Anton Horner (1877-1971)

horner2.jpgAnton Horner founded a distinctively American style of horn playing, and his impact is still with us today. He is credited with having introduced the double horn in the US and having introduced the use of an assistant first horn. He is quoted as saying, "God made some people Horn players; others are not so fortunate."

Horner was born in Austria in 1877; in 1885 he immigrated with his family to the US and settled in Philadelphia. His father was a violinist, and Horner studied violin with him from age 8 to 13. After his father died in 1890, the family returned to Austria. In 1891 he entered the Leipzig Conservatory as a violin student. At the insistence of his great uncle, Josef Semmler, a hornist and music teacher, he took on the horn as his second instrument, studying with Friedrich Gumpert. After a year, he made horn his primary instrument.

Horner returned to Philadelphia upon graduation in 1894 and worked in the Walnut Street Theater and various other jobs. In 1899 Victor Herbert appointed him first horn of the Pittsburgh Orchestra. In the 1900 summer season he played on a European tour with Pittsburgh, and in 1901 as first horn of the Sousa Band. In 1901 he was joined by his brother, Joseph (1882-1944), who had played the previous season as the original second horn of the new Philadelphia Orchestra.

Horner auditioned for the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1902 and was appointed first horn by Fritz Scheel. He was joined again by his brother, who remained second horn until his retirement in 1938. Horner appeared as soloist with the orchestra a number of times; his last solo appearance was in 1928 in the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante. During his years with the Philadelphia Orchestra, he also played with a number of other chamber groups and orchestras, including the Bethlehem Bach Festival and the Baltimore Symphony's first series of concerts. Horner shared first horn duties during the 1929-30 season, and the following season moved to third horn, where he remained until his retirement in 1946.

Horner taught at the Curtis Institute of Music from its founding in 1924 until 1942, and his students (James Chambers, Marc Fischer, Mason Jones, Arthur and Harry Berv, and many others) have performed in orchestras worldwide. In the first years, the faculty played the principal parts in the school orchestra, so students heard and watched their teachers. Horner had his students stand in their lessons to aid breathing. He would sing rather than play to demonstrate, saving his embouchure for evening concerts.

While still at the Pittsburgh Symphony, Horner saw an advertisement for the Kruspe double horn and ordered one, beginning a long association with Kruspe. This first instrument was the Gumpert model double (designed by Edmund Gumpert, Friedrich's nephew). Starting in 1902, Horner had horns built to his specifications (the Horner Model), which he imported and sold until World War II. This design was copied by several other makers, the most notable being the Conn 8D.

Horner's major publication (still available today) is Primary Studies for the French Horn.

Horner was an original member of the IHS, and was elected an Honorary Member in 1971. A tribute appears in the May 1972 issue of The Horn Call and a reminiscence by one of his students in the April 1990 issue.

photo courtesy of The Philadelphia Orchestra Association Archives and John Collins

Marvin Howe (1918-1994)

The Singer of Smooth Melodies
by Randall E. Faust

Excerpted from an article appearing in The Horn Call XXVI, no. 3 (May 1996): 27-36.
photos courtesy of the Office of Public Information at Eastern Michigan University



howe2.jpg"Believing as I do that the horn is best as a singer of smooth melodies, I have laid heavier stress on legato playing than is usual in most beginning brass methods." [Foreword--Method for French Horn--Marvin C. Howe, Remick--MPH, New York, 1950.]

"...and an older teacher, Marvin Howe, showed that music is more than mere notes with a moving performance of Saint-Saens "Romance". ["19th Annual Horn Symposium," British Horn Society, Summer Newsletter 1987, John N. Wates]

Marvin Howe, this singer of smooth melodies, was born February 26, 1918, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was educated in the public schools and graduated from Harding High School in Marion, Ohio in 1935. A lifelong scholar, Marvin's collegiate studies began at the Oberlin Conservatory--where he was the first person to earn a Bachelor of Music degree in Horn in 1939. He also earned from Oberlin his bachelor's degree in School Music in 1940, (Phi Kappa Lambda). A college roommate at Oberlin--Fred Myers--later became the father of the Principal Hornist of the New York Philharmonic--Philip Myers. His horn teacher at Oberlin was a member of the Cleveland Orchestra--William Namen. Also, he was influenced by other members of the Cleveland Orchestra at that time--Martin Morris and Philip Farkas.

