Lucien Thévet (1914-2007)

thevet.jpgLucien Thévet was the last of the horn players of the traditional French school and was called by one critic "Prince of the Horn." In addition to his orchestral playing, he performed all the major solo repertoire, premiered pieces composed and dedicated to him by Le Flem, Françaix, Passani, Landowski, and the Poulenc Elegie (accompanied by the composer), and gave the French premieres of the Britten Serenade (1945 with Peter Pears) and Strauss Concerto No. 2. (1950). He recorded the Ravel Pavane eight times and performed it in concert many more times. His style included vibrato, as was typical of the French school.

Thévet was born in 1914 in Beauvais, France. He studied with his father, an amateur musician, from the age of six, and by age 13 was a soloist with the local band. He studied with Raymond Carlier (not a horn player, but well-rounded musician who played several other instruments) and later with Fernand Reine and Edouard Vuillermoz at the Paris Conservatory, receiving a first prize in 1937, and was appointed principal horn of the Paris Radio Orchestra.

Thévet was also principal horn of the Paris Conservatory Orchestra (1938-1967) and the Paris Opera Orchestra (1941-1974). Charles Munch offered him the principal horn position with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, but Thévet declined.

thevet_hand_positionIn a famous incident at the Paris Opera, Thévet was called to the stage for numerous curtain calls after playing the off-stage solo in Wagner's Siegfried, an event that was reported in the press. The press also praised his solo playing: "Mr. Thévet gives the impression of perfection with his confidence, incredible flexible phrasing, and beautiful sound." Thévet made many solo recordings in addition to recordings with the Paris Conservatory Orchestra and Paris Opera Orchestra.

Thévet taught at the Paris Ecole Normale de Musique, the Nineteenth Arrondissement Conservatory, and for 34 years at the Versailles Conservatory. Students came from all over the world to study with him. Thévet would take students at any level. He taught beginning students in concert pitch, and he taught transposition by clefs rather than intervals.

Thévet played a Selmer horn with piston valves and an ascending third valve (described in the Autumn 1973 issue of The Horn Call). In 1950, he became technical advisor for the Selmer company, and in 1964 he designed a new model of horn for them.

Alphonse Leduc published Thévet's Méthode Complète de Cor (1949). Other publications include Sixty Studies for Horn, Fifty Transposition Exercises for Horn, Sixty-five Sight-reading Studies for Horn, One Hundred Rhythmic Exercises in Two and Three Parts for Instruments in the Treble Clef, and Transposition: A Method for Conductors, Players, and Arrangers.

Thévet was made a Knight of Arts and Letters, was Honorary President of the French National Association of Horn Players, and was elected an IHS Honorary Member (1978). The November 1995 issue of The Horn Call contains an homage to him on his 80th birthday as well as an article by him. Two tributes appear in the October 2007 issue.

Hand position picture courtesy of Pete Exline.

Randall Faust

Randall FaustHornist, composer, author, and professor, Randall Faust has contributed to the horn community both regionally, in Western Illinois, and internationally, through the IHS and other organizations. Randy has participated in many IHS symposiums and was host of the 2009 International Horn Symposium in Macomb IL.

Randy has been the horn professor at Western Illinois University since 1997, hornist of the Camerata Woodwind Quintet and LaMoine Brass Quintet, and host of the annual Western Illinois Horn Festival and annual BrassFest. He has participated in regional and international symposiums. His compositions, including Quartet for Four Horns in memory of Philip Farkas, are often heard on concerts and in recordings. He has produced an instructional DVD, How to Stop a Horn. He performs and records, including works of contemporary composers. Performance credits include broadcasts over Peach State Public Radio during 12 years as principal horn of the Columbus (Georgia) Symphony Orchestra and recording as a member of the Clarion Wind Symphony.

Randy was born in 1947 in Vermillion, South Dakota, into a musical family. He studied at Interlochen, Eastern Michigan University (BS 1972), Minnesota State University Mankato (MM 1973), and the University of Iowa (DMA 1980). His horn teachers have included Marvin Howe, John Berg, Marvin McCoy, Don Haddad, Eugene Wade, Orrin Olson, Paul Anderson, Michael Hatfield, Arnold Jacobs, and Helen Kotas Hirsch; his composition teachers were Rolf Scheurer, Warren Benson, Anthony Iannaccone, Peter Tod Lewis, and Donald Martin Jenni. He has taught at Shenandoah University (1973-1982) and Auburn University (1982-1997), and has been on the faculty of the Interlochen Center for the Arts for over two decades. In 2006 he recorded Fantasies on American Themes, a CD of compositions by William Presser.

Randy’s articles and reviews have appeared in The Horn Call since 1980. He chronicled the work of his teacher, IHS Honorary Member Marvin Howe, in a 1996 Horn Call article “Marvin Howe, Singer of Smooth Melodies,” in his edition of Marvin Howe's The Singing Hornist (2001), an ongoing series of instructional videos, and in a lecture/performance involving many former Howe students at the 2016 International Horn Symposium.

