Louis Stout (1924-2005)

Louis StoutLouis Stout was a highly-regarded orchestral player (he never lost an audition), a revered teacher with scores of successful students, and a renowned collector of brass instruments. He had inexhaustible energy and curiosity, learned solfège early, memorized all the horn excerpts, and was always willing to share his expertise and stories. His teachers were Elaine Kessler, Marvin Howe, Mason Jones, and Robert Schultz.

Louis was born in 1924 in Hallisport NY, a village of 75 people with a two-room schoolhouse. There he studied piano with a fine teacher, learned solfège, and developed a love for literature and the arts that led to his vast collection of books, music, recordings, and instruments. He learned to play the trumpet, trombone, violin, clarinet, and guitar in high school, taking up the horn as a high school sophomore.

By the age of ten, Louis was listening to the Chicago Symphony on the radio. He vowed that he would one day play in the orchestra, a vow that he was able to fulfill. During high school, a friend died and the friend's mother asked Louis to play for her son. Many times over the years, Louis would face difficult solo passages with a sense of perspective that made the passages less important than other elements of life.

Louis graduated from high school at age 15 and spent most of the following year playing horn solos with a pianist friend. Then he enrolled at Ithaca (NY) College, where his horn teacher made a major change in his embouchure, which he later said was the best thing for his career even though it was difficult at the time. It was also at college that his teacher insisted he learn the B-flat side of the horn, and he became primarily a player of the B-flat horn. During his junior year, Louis borrowed money to buy his first "professional" horn, a 45-year-old Schmidt that he later said was the best horn he ever owned, and played an audition for first horn in the New Orleans Symphony. He had won the audition and signed the contract when it was discovered that he was not a union member; however, the manager wanted Louis enough to arrange the necessary membership.

In New Orleans, Louis learned to fly an airplane and found his wife, flutist Glennis Metz. The orchestra season was only 20 weeks, so Louis toured with the North Carolina Symphony and played with the Virginia Symphony for additional income. After two years, he went to New York City and joined the orchestra at Radio City Music Hall. In 1950, when a new conductor took over and brought his own players, Louis went back to Ithaca College to finish his bachelor's degree. During his senior year, he taught all the horn students plus other brass students and became a flute major (since he couldn't teach himself), playing his wife's flute.

Ithaca College wanted Louis to continue teaching, but he need more income to support his family and took a job with Kansas City. After four years, with a growing family, Louis was looking for an orchestra with a longer season. He auditioned for Chicago and got a contract as associate principal for a 36-week season and a salary of $100 more per week. He asked to take lessons from Philip Farkas, the first horn and his idol. He was refused but felt that he got his lessons by sitting next to his "teacher" in the orchestra.

Louis played in Chicago for five years (1955-1960) under Reiner, then applied for a position at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. At the audition, he played from memory for two hours and was accepted in spite of not having a master's degree. He taught at Michigan for 28 years, and was known as a demanding teacher, with a thorough and tough regimen, combined with fatherly concern. Even after retirement, he taught privately.

During his Chicago and Michigan years, Louis acquired an amazing collection of instruments, with which he toured the US and Europe in a lecture/demonstration called "The Horn: from the Forest to the Concert Hall." The collection is one of the largest private collections in the world and is now in the Franz Streitweiser's Trumpet and Horn Museum at Schloss Kremsegg in Linz, Austria. Louis's interest in historical horns led to his pioneering use of natural, single B-flat, and descant horns for early music performance.

Louis served on the Fulbright committee, and he and Glennis taught in Taiwan for two years on a Fulbright grant after his retirement. Louis participated in many IHS symposiums, often surrounded by adoring students. He was given the Punto award in 1991 and was elected an Honorary Member in 2005.

A tribute to Louis appears in the October 1989 issue of The Horn Call and a remembrance in the February 2006 issue.

photo courtesy of Holton

Willem A. Valkenier (1887-1986)

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Valkenier is recognized as one of the "founding fathers" of horn-playing in the United States. He came from the European (Czech and German) tradition, and his tenure in Boston influenced players and his many students.

Valkenier was born in 1887 in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He had piano lessons as a child and started horn with a military clarinetist, who, when Valkenier was 14, sent him to Edward Preus. Preus was a natural horn player from Bohemia (Czechoslovakia) who had played first horn in a German opera company in Rotterdam and settled there. He was a strict taskmaster, sparing with praise, who taught the Czech cantabile tradition.