After college, his early career was teaching instrumental and vocal music in public schools in Lexington, Ohio, and Glens Falls, New York, before volunteering to serve in World War II. He was a band director in the U.S. Army--serving as a warrant officer at the Army Music School in Arlington, Virginia, and also in the European sector until 1945. During the time Dr. Howe was in the Army, he was stationed at Fort Benning, Georgia, before being sent to Europe. Before entering the Army, Dr. Howe did graduate work at the University of Michigan (1941). However, after returning from Europe, he studied at the Juilliard School of Music and Columbia University in New York City in 1946. While at Juilliard, he studied with New York Philharmonic hornist Robert Schulze.

From 1946 to 1948, Professor Howe taught horn and brass instrument pedagogy at Ithaca College, while completing his Master of Science in Music Education there in 1948. At Ithaca, he worked with trumpeter and brass pedagogue Walter Beeler. Marvin's Method for French Horn was begun at that time-and he often credited Beeler-who was writing his Method for Cornet at the same time-as a particularly helpful consultant. From 1948-1953, he taught at The University of Illinois. As an important center for the study of contemporary music, The University of Illinois brought him into contact with several prominent composers. He performed works such as the Paul Hindemith's Sonata for Horn and Piano (1939) and the Igor Stravinsky's Dumbarton Oaks Concerto under their direction there. The Maine Sketches for Horn and Piano (1952) by Eugene Weigel was inspired by Weigel's hearing Marvin's low register exercises in a nearby studio!

After taking a year off to take care of the family farm in Ohio, Marvin moved his family to Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he became an Instructor of Music at Iowa State Teachers College. In addition to teaching horn, brass instruments, and pedagogy, Marvin toured the State of Iowa as a consultant for music teachers. A performance with George Waln's Woodwind Quintet on a Post-Camp NACWPI Conference at Interlochen, Michigan in 1956, led to his employment at The National Music Camp in 1957. Soon, Interlochen became the summer home for his wife-Arline Howe, his daughters-Nancy and Peggy, and his son Michael. While teaching at the National Music Camp, Dr. Howe touched the lives of many students who are now performing in major symphony orchestras, teach in major universities, and actively support the fine arts throughout the world.

From 1960-1962, he did further graduate work at The University of Iowa. After completing is Master of Fine Arts Degree and residency for the Ph.D., he was appointed Principal Hornist of the Syracuse Symphony and Professor at Syracuse University in New York. The next year, he accepted an invitation to return to teaching at Ithaca College in Ithaca, New York. At both Ithaca and Syracuse, he performed as a hornist with the faculty quintets.

howe1.jpgNineteen sixty-six was an important year for Professor Howe for two reasons: first, he completed the final dissertation requirements for the Ph.D. at The State University of Iowa (his dissertation, "A Critical Survey of Literature, Materials, Opinions and Practices as Related to the Teaching of the French Horn," stands as an important survey of horn teaching today--and an important critique of the state of horn pedagogy as of 1966) and second, he moved to Michigan to teach at Eastern Michigan University. The State of Michigan, then, became his home--teaching at Interlochen during the summers and at Eastern Michigan University during the winter months. Upon retirement in 1979, he moved to Interlochen, and then finally to Traverse City in 1993.

Dr. Howe loved to teach! Whenever the opportunity would present itself, he would be there. When his friend Philip Farkas had a heart attack in 1978, he flew to Bloomington, Indiana, on weekends to make sure the students received their lessons. Later, in 1982, he taught for James Winter at the California State University-Fresno during Dr. Winter's sabbatical leave. Later, when officially "retired", he would give clinics, lectures, and recitals, as well as conducting the horn choir at Interlochen. His energy was remarkable!

