John Clark

clarkJohn Clark has advanced horn playing in both classical and jazz improvisation, playing and teaching, recording, composing, and publishing. He is one of the first and one of the few full-time jazz horn artists in the US. He has been a leader and teacher in modern and free jazz and free improvisation. He received a patent for the “hornette,” an instrument with the same range as the horn but with a forward-facing bell. His book, Exercises for Jazz French Horn, has been a standard for both jazz and classical students since its publication in 1993.

John was born in Brooklyn in 1944 and grew up in Rochester, New York. He earned a BA at the Eastman School of Music, played in the US Coast Guard Band, and then earned an MM degree from the New England Conservatory in Boston. John’s teachers included Verne Reynolds, James Stagliano, Thomas Newell, and Paul Ingraham on horn and Jaki Byard, Ran Blake, and George Russell for composition and improvisation. He taught at SUNY Purchase (2001-1008), then at the Manhattan School of Music.

John hosted the Northeast Horn Workshop at SUNY Purchase in 2005, featuring three IHS Honorary Members: Gunther Schuller (discussing the horn solo in Till Eulenspiegel), Willie Ruff (in performance with his duo partner, pianist Dwike Mitchell), and Verne Reynolds; although Reynolds was unable to attend, his 48 Etudes were performed and recorded by a series of artists.

John has freelanced in the New York City area and performed and recorded with many jazz and popular artists and ensembles, classical ensembles, and on films. His recording and publishing label is Hidden Meaning Music. His awards include the Down Beat Critics’ Poll (1979-1982), a National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences Award (1986), and IHS Honorary Member (2018).

Hector McDonald

mcdonaldHector McDonald has been principal horn with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Concentus Musicus Wien, performing on the Vienna, Baroque, Classical, natural, and modern double horn. Over his 45-years playing brass instruments, he has also played tenor horn (alto horn in the US), euphonium, and trombone. He recently retired from the Vienna Symphony Orchestra (1989-2018) and as Professor of Horn at University for Music and the Performing Arts in Graz, Austria (1997-2018).

The Vienna Symphony stated, “A true legend bids farewell. Having shaped the sound and life of the orchestra for close to three decades, our Principal Horn retires. We will miss him deeply.” Peter Luff, Griffith Conservatory in Brisbane, says, “Next to Barry Tuckwell, Hector is the most influential living Australian horn player/pedagogue, and along with Barry was a major inspiration to me as a student and still is!”

Hector was born in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia in 1953. He studied with Alan Mann and later with Campbell Barnes and Hermann Baumann. He played in the RAAF Band and the ABC Training Orchestra before becoming a member of the Berlin Philharmonic 1976. He returned to Australia in 1980 to teach at the Canberra School of Music. His playing and teaching have influenced horn playing in Australia and around the world. He appears regularly at International workshops and seminars.

Hector has performed as soloist with leading orchestras in Europe, the US, South-East Asia, and Australia. He is professor of horn at the University for Music and the Performing Arts in Graz, Austria ( and appears regularly at workshops and seminars around the world. He has recorded solos and chamber music, including Weber's Concertino and Mozart's Sinfonia Concertante K.297b on natural horn as well as concertos by Haydn, Telemann, Förster, and Teyber. More recently, he has performed as Principal Horn with the Australian World Orchestra with Zubin Mehta, Sir Simon Rattle, and Simone Young.

Hector received the Punto Award at the IHS symposium in Brisbane, Australia in 2010 and was elected an Honorary Member at the IHS symposium in Muncie, Indiana in 2018.

Hans Pizka

pizka.jpgHans Pizka, because of his lifelong devotion to his art and his activities as ambassador through music, has been honored by the President of the Federal Republic of Austria with the honorary title of Professor. Hans is also associated with many performances of the Siegfried Long Call, and the photo was taken after one of his Long Call performances.

Hans was born in 1942 in Metz, Lorraine, France, the eldest son of horn professor Erich Pizka. His family roots go deep into Bavaria's Suebia province near Fuessen and Memmingen which was part of Austria then, and his mother's side goes back to the early 12th century in St. Hubert near Kempen, not far from Cologne and Duesseldorf, next to Cleve and Xanten. It is interesting to note that Xanten is the site of Wagner's Siegfried, and also there is a Maria Stich on his father's side of the family in Upper Austria, from central Bohemia in the early 18th century, the same century in which Johann Wenzel Stich (Giovanni Punto) was born.