After two years studying with Preus, Valkenier started playing in a vaudeville theater orchestra. In the summer, he played in a Civil Guard symphonic band with Preus playing first horn, a continuation of his education. His first major professional job was third horn in a symphony orchestra in Gronignen (Netherlands), then a year as first horn in Haarlem. Wanting a better living than he could attain in the Netherlands, he found a job as first horn in the Collegium Musicum in Winterthur, Switzerland. After a year, he saw an advertisement for first horn in Breslau (Silesia, later part of Poland), a larger city, where he won the job and got an excellent grounding in opera.

Valkenier applied for a summer engagement in Bad Kissingen, Germany, where the Konzertverein Orchestra from Vienna played. After he had performed the Aria from the Bach B Minor Mass, Valkenier was offered the permanent first horn position; the orchestra bought out the remainder of his Breslau contract. In Vienna, Valkenier played a lot of Mahler (Mahler had died the year before) as well as chamber music. World War I wreaked havoc with the orchestras in Vienna, so in 1914 Valkenier found a position as first horn with the Berlin State Opera, where he stayed nine years and played under Furtwangler and Richard Strauss, among others.

In 1923, Valkenier, a pacifist and still a Dutch citizen, began to see that conditions in Germany were going to "go wrong" in response to the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. He was friendly with cellist Pablo Casals and considered settling in Barcelona, but finally decided to try America. Valkenier talked with conductors in New York and Chicago, but both had six-month union waiting periods, so he went to Boston (a non-union orchestra until 1942) as first horn of the second horn section.

Valkenier was a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra from 1923 to 1950. His first year was under Pierre Monteux, then Koussevitsky took over for 25 years. Around 1950, Valkenier started having trouble with his teeth and so decided to stop playing. He had not liked playing under Koussevitsky, so he stayed long enough to play a season under Charles Munch.

While in Boston, Valkenier delighted in performing chamber music, in both professional engagements and informal pick-up sessions with his colleagues in the BSO or with visiting artists such as Arthur Schnabel, Arnold Schoenberg, and Paul Hindemith. He also played viola and cello parts on his horn.

Valkenier taught many students at New England Conservatory during his BSO tenure and others on Cape Cod during his retirement. He had high standards and insisted on everything being played correctly, but he was also gentle and encouraging, and he was an advisor and confidant to his students, taking a paternal interest in them.

Valkenier started playing on a hand horn, then a Slot single horn. His first double horn was a Kruspe, and the second a Schmidt. Later he used a Kruspe single B-flat horn for operas and a Schmidt single high F horn for high Bach cantatas.

Valkenier was elected an Honorary Member in 1971. A profile of him appears in the October 1983 issue of The Horn Call, a memoriam in the October 1986 issue, and a transcription of an interview in the February 1994 issue. Additional photos of Boston Symphony Orchestra sections appear in the April 1988 issue.

James Winter (1919-2006)

winterJames Winter loved teaching. In addition to horn, he taught music theory, history, conducting, brass instruments, and brass pedagogy, and he always saw music in a broad context. He helped steer the IHS in the early years as editor. As president, he started the composition contest and oversaw the first international symposium in Detmold, Germany. In personality, he was warm and witty, with an engaging way of conveying musical concepts.

Jim was born in 1919 in Minneapolis. His family moved several times during his youth, but Jim fortunately had good music teachers. He started on cornet in sixth grade and moved to mellophone in seventh grade and horn in his junior year in Kansas City, where he had group horn lessons with Philip Farkas. He attended Carleton College (Northfield MN, near Minneapolis), where he eventually decided to make a career of teaching. He studied horn with J. Harris Mitchell, and also with William Muelbe of the Minneapolis Symphony.

Jim served in the US Navy in the Pacific Theater from 1942-1946 on combat duty. Afterwards, he earned a master's degree in music history, literature, and musicology at Northwestern University, where he studied horn with Max Pottag. He was encouraged to play horn professionally, but he was intent on a teaching career.

Jim accepted a teaching position at Fresno State College in 1947 and stayed for 40 years, rising from instructor to professor and through two administrative stints to Outstanding Professor and the University's Grand Marshall. From 1948-1968, he led the brass program; the brass choir was the outstanding ensemble of its kind on the West Coast and the students comprised "the sturdy anchor" of the Fresno Philharmonic during those years. Many students attended Fresno State (now California State University at Fresno) in order to study with Jim. His students included David Bakkegard (Baltimore) and David Krehbiel (San Francisco, also an IHS Honorary Member). Jim considered his students "'my' students in a very real sense" and took pride in the memory of them and their accomplishments, not only as horn players, but in many professions.