Marvin was an active and avid member of The International Horn Society. In addition to contributing to The Horn Call, he served on The Advisory Council, and performed and/or presented clinics at International Horn Workshops in Canada (1975), Provo, Utah (1987), Potsdam, New York (1988) and Texas (1991). In 1990, he was honored with the Society's Punto Award, and in 1994, he was elected to Honorary Membership in the International Horn Society. However, as much as his "official" duties, he enjoyed the camaraderie of the workshops and the chance to be a participant. He and his wife Arline provided support to performers, encouragement to exhibitors, and fellowship to hornists young and old alike. Workshop cafeteria meals were a time to meet friends and revel in the development of his many former students. In addition to the opportunity to see colleagues and hear former students, he relished the chances provided by workshops to learn new truths, rediscover old truths, and to affirm important values. Some of these are documented in his Horn Call article: "Thoughts Triggered by the 1993 IHS Convention, Charleston, Illinois."

In 1988, the Marvin Howe Horn Scholarship Endowment Fund was created by former students of Dr. Howe. Those interested in contributing to this fund in honor of Dr. Howe may contact the Director of Advancement, Interlochen Center for the Arts, Interlochen, Michigan 49643.

MARVIN C. HOWE
Writings for and about the Horn


Pedagogical Materials

  • Method for French Horn, Remick Music Co. New York, 1950. Reprinted by Marvin Howe--available from Mrs. Howe, 6443 Mission Ridge, Traverse City, Mi 49686
  • Ph. D. Dissertation--A Critical Survey of Literature, Materials, Opinions, and Practices and Related to the Teaching of the French Horn (1966), University of Iowa.
  • Notes on the Horn --1967 published in The Horn Call XXII, no. 2 (1992): 53-55.
  • Stopped Horn-- (1968) Treatise. Excerpt published in The Horn Call IV, no. 1 (1973): 19-24.
  • Refinement of Tone Quality--paper presented at the 23rd IHS Symposium, University of North Texas, 1991.
  • Thoughts Triggered by the 1993 IHS Convention, Charleston, Illinois. The Horn Call XIV, no. 1: 75-76.
  • Howe's Handy Hints for Stopped Horn--Unpublished article.
  • Method for Horn-- Volume 2. Unpublished.


MUSIC-- Published Arrangements and Transcriptions

  • Das Signpost --Franz Schubert arranged for Horn Quartet (The Hornist's Nest)
  • Die Zwei Blauen Augen-- Gustav Mahler arranged for horn ensemble (The (Hornist's Nest)
  • Divertimento No. 8--W.A. Mozart arranged for Horn Quartet published by Southern Music Co.
  • Exaudi Deus--Orlando di Lasso arranged for Horn Quartet published by Southern Music Co.
  • Finale-Viennese Sonatina No. 6--W.A. Mozart trans. for Horn Trio (The Hornist's Nest)
  • Ihr Bild--Franz Schubert arranged for Horn Quartet (The Hornist's Nest)
  • Largo from the Violin Concerto in a minor-Vivaldi transcribed for Horn and Piano (Encore Music)
  • Madrigals arr for Horn Quartet 2 volumes--(The Hornist's Nest)
  • Madrigals for Brass Sextet (Elkan Vogel)
  • Quando Corpus--G. Rossini arranged for Horn Quartet (McCoy's Horn Library)
  • Seventeen Horn Duets--(Hornist's Nest) presented at the International Horn Workshop 1975
  • Someone's Horse is Standing There--Russian Folk Song arranged for horn quartet (The Hornist's Nest)
  • Three Tuba Solos-- (Lawson and Gould Co.)