Hans was educated at the Academic Gymnasium in Linz, Upper Austria, (a 450-year-old school) mainly by professors of the Jesuit tradition. A citizen of Austria, he speaks German, English, and Italian, understands and speaks other languages well enough to communicate (Spanish, some Japanese), and can read Greek and Thai (slowly). A scholar of history, he also can read the old-style Suetterlin German writings and the ancient French court writings of the 16th and 17th century. He began his musical education at age four on violin, and continued with viola and horn at age 9. His first horn teacher was his father, and later he continued his horn studies with Gottfried von Freiberg and Josef Veleba of the Vienna Philharmonic. His first public performance was at age 11, and he played his first horn concerto in front of a professional orchestra at 15.

His orchestral career led him from Linz (Bruckner Orchestra), to Duesseldorf as successor to Gerd Seifert, and to Munich as successor to Norbert Hauptmann. He held the "Franz Strauss Chair" as the Bavarian State Opera Orchestra's principal horn in Munich from 1967 to 2007, and is called as an extra player or to fill in as first horn with the Vienna Philharmonic. He has played under conductors Karajan, Boehm, Kleiber, Sawallisch, Mehta, Ozawa, Muti, Abbado, Kubelik, Bernstein, and many others, and he has been a frequent soloist in countries all over the world. Hans has been a concert soloist, author of several important horn-related books (Mozart and the Horn, Hornist Dictionary 1986, and Wagner and the Horn), lecturer, horn designer, horn collector, publisher of horn-related music, producer of compact discs, and an expert regarding nearly everything connected with the horn. He has published about 500 titles of music, most for or with horns. He has started a horn-making business under his own brand name, producing double horns and Viennese Pumpenhorns.

In 2002, Hans finished his sixth term on the Advisory Council (1982-95 and 1997-2002), having served the society in many capacities, including Vice President. He translated and published The Horn Call in German (Hornruf) from 1983-1994. Also in 2002, the IHS elected Hans an Honorary Member.

Michael Höltzel (1936-2017)

hoeltzel.jpgMichael Höltzel is a soloist, an orchestral and chamber music artist, a conductor, and an influential teacher. He has also established a number of chamber music ensembles and symposiums.

Höltzel was born in 1936 in Tübingen, Germany. After high school, he studied horn and viola at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart, completing his studies in horn and conducting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He was solo horn with the Camerata Academica in Salzburg, the Orchestra Palazzo Pitti Florence, the Bamberg Symphony, and the Munich Philharmonic.

His studies included the wind chamber music class of clarinettist Philip Dreisbach in Stuttgart, where he also benefited from musical lessons with Hans Köhler, violist with the Wendling Quartett. In Salzburg he learned Mozart from Bernhard Paumgartner, president of the Internationale Stiftung Mozarteum and of the Salzburg Festival and conductor of the Camerata Academica. As a result of these studies, Höltzel founded and directed the Wind Ensemble of the Bamberg Symphony.

In the summer of 1970, Höltzel wanted to study with Philip Farkas at Indiana University. After Farkas and Dean Bain had listened to the audition tape (Haydn's first horn concerto with the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra), they refused Höltzel as a student, but hired him as a visiting teacher instead.

In 1972, Höltzel was soloist and conductor of the Mozart four concertos and Concert Rondo with the Camerata Academica Salzburg, after which the orchestra offered him the position of principal conductor (until 1975).

Höltzel has been professor of horn and chamber music at the Hochschule für Musik in Detmold (1973-1999), Indiana University (1970-71, 1975-76, 1980-81, 2005-06), and currently at the Hochschule für Musik and Theater Rostock as well as the Hochschule für Musik Trossingen. He has conducted numerous chamber music courses (Salzburg, Bloomington, Weimar, Bobbio, Tokyo, Bologna, etc.).

Many of Höltzel's former students have become award winners and play in major symphony orchestras: Radovan Vlatkovic, Eric Terwilliger, Daniel Katzen, Bruno Schneider, Esa Tapani, Alessio Allegrini, and others.

