, Uruguay at age 19, and at age 24 he returned to Buenos Aires to the Teatro Colon, where he remained for 17 years. With little formal instruction or prior teaching experience, and before he had developed a virtuoso technique himself, he produced five virtuoso horn players among his students.
In 1951, after a dispute with management, Iervolino resigned his lifetime position at Teatro Colon. He taught and free-lanced in Buenos Aires, then in 1958 returned to Montevideo, where he played first horn for four years. Then he and his wife moved to Italy, where he became first horn in a chamber orchestra in Milan and later first in the Italian Radio and Television Chamber Orchestra in Naples while his wife pursued an opera career. An automobile accident took his wife's life and injured his mouth severely, and he and his doctors thought that playing again would be impossible.
In 1966, during his convalescence, Iervolino attended a rehearsal at Avery Fisher Hall in New York and he met his future wife, who encouraged him to try playing the horn again. He retaught himself to play on scar tissue and permanent bridgework, became second horn with the American Ballet Theater touring company, and then was invited to Puerto Rico to play first horn in the orchestra and teach at the conservatory where Pablo Casals was the director.
In 1973, Iervolino returned to New York City to teach at Mannes School of Music. He lived in a studio apartment and taught there, often inviting students to stay for days or longer. He never charged anyone who spoke Spanish. His teaching turned into a three-volume method book (The Horn, Its Theory and Basic Technique).
The idea for the ATLA association and its first meeting in San Carlos Bariloche, Argentina was accepted throughout Latin American because of Iervolino's teaching. Luckily, the Teatro Colon Foundation came together with private funds to make the association possible just before the financial crisis in Argentina. Hornists traveled great distances from all over Latin America to attend in a beautiful natural setting. Iervolino later left a substantial portion of his estate to support a foundation to promote and educate horn players in Latin America.
Iervolino was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1990, shortly after his death. A tribute appears in the October 1990 issue of The Horn Call.