MUSIC-- Unpublished Arrangements and Transcriptions

  • Andante Cantabile-Pinsutti arranged for Horn Quartet
  • Cherubim Song-Bortiansky arranged for Horn Quartet
  • Collected Solos --arr. for Horn and Piano
  • Horn Quartets--A Baker's Dozen
  • Sarabande from the Holberg Suite--Edvard Grieg arranged for Horn Quintet

MUSIC written for, premiered by or dedicated to Marvin C. Howe

  • Elegy and Caprice for Horn and Piano (1994) by William Presser
  • Maine Sketches for Horn and Piano (1952) by Eugene Weigel
  • Night Watch for Horn, Flute, and Timpani (1943) by Ellis B. Kohs
  • "Prelude/Nocturne" from Concerto for Horn and Wind Ensemble (1987) by Randall E. Faust
  • Prelude for Horn Alone (1974) by Randall E. Faust
  • Sonatina for Horn and Piano (1978) by William Presser

Fritz Huth (1908-1980)

huth.jpgFritz Huth entered 10 solo competitions in his lifetime and won them all. He held important orchestra and teaching positions, and many of his students hold principal horn positions in major orchestras.

Huth was principal horn with the Dresden Staatskapelle and Hamburg State Opera (1949-1958). He was a member of Bayreuth Festival orchestras for 35 years. He also was highly regarded as a soloist and chamber musician. His solo tours took him to Africa as well as the Soviet Union and throughout Europe.

Huth taught first at the Music Academy in Detmold and then for 36 years at the Bavarian State Conservatory Würzburg. Among his students are Hermann Baumann and Peter Hoefs. Hoefs was his last student (1970-72) and comments that Huth was one of those musicians whose best years were lost in World War II.

Huth was involved in the Mozart Festival in Würzburg and was awarded a Gold Mozart Medal for his activities there.

Publications include Schule für Horn (Method for Horn), Vorschulübungen (Preparatory Studies) and Tonleiter-Studien (Scale Studies). His method is described: "By means of this systematic, slow, step by step method, it is possible for the beginner to reach his goal as quickly and as surely as possible."

Huth was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1980, shortly before his death. A tribute appears in the October 1980 issue of The Horn Call.

Antonio Iervolino (1912-1990)

iervolino.jpgAntonio 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.

Ifor James (1931-2004)

iforjames.jpgRichard Ifor James was known for his incredible agility and secure high range, but also a broad spectrum of tone color. Philip Jones has said, "What fascinated me about Ifor was his ability to play all over the instrument with enormous panache and great momentum." Ifor left a legacy of recordings, many successful students, and a gift for humor and friendship.

Ifor was born in 1931 in Carlisle, England. His father was a top amateur cornet player and his mother (Ena Mitchell) was a famous soprano. At the age of four, Ifor began playing cornet in a local championship Brass Band. Only three years later he became a "professional," playing trumpet frequently in the theatre, paid in chocolate bars and pens because of child labor laws.

From age 16 to 21, Ifor played football (soccer) for Carlisle United, but at the same time he knew that music was his future. He had always wanted to be an organist, and during this time he became an assistant cathedral organist in Carlisle. When a horn player in the local orchestra became ill, Ifor borrowed the man's horn and played the job. He liked the horn and decided to try it for two years. He studied privately with Aubrey Brain and then won a scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music. He would train for football in the morning, study music afternoons, and play football games on the weekends.

He began his horn career with the Halle Orchestra (after being invited to audition for Sir John Barbarolli) and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra. He also played concertos, recitals, chamber music, and broadcasts and founded the Ifor James Horn Quartet. He loved most playing recitals.

Later Ifor moved to London where he played with many orchestras and chamber groups. He became professor of horn at the Royal Academy of Music, principal horn of the English Chamber Orchestra, and horn player in the Philip Jones Brass Ensemble (1966-1980). With this group he toured the world and made more than 30 recordings. He also recorded many little gems of the horn literature for his Cornucopia project, which also included a lecture series and publishing music for winds.