In 1954, Jim took a leave of absence to earn a PhD in composition (Philip Geeley Clapp and Philip Bezanson), brass pedagogy, and philosophy at the University of Iowa. His compositions include Suite for a Quartet of Young Horns and Canon for Two Horns.

Jim's playing career included principal horn of the Fresno Philharmonic from 1954 and assistant conductor from 1980 to 1997, principal horn of the American Symphony Orchestra League West Coast Workshop Orchestra for ten years, principal horn and soloist of Music from Bear Valley (1970-1982), and hornist with the California Woodwind Quintet.

Jim was an active editor and author. He was horn editor of Woodwind World for ten years and brass editor of the NACWPI Journal for five years. In addition to many articles in The Horn Call and The Instrumentalist, he published a brass method, The Brass Instruments (Alyn & Bacon).

Jim played Geyer horns and often took an extra horn to engagements in case someone else's horn malfunctioned. He advocated using the F side up to C in the treble staff, and in later years warmed up on a Schmidt single F horn.

Jim's support of the IHS is inestimable. He was Editor of The Horn Call (1972-1976), IHS Advisory Council member (1972-1976 and 1981-1987), and IHS President (1983-1986). He was elected an Honorary Member in 1998.

Tributes to Jim appear in the October 2006 issue of The Horn Call, announcement of his election as an Honorary Member in the November 1998 issue, and a biography on the occasion of his retirement in the October 1987 issue. The James H. Winter Memorial Brass Scholarship has been established in his honor at California State University Fresno.

Hermann Baumann

baumann2.jpg"Baumann is an excellent musician, both as a soloist and as a collaborator in chamber works. The hallmarks of his playing are singing tone – he can sound operatic! – and the smoothness and evenness of his tone production, even on 'authentic' instruments." He pioneered the playing of early baroque and classical hand horns in performance, and his recovery from a serious stroke has been astonishing and inspiring.

Hermann Rudolph Konrad Baumann was born in Hamburg, Germany in 1934. Perhaps it is not surprising that his horn playing is compared to singing since he started his musical career as a singer and jazz drummer, switching to horn at age 17. He studied horn with the eminent teacher and soloist Fritz Huth, then played with various orchestras for 12 years, including first horn with the Dortmund Orchestra and the Stuttgart Radio Symphony Orchestra.

After winning the ARD International Music Competition in Munich in 1964, Baumann accepted a professorship at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen and pursued a career as a horn soloist. Solo engagements, recitals, world touring, and recordings all followed, and he became known and admired throughout the world. Baumann's recordings on both modern and natural horn (including the corno da caccia) have received rave reviews.

Baumann's fascination with the natural horn began at the Munich competition, when an audience member, Willi Aebi, a farm-machinery manufacturer from Switzerland, complained after his performance that Baumann didn't know the natural horn, but Aebi then invited Baumann to play his collection of natural horns and also presented him with an alphorn.

Baumann taught many successful students at the Folkwang Hochschule in Essen during his 30-year tenure. One of his strong point in teaching, according to a student, was not to have his students copy him, but to respect each individual. He encouraged his students to practice together and attend concerts with him. Throughout the decades, he has lectured and given master classes around the world, continuing to participate in symposiums and other venues even in retirement. His wife of 40 years, Hella, a support for both Baumann and his students, died in 1997.

Baumann commissioned works from such composers as Jean-Luc Darbellay, Bernhard Krol, and Hans-Georg Pflüger. He played the first performance of Ligeti's Trio for Horn, Violin, and Piano in 1982 to great acclaim from the composer. And he has composed his own works, notably the Elegia for hand horn.

In 1999, the Historic Brass Society honored Baumann in Paris with the Christopher Monk Award for his outstanding lifelong contribution to music on period instruments. He has been known to play other natural horns – some not often found on the concert stage - such as the South African Kelphorn, the posthorn, and the Danish Lure.

Baumann became an IHS Honorary Member in 1992, and the August 1998 issue of The Horn Call was devoted to him. In this issue, Baumann recounts his experience with the stroke that paralyzed his right side, and his difficult but successful recovery. Baumann had performed the Strauss Concerto No. 2 with the Buffalo Philharmonic and was discovered in his hotel room the next morning, hours after the stroke. After two weeks in a Buffalo clinic, he was transported to a rehabilitation clinic in Essen. He had to learn to walk, speak, write, hear, and eventually play horn again. He started teaching just five months after the stroke, and in two years was soloist and conductor at a gala concert.