Höltzel appears frequently as guest conductor with various symphony and chamber orchestras, and with ensembles such as the Piccola Academia di Roma, the Wind Academy Sachsen in Chemnitz, the winds of the Hamburg Symphony, and the Radio-Symphony Orchestra Helsinki, Finland.

Höltzel has founded various chamber music ensembles, such as the Detmolder Hornisten, Gran Partita Detmold, and Detmolder Serenadenensemble. Several of his CDs have been issued by the MDG label, including Le Grand Sextuor by Dauprat with his Detmolder Hornisten and Romantic Music for Horn and Piano with Friedrich Wilhelm Schnurr.

In 1980, Höltzel hosted the First European Horn Symposium in Trossingen and in 1986 was host for the IHS Symposium in Detmold. Together with his wife, Petra Mendes, he organized the International Horn Festival 2000 in Detmold and is co-founder of the International Horntage that takes place every two years (established in 2002).

Höltzel's method for horn (Hohe Schule des Horns) has been published by Schott International in three volumes. The third volume, which was awarded a German Book Prize in 2001, is available in English asMastery of the French Horn: Technique and Musical Expression.

Höltzel has served on the IHS Advisory Council (1976-1982 and 1988-1991) and as Vice President (1978-1981). He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2009.

Paul Staicu

Paul Staicu has been an orchestral player, a professor, and a conductor who escaped from behind the Iron Curtain in Romania to settle in France. He was solo horn in the Bucharest Philharmonic Orchestra (1961-1968) and professor of horn and chamber music at the Bucharest Academy (1966-1978). He founded and conducted the Constanta Symphony Orchestra in 1980, which later toured outside communist Romania, including the US in 1984 and 1989. He was denied a departure visa for many years, but in 1989, after suffering two heart attacks, he was allowed to leave Romania to serve on the jury for the Munich Woodwind Quintet Competition. Rather than return to Romania, he went to France, had heart bypass surgery, was advised to give up playing horn, and, as a conductor, founded a new orchestra in Montbéliard in northwestern France.

Paul was born in 1937 in Bucharest, Romania. He graduated from the Prague Academy of Music in 1961 and the Vienna Academy of Music in 1970. He won international competitions, including Bucharest (1953), Moscow (1957), Birmingham (1965), Geneva (1965), and Prague (1967). He adjudicated solo horn and chamber music competitions in Munich, Prague, and Cassello di Duino, Italy. His students have won international prizes and play in orchestras around the world.

Paul recorded the three Mozart concertos in E-flat as both soloist and conductor in 1987. He was awarded a Cultural Medal in Romania in 1968, the Richard Wagner Anniversary Medal in Bayreuth in 1974, and a special Life Achievement Prize and Medal of Honor from the city of Montbéliard. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2017.

Marie-Luise Neunecker

NeuneckerMarie-Luise Neunecker has excelled as an orchestral musician, soloist, and teacher. She has won competitions, served on competition juries, and recorded concertos and chamber works. Among her premieres is György Ligeti's Hamburgishes Konzert, which was composed especially for and dedicated to her.

Marie-Luise was born in 1955, first studying musicology and German, then completing her horn studies with Erich Penzel at the Hochschule für Musik Köln. Her playing career began with the Frankfurt Opera. In 1979 she was appointed principal horn with the Bamberg Symphony, followed by principal horn with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony (1981-1989).

Marie-Luise won the German Music Competition in Bonn (1982), ARD International Music Competition in Munich (1983), and Concert Artists Guild competition in New York (1986), and was awarded the Frankfurt Music Prize in 2013. She has appeared as soloist with orchestras around the world.

In addition to the Ligeti concerto she has recorded works by Mozart, Strauss, Britten, Hindemith, Gliere, Glazunov, Schoeck, Shebalin, Koechlin, and Smyth. Volker David Kirchner dedicated Orfeo for baritone, horn, and piano to her. She has participated in festivals including Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Marlboro, Aldeburg, Risör, and Vienna.

Marie-Luise was appointed professor at the Frankfurt Academy of Music and Performing Arts in 1988 and has been professor at the Hochschule für Musik Hans Eisler in Berlin since 2004. She wrote about preventing dystonia in the May 2017 issue of The Horn Call and was a featured artist at the 2017 IHS International Symposium in Natal, Brazil. She was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2017. 