Ifor became professor for horn at the Royal Northern College (Manchester) and the University of Aberdeen. In 1983 he became professor for horn at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg, Germany, where he taught until retirement in 1996. He was one of the world’s most successful teachers, with over 60 players in the profession, among them several who are now following solo careers and over 20 principal horns. He advocated developing the discipline to practice for hours and to love practicing and never be satisfied. "The world owes you nothing, and this profession is not waiting for you. You have to work hard enough to deserve to be in it."

james-drawing.jpgThe orchestras with which Ifor James performed are too numerous to name, as are the countries he toured. Many famous composers have written for and dedicated works to him. He was also a composer who has written both for the horn and many other combinations. Ifor said about himself: "I play the horn because I can't sing. If I could sing, I would not play the horn."

To relax while on tour, Ifor drew in black and white. He also enjoyed spending time away from professional life at his house in Norway in summer or his flat in Tenerife in winter.

Ifor played a Hess, a Paxman, a Raoux piston F horn, and finally a Paxman B-flat/A and a piccolo B-flat for extremely high works. He enjoyed experimenting with equipment.

Ifor performed at many horn workshops and was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2003. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Aberdeen, also in 2003.

Kurt Janetzky (1906-1994)

janetzky2.jpgKurt Janetzky was a distinguished low-horn specialist and world-class musicologist who enriched the horn and chamber music repertoires with the editing and publication of over two hundred manuscripts, plus books and articles on the history of the horn. He often said, "If I should again be reborn on the earth, I would return as a hornist – and I want to play fourth horn again!" But his lasting legacy is to the horn repertoire and his treatises on the history of the horn.

Janetzky was born in 1906 in Breslau, Silesia (now part of Poland). He studied in Dresden with Adolf Lindner and Ernst von Schuch, then played fourth horn in the Saxon State Orchestra and Dresden Opera under conductors Richard Strauss, Hans Pfitzner, and Karl Böhm. He played briefly with several other orchestras, then moved to Leipzig, where he was a member of the Leipzig Radio symphony Orchestra from 1946 to 1971. He was honored with the title Kammervirtuose in 1952. He made numerous recordings playing horn and lute with the Leipzig orchestra and with the early music ensemble Pro Arte Antiqua Lipsiensis. He was also a member of the Schaffrath Horn Quartet, which was noted for its performance of the Schumann Konzertstück.

In 1972, after he had retired from the orchestra, Janetzky moved from the GDR (former East Germany) to the West, where he was able to publish and disseminate his manuscripts more easily. He corresponded extensively with international horn soloists from his apartment near Heidelberg.

Janetzky found many manuscripts in small libraries and castles in the former GDR. Among the composers whose manuscripts Janetzky rescued from oblivion are CPE Bach, JC Bach, WF Bach, Boccherini, Danzi, Josef Haydn, Michael Haydn, Hummel, Leopold Mozart, WA Mozart, Nicolai, Pagnini, Anton Reicha, Schubert, Stamitz, Telemann, and von Weber.

Janetzky lectured at numerous horn conferences and wrote many articles on the history of the horn and chamber music. His article "The Metamorphoses of Possibilities" (translated by Dr. Ceceilia C. Baumann) appears in the May 1972 issue of The Horn Call. A collection of his lectures and a listing of his editions is found in:

  • Aus der Werkstatt eines Hornisten:Gesammelte Aufsätze von Kurt Janetzky, published by Michael Nagy, Vienna, 1993.


Janetzky's books are authoritative references.

  • Cultural History of the Horn (Kulturgeschichte des Horns), with Bernard Brüchle, translated by Cecilia Baumann-Cloughly, published by Schneider, Tutzing, 1976.
  • The Horn (Das Horn: Eine kleine Chronik seines Werdens und Wirkens), with Bernard Brüchle, translated by James Chater, published by Schott, Mainz, 1984 and Batsford, London, 1988 and Amadeus Press, Portland OR, 1988.
  • A Pictorial History of the Horn (Seriöse Kuriositäten am Rande der Instrumentenkunde) Schneider, Tutzing, 1980.