Bernhard Brüchle (1942-2011)

bruechle2Bernard Brüchle is best known for his books documenting the history of the horn and publications for the horn.

Brüchle was born in Munich in 1942, where he studied both the horn and psychology.

He is the author of the first two volumes of a three-volume set called Horn Bibliographie (published by Heinrichshofen Wilhelmshaven), a reference that lists virtually everything published for the horn before 1983. (The third volume was written by Daniel Lienhard.)

Brüchle has also co-authored with Kurt Janetzky illustrated books on the horn, available in both German and English.

bruechle
Brüchle (R) with fellow hornist and
musicologist Kurt Janetzky
  • (The Horn) Das Horn: Eine kleine Chronik seines Werdens und Wirkens, translated by James Cater, ©1977
  • (A Pictorial History of the Horn) Kulturgeschichte des Horns - Ein Bildsachbuch, translated by Cecilia Baumann, ©1976

Brüchle was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1980.

Peter Damm

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photo courtesy of Jan van den Eijnden

Peter Damm has been described as "legendary" - he is known for both his exceptional abilities as a player, and for his editions of many of the standard works in the horn repertoire. In particular, among his performances, his recordings of Strauss with the Staatskapelle Dresden are held in high regard.

Damm was born in 1937 in Meiningen, Thüringen, Germany, which was in the GDR (East Germany) from the end of World War II until reunification in 1990. He began his musical education at age 11 with violin lessons, moving to horn at age 14, studying with Franz Nauber in Meiningen. After a short period as a forestry apprentice, he studied horn with Karl Biehlig at the Hochschule für Musik in Weimar (1951-1957).

Damm began his orchestral career in 1957 as solo hornist with the orchestra of Gera, Thuringia (Orchester der Bühnen der Stadt Gera). He became principal horn in the Gewandhaus Orchestra of Leipzig in 1959 and principal horn with the Dresden State Orchestra (Staatskapelle) in 1969. On his retiring from Dresden in 2002, the orchestra made him an honorary member. He balanced a solo career with the orchestral job, which he enjoyed because, "I'm the type of person who feels his best when he is under pressure. … I never wanted to leave the orchestra. For me, the orchestra is a very good critic; when we rehearse, we make comments to each other, and it is only in this manner that an orchestra or a group can maintain a high standard of quality. … The experience between both disciplines brings something extra to each one. I know when I have to play as a soloist and when I have to move back and blend in with the orchestra."

Competitions include the International Competition Moscow 1957 (Silver Medal), International Music Competition of the ARD München 1960 (Second Prize), and the International Competition Prague Spring 1962 (First Prize).

Other honors include the titles Kammermusiker (1969) and Kammervirtuose (1971), Art Award of the GDR (1972), National Award of the GDR (1979), Fritz-Busch-Award (1995), and Art Award of the City of Dresden (1998).

Damm has appeared in solo performances in Europe, Japan, South America, and the United States. He has played the Strauss Concerto op. 11 in over 150 performances. His editions of the standard literature are published by Breitkopf and Härtel, and he has recorded some thirty solo works on the Eterna label. His recordings of the Mozart concertos with Neville Marriner are the result of decades of research. His extensive repertoire of solo works, chamber music, and concertos ranges from 18th century works to contemporary music.

In an interview in the November 1994 issue of The Horn Call, Damm describes the difficulties of traveling from the GDR (East Germany). "If you played in one of the big orchestras, then you had a bit more freedom. All the concerts that I did in the West were through the initiative of outside invitations, and I wasn't always allowed to leave the country! I discovered much later that there were two years where the agency simply told everyone that I wasn't available. However, after I came to Dresden, as long as I could arrange with the other horn players to have the time off, then I could accept most offers, and was allowed to travel."

"Another problem was that we had to give up part of what we had earned – a so-called 'mandatory transfer' into East German currency – and there wasn't much money left over. Sometimes I would rather eat in supermarkets than in restaurants, and buy music instead. Finally I went to the Ministry of Culture in Berlin to explain that it was necessary to buy music to get new repertoire, and they agreed to reduce by ten percent the amount that I had to transfer. … Now if I decide I want to do something, I can simply get in my car and go; I don't have to ask permission, and apply for permits and so on."

Until 2007, Damm was honorary horn professor at the Carl Maria von Weber Conservatory in Dresden and is a frequent guest professor all over the world. "I enjoy working with young people, especially when they are interested in learning. … It is important not just to practice, but to practice intelligently. … I worked for many years at the International Music Seminar in Weimar where my goal was to bring the East and the West together. After the German reunification, I stopped working there because I felt I had achieved my goal." He has been president of the International Competition for Wind Instruments in Markneukirchen since 1986. He was elected an Honorary Member of the International Horn Society in 1992.