Nancy Jordan Fako

Fako 1965Nancy Jordan Fako (born 1942) became a member of the Chicago Symphony in 1964, the first female horn player in a major orchestra since Helen Kotas left the Chicago Symphony in 1948. She was also a mainstay of the IHS in its early years, becoming Secretary-Treasurer and handling correspondence and records, all without the aid of computerization until 1976 or of an executive secretary until 1979. The IHS is incorporated in Illinois because it was Nancy’s residence. She served four terms on the Advisory Council (1974–1981 and 2000–2008) and was secretary-treasurer in 1974-77 and 2000-2008.

Nancy studied with Philip Farkas in high school and at Indiana University, collaborated with him on The Art of Brass Playing, remained a close friend and colleague throughout his life, and after his death (at the request of his widow) wrote a biography, Philip Farkas & His Horn: A Happy, Worthwhile Life (Crescent Park Music Publications, 1998).

In addition to the Chicago Symphony, Nancy has been a member of the Houston Symphony, the Florida Symphony, and the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra. She was principal horn in the Florida Symphony at age 20, the first female brass player in the Houston Symphony at age 21, and a member of the Chicago Symphony at age 22.

Nancy is now a freelance horn player and teacher. She plays the alphorn at many festivals, including taking part in the Alpenfest in Gaylord, Michigan for over 25 years. She has contributed to professional journals (including The Horn Call) as a writer and as translator for several languages. She translated Daniel Bourgue's Conversations About the Horn from French to English.

Nancy received the Service Medal of Honor in 2012 and was elected an Honorary Member in 2016.

Paul Anderson (1922-2015)

anderson.jpgPaul Anderson has been a music educator and has served the IHS on the Advisory Council, as secretary and president, and by setting up the early IHS computer system.

Paul received a Bachelor of Arts degree (1945) and a Master of Arts degree (1947) from the University of Iowa. At UI, he studied horn with the very capable William Gower. He taught horn at the University of Iowa for over 40 years (1948-1989), performing with the University Woodwind and Brass Quintets, and playing principal horn in the Tri-Cities (now Quad-Cities) Symphony in Davenport IA. During his first years of teaching, he also traveled to Evanston IL to study horn with Philip Farkas. Reflecting on what he received from Farkas and Gower, Paul says, "I owe these two wonderful gentlemen more than I will ever be able to explain." Later, Paul was the administrative head of the Brass and Woodwind areas in the School of Music at UI for a number of years before his retirement.

Along with various other duties, Paul’s main job was to teach private lessons to the horn students, and he had many fine students throughout his tenure. Many former students hold important teaching jobs in universities around the United States and Canada, and he also had many hard-working students that were uniquely qualified for public school teaching.

Paul's legacy also includes two publications: Index to Current Brass Literature (1976) and Brass Music Guide: Solo and Study Material in Print (1986). He prepared the computer programs for the last three Instrumentalist Band Music Guides, and helped to prepare the University of Iowa’s Music Source Book: Woodwind, Brass, and Percussion Materials.

Paul supervised many horn-related graduate dissertations, and his former doctoral students include several current and past Advisory Council members and IHS Presidents, including Randall Faust, William Scharnberg, and Virginia Thompson. Two other great horn players and IHS members received doctoral degrees at the University of Iowa during Paul’s tenure, James Winter and Marvin Howe. While Paul does not feel he can claim them as his students, he says he learned a great deal from his association with them during and after their study at UI.

Paul served on the IHS Advisory Council from 1977 to 1983. During that time, he was IHS Computer Coordinator (placing the membership rolls on computer and generating mailing labels), Secretary, and from 1980-1983, IHS President. During that era, he was responsible for the codification of many policies that are in place today. He was elected an Honorary Member in 2001.

When contacted about receiving this award, Paul said, "I want to thank the committee members who selected me as an Honorary Member of the International Horn Society. Since its inception, the IHS has selected only about forty people from fourteen countries to this position so it is truly a great honor to be so selected. When I read the names of the other people who have been so honored, I feel very humbled. I shall cherish this appointment as long as I live."

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