Janetzky was one of the first elected an IHS Honorary Member, in 1978. A tribute appears in the May 1995 issue of The Horn Call.

Wilhelm Lanzky-Otto (1901-1991)

wl-o.jpgWilhelm Lanzky-Otto was the father of the modern Swedish school of horn playing and arguably the single greatest influence on Scandinavian horn playing as a whole. He inspired a so-called "Lanzky School" of horn playing, influencing others as both player and teacher. Indeed, many of the prominent horn players throughout Scandinavia today are either pupils of, or have been influenced by, the "Lanzky School" style.

Wilhelm was born in Copenhagen in 1909 and began intensive musical studies in piano at age five, first with his mother then at a piano school. Later his studies included the violin, viola, music theory, conducting, and organ. He concertized and taught piano on many occasions throughout his life. In 1928 he was offered a free place at the Royal Danish Conservatory; the same year he received an academic degree.

Along with many other activities, Wilhelm learned to play horn with such success that after only a year he was engaged as assistant principal in Denmark's leading opera orchestra, the Royal Orchestra. He still continued his studies at the conservatory, receiving a piano diploma in 1930 and an organ diploma in 1931.Wilhelm took up the horn so that, if he did not succeed as a professional pianist, he would have an orchestral instrument to fall back on. He could have continued with violin, but with more violinists than demand at this time, the horn provided better opportunity. He studied with Hans Sörensen until 1929. After graduating from the conservatory, he became principal horn in the Tivoli Concert Hall Orchestra. Both the Tivoli and Royal orchestra seasons were four months in the summer, which allowed him to study the rest of the year.

During these years, Wilhelm helped found Blaserkvintetten af 1932 (1932 Wind Quintet), which inspired Danish composers to increase the repertoire for wind quintet.

From 1936-45, he was principal horn with the Danish State Radio Symphony Orchestra, frequently appearing as piano and/or horn soloist. In 1944, his teacher, Hans Sörensen, died. Wilhelm took over his position as principal horn in the Royal Orchestra and horn professor at the Royal Danish Conservatory. Then he took a post as piano teacher at the conservatory in Reykjavik, Iceland, combined with principal horn with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. He also conducted bands and toured as pianist, horn player, or accompanist and worked with many of the great musicians of the day as they stopped in Iceland on their way to and from America. Wilhelm later often referred to "the happy years in Iceland."

Wilhelm was asked to fill a position with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Sweden. Travel was expensive, so a "lacquer" recording and a photograph were sent in place of an audition. He also became teacher of horn and piano at the orchestral school of Gothenburg. After solo tours and broadcasts (in part to make himself known in Stockholm), he was offered the principal horn position in the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in 1956, then applied for and was given the post of horn teacher at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm. Later he helped found the Stockholm Wind Quintet and a brass group, Musica Nova.

Horn playing is at a high standard in Sweden, in large measure due to Wilhelm's influence. His style is a continuation of the classical Danish horn tradition, which itself is a continuation of the tradition found in France, Austria, and Germany. Notable students include his son Ib (who also has been principal horn in the Stockholm Philharmonic and is an IHS Honorary Member), Frøydis Ree Wekre, Rolf Bengtsson, and Sören Hermansson. Because of his broad musical and general education, Wilhelm was known for his interpretative skills. He had a gift for working from particular students' limitations and needs, preaching a particular style of playing while leaving students free to interpret works in their own way.

Wilhelm also promoted equality between the principal and associate principal horn in the orchestra to the point that one never knows quite who is playing which horn part in the Stockholm Philharmonic. In this way, the associate does not build up a fear of the big solos, and the principal has the freedom to pursue solo and other activities without the orchestra suffering. On the other hand, he believed that the section should follow the style of the principal horn without question.

Philip Farkas, in his book A Photographic Study of 40 Virtuoso Horn Players' Embouchures, describes Wilhelm as having "an extremely large, round, and ringing tone, superior high register, superior middle register, superior low register, superior legato and slurs, moderately fast tongue speed, excellent loud dynamics, and superior soft dynamics."