After 56 years, Damm played his last solo performance at the 2007 International Horn Symposium in La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland. His motto: "Finish your career as long as people still regret it..."

Michael Hatfield

mhpic.jpgMichael Hatfield has been an orchestral horn player, a teacher, and an active member of the IHS, currently serving as Chairman of the scholarship program.

Mike is a native of Indiana, born in 1936. He studied both trumpet and horn in his youth but also had early ambitions towards a career in the television industry as a producer or director. At Indiana University, he earned both the Bachelor of Science degree and the first Performer's Certificate in Horn granted by that institution under the tutelage of Verne Reynolds. He also studied with Christopher Leuba and Philip Farkas.

Upon graduation in 1958, Mike joined the Indianapolis Symphony as assistant principal horn, moving to third horn the next season. In 1961, he was appointed principal horn of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for the next 23 years. While in Cincinnati, Hatfield also served as Adjunct Professor and Chair of the Brass, Woodwind, and Percussion Division at the College-Conservatory of Music of the University of Cincinnati, and was a member of the Cincinnati Woodwind Quintet with his principal colleagues from the Symphony. Summers he returned to Aspen where he played second horn to Philip Farkas in the Aspen Festival Orchestra from 1960-68. In 1972 he became co-principal of that orchestra and joined the faculty of the Festival, positions he would hold until 1989.

In 1984, Mike joined the faculty at Indiana University, replacing his former teacher, Philip Farkas, upon Farkas's retirement, and served as Chair of the Brass Department. In the summers he was also principal horn of the Santa Fe Opera and a member of the Grand Teton Festival Institute faculty and its Orchestra. He is now retired, with the title Professor Emeritus. In 2000, he was elected to the Board of Directors of Cormont Music where he offers input into the planning and execution of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp and its scholarship program.

Mike was a featured artist at the 1983 and 1985 IHS International Workshops and has served two terms on the Advisory Council. He was presented with the Punto Award in 2003 and elected an Honorary Member in 2006.

Mason Jones (1919-2009)

jones.jpgMason Jones is best known for his long tenure with the Philadelphia Orchestra, but he also published music for horn players, recorded chamber and solo literature, and taught many students at Curtis Institute and at home, passing on the traditions of Anton Horner, Marcel Tabuteau, and Fritz Reiner.

Jones was born in 1919 in Hamilton NY, where his father was a professor of Romance Languages at Colgate University. His mother was a pianist, and Jones first played the piano, then the trumpet. The local conductor switched him to horn (which he liked much better) and suggested he audition at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. While in high school, Jones played in the Utica NY Symphony on a brass Kruspe borrowed from Colgate University.

From 1936 to 1938 Jones was a student of Anton Horner at Curtis. He was invited to audition for the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1938 when three of its horn players left, and he was hired as third horn. He became principal horn the following season, playing under both Stokowski and Ormandy. His first recording was the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante with Stokowski.

During WWII Jones served as principal horn of the Marine Band in Washington DC. In 1946 he returned to the Philadelphia Orchestra and remained principal horn until his retirement in 1978. He also joined the Curtis faculty in 1946, retiring in 1995. After he retired from playing, he continued as Personnel Manager of the orchestra (1963-86) and conducted school concerts (1972-82).

In an interview in the February 1996 issue of The Horn Call, Jones commented, "It [the Philadelphia Orchestra] was my only position and when I was young, it was like heaven. I had no desire to go any other place and was perfectly happy in Philadelphia all the way through." Playing the Shostakovich Cello concerto with Rostropovitch, with Shostakovich present for rehearsals, concerts, and recording, was a highlight.

Jones was a co-founder of the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet (1950) and the Philadelphia Brass Ensemble (1957). His conducting included the Episcopal Academy Orchestra (1958-60) and the Philadelphia Chamber Orchestra (1961-64).

Colgate University bestowed an Honorary Doctor of Music degree on Jones in 1970. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1979 and served as President in 1986-87.

His recordings of the standard horn repertoire include the concertos of Mozart and Strauss, and the Hindemith Sonata with pianist Glenn Gould. Many recordings of standard solo repertoire were part of the Philadelphia Orchestra series "First Chair" and "First Chair Encores."

Some of his published editions, which are still available, include:

First Solos for the Horn Player
Solos for the Horn Player
Intermediate French Horn Solos
20th Century Orchestra Studies

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