Randy’s compositions have been performed at the International Trumpet Guild, the International Trombone Association, the National Gallery of Art, and the Weill Recital Hall of Carnegie Hall and have been the subject of several doctoral dissertations. His music has been recorded on Albany Records, MSR Classics, Crystal Records, Summit Records, and ACA Digital Recordings by artists such as The Palisades Virtuosi, Andrew Pelletier, David Griffin, Ralph Lockwood, Steven Gross, Michael Hatfield, Randy Gardner, David Krehbiel, and Douglas Hill. He and his wife, Sharon, have been publishing his compositions through Faust Music since 1974.

In addition to his activities with the IHS, Randy has been president of the National Association of College Wind and Percussion Instructors (1992-1994) and has served as Interim Chair of the Western Illinois Department of Music. He has been honored by the Western Illinois University Chapter of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi as its Outstanding Artist for 2004 and in 2006 and 2010 by the College of Fine Arts and Communication with its Creative Activity Award. He has received the ASCAP Award in annually since 1990 and the Orpheus Award from The Auburn University Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Fraternity in 1987.

Randy has served on the IHS Advisory Council (1984-1990), as Secretary-Treasurer (1986-1987), President (1987–1990), Music Review Editor for The Horn Call (1981-1990), and Composition Contest Coordinator since 2013. He received the Punto Award in 2009 and was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2016.

Norman Schweikert (1937-2018)

schweikert2.jpgNorman Schweikert was one of the founding members of the IHS and its first Secretary-Treasurer. “Without Norman Schweikert,” stated first IHS President Barry Tuckwell, “there would be no International Horn Society.” Norm was a member of the Chicago Symphony for 26 years and on the faculty of Northwestern University for 25 years.

Norm was born in 1937 in Los Angeles. His parents were both amateur musicians (mother a pianist and father a violinist). He started on piano at age 6, then gravitated to the violin in order to play in orchestras. He studied first with his father, then with Joseph Kessler, whom he credits with giving him a good musical foundation.

Norm played violin in the Pioneer Orchestra under Joseph Oroop (working his way up to concertmaster) and the California Junior Symphony under Peter Meremblum. He switched to horn and played with the California Junior Symphony until he got his first job at age 18. He credits his experience playing the standard symphonic literature in the youth orchestra with preparing him for his first audition. He studied with Odolindo Perissi (father of Richard) and Sinclair Lott in Los Angeles and with Joseph Eger on scholarship at Aspen. While studying with Lott and still in high school, he played eighth horn in Rite of Spring and Wagner tuba in Bruckner 7th with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. He was also a member of the Horn Club of Los Angeles in its first years.

In 1955 Norm auditioned for the Rochester Philharmonic at Music Director Erich Leinsdorf's hotel room in Los Angeles and won the fourth horn position. He remained with the orchestra until 1966, playing fourth horn (1955-59), second horn (1959-61 and December 1964-65), and third horn (1961-January 1962 and 1965-66), with three years out for military service with the US Military Academy Band at West Point (1962-64). He earned a bachelor's degree and Performer's Certificate in 1961 at the Eastman School of Music while playing in the Philharmonic, studying with Morris Secon and Verne Reynolds. Reynolds wrote his Partita for Norm's senior recital, and the two had been close friends until Reynolds’s death in 2011. Norm played second horn to Reynolds for two years. Norm also enjoyed playing in the Eastman Wind Ensemble with Frederick Fennell (1957-61), including taking part in more than a dozen recordings.

Norm then spent five years as Instructor of Horn at the Interlochen Arts Academy and a member of the Interlochen Arts Quintet (woodwind). During that time, he also played in the Moravian Music Festival (1966), the Chicago Little Symphony (tours of 1967 and 1968), and the Peninsula Music Festival (1968-70),l and was soloist with the last two. He has been curator of the Leland B. Greenleaf Collection of Musical Instruments housed at Interlochen (1970-71).

In June 1971 he joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal horn, taking part in the orchestra's first European tour at the end of the summer. He moved to second horn in 1975, where he remained until retiring in 1997. He continued to play as a substitute or extra until June of 2006. In 1977 he and Dale Clevenger, Richard Oldberg, and Tom Howell performed and recorded the Schumann Konzertstück in Chicago, then, while on an orchestra tour in June, played the first professional performance of it in Japan with Seiji Ozawa and the New Japan Philharmonic. He taught horn at Northwestern University from 1973 to 1998.

In his retirement, Norm continued research into the lives of US orchestra musicians, a project which he started when he was studying at Eastman. His collection of material on this subject was probably the largest private collection anywhere. He answered letters and emails from all over the world.

Norm’s contributions to the IHS were considerable. He chaired the IHS organizing committee in 1970 and was the first Secretary-Treasurer, handling most of the organizing work. He wrote the first several newsletters on a typewriter, folding, stuffing, and stamping them. He continued on the Advisory Council for six years (1970-76), and contributed many articles to The Horn Call, notably ten articles in the first two years of publication. He was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1996.

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.

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