In 1967, Wilhelm "retired" to fourth horn in the Philharmonic, and retired from the orchestra in 1974. He was made an IHS Honorary Member in 1978 and died in 1991. A longer article about Wilhelm by his son Ib appears in the May 2005 issue of The Horn Call.

Edmond Leloir (1912-2003)

leloir2.jpgEdmund Leloir is known around the world for his editions and publications, but he also had a long and distinguished career as an orchestral player and soloist. In his study was a photo of Ernest Ansermet, the conductor who hired him for the Orchestre del la Suisse-Roman, with this dedication: "To E. Leloir, exceptional and exemplary horn player, a very cordial and grateful remembrance." (Á E. Leloir corniste exceptionnel et exemplaire, un bien cordial et reconnaissant sourvenir.)

Leloir was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1912. He first played horn with his father and brother, both amateur horn players, in one of the many city wind bands. His first teacher, after his father, was Hubert Dubois. He studied at the Brussels conservatory with Théo Mahy, and he was awarded six premier prix by the age of 16. He was the last student in Belgium required to perform on both natural and valve horn.

Leloir played in several Belgian orchestras (Anvers, Liège, Brussels) and Monte Carlo, then in 1935 migrated to Switzerland, where he play in Winterthur, Zürich, Bern, and finally in the Orchestre del la Suisse-Roman in Geneva, a position he held for 31 years (1939-1977).

After Leloir won the first International Horn Competition at Geneva in 1939, conductor Ernest Ansermet hired him as principal horn and then orchestrated Schumann's Adagio and Allegro for him to play with the orchestra. In 1952 his horn quartet, Quator de Cors Leloir (with Gérald Dentz, Achille Bonnal, and Jacques Béhar), premiered the Hindemith Sonata for Four Horns.

Leloir played a number of different horns over his career, starting with a single F piston valve Raoux-Millereau, then a rotary valve instrument (German), a Czech horn by Lehman, and an Alexander in B-Flat/A – always searching for a compromise between the French and German sounds. He collected horns of all types, some of which he gave to museums.

Leloir played under Richard Strauss, starting when he was 14 or 15 years old, and after the war, Strauss lived in Switzerland not far from Geneva. Leloir played the premiere of his Serenade in Winterthur. He spoke with Strauss many times and asked him about his horn music. Strauss said that the breath marks in the first concerto were for musical phrasing purposes. Strauss told Leloir that in all his compositions he indicated the metronome markings, but that everyone played everything too fast. Leloir believes that Strauss himself arranged the first concerto for four horns and Till Eulenspiegel as a septet, but published them under another name.

Leloir taught at conservatories in Berne, Fribourg, Monte Carlo, and Geneva, with students from all over Europe and the US. He served on juries for international competitions in Geneva, Munich, Prague, and Toulon. He recorded orchestral works of many composers (all the symphonies of Beethoven and Brahms, all the works of Stravinsky, Debussy, Ravel, and others), many solo horn works (Schumann's Adagio and Allegro, the Sikorski concerto), and the Hübler concerto for four horns. An early recording of the Bach Brandenburg Concerto was issued on 78 rpm but repeated later on 33 rpm.

Leloir wrote a method, books of etudes, and compositions for horn, and he discovered, edited, and published hundreds of works that had been lost or had gone out of print, including concertos by Leopold Mozart, Rosetti, Michael Haydn, Telemann, the Haydn concerto for two horns, the Hübler concerto for four horns, and others.

Leloir was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1983. He retained his interest in the instrument to the end of his life, attending the International Horn Symposium in Lahti, Finland in 2002. An interview with Daniel Bourgue appears in the May 2002 issue of The Horn Call, an article detailing his accomplishments in the May 1995 issue, and a tribute in the February 2004 issue.

Cookies make it easier for us to provide you with our services. With the usage of our services you permit us to use cookies.
Ok