Dale Clevenger


Dale Clevenger has been principal horn of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra since 1966, a soloist with orchestras worldwide, a participant in festivals and symposiums, and a conductor. He received an honorary doctor of music degree from Elmhurst College in 1985 and teaches at Roosevelt University.

Clevenger is a graduate of Carnegie-Mellon University, Pittsburgh. His mentors are Arnold Jacobs and Adolph Herseth. Before joining the Chicago Symphony, Clevenger was a member of the American Symphony Orchestra and the Symphony of the Air, and principal horn with the Kansas City Philharmonic. While in New York City, he recorded commercial jingles.

Clevenger has performed with ensembles worldwide, including the Berlin Philharmonic with Daniel Barenboim. Summer festivals include the Santa Fe chamber Music Festival, Sarasota (FL) Music Festival, Marrowstone Music Festival (Port Townsend WA), and Affinis Music Festival (Japan),

His recordings include antiphonal music with the brass sections of Chicago, Philadelphia, and Cleveland, Mozart Horn Concertos, Joseph and Michael Haydn Concertos, Schumann Konzertstück, Britten Serenade, and Strauss Concerto No.1. He premiered John Williams' Concerto for Horn and Orchestra in 1993.

His conducting career has included guest appearances with the New Japan Philharmonic, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Shanghai Symphony Orchestra, the Florida Symphony, the Civic Orchestra Chicago, the Western Australia Symphony Orchestra (Perth), the Aguascaliente Symphony Orchestra (Mexico), and the Osaka Philharmonic Orchestra.

Clevenger has published a series of method books, The Dale Clevenger French Horn Methods, with the Neil A Kios Music Company.

Clevenger has served on the IHS Advisory Council (1974–1981), received the Punto Award in 2009, and became an Honorary Member at the 2010 IHS Symposium in Brisbane, Australia.

Eugene Rittich (1928-2006)

rittichEugene Rittich played a remarkable 37 years in the Toronto Symphony (1952-1989), taught many fine students, and developed the Rittich mute, the prototype of the mute used by most horn players today. Fergus McWilliam, a former student and second horn in the Berlin Philharmonic, said, "As far as I am aware, there exists no other personality who has had as much influence on Canadian horn players as Eugene Rittich."

Eugene was born in Calgary, Alberta in 1928 to Hungarian parents. The following year, the family moved to Kelowna, a small farming community in British Columbia. His father had studied cello and was able to put together a string quartet. "The first classical music I think I ever heard was a string quartet. We didn't have a radio and there was no exposure to live music in those days, especially in a rural community and in the 30s." A member of the quartet persuaded the town to purchase band instruments, and Eugene chose an alto horn because, with only three keys, it looked easier than the other choices.

The family moved to Victoria BC in 1941, and Eugene studied with Douglas Kent, who switched him to horn. "Douglas Kent was my first horn teacher. He was probably the seminal influence in my musical career." In 1946, Eugene began studies at Victoria College, but academic life looked difficult, and when Kent suggested he audition for Curtis, Eugene decided to try a career in music.

Eugene traveled to Philadelphia in the fall of 1947 and auditioned for Mason Jones, who had just returned from his war service. Eugene was accepted and began his studies immediately. He noted, "Jones was a brilliant player, and I think I probably learned most by hearing him play. He was very meticulous about basic things."

On graduation in 1951, Eugene's ambition was to get a position in one of the major American orchestras, but he realized that if he won such a position, he would be drafted into the US Army. He decided to go to Toronto because it was the closest Canadian city and it was a music center. He joined the Musicians' Union and after the required three-month wait started playing for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). In the spring of 1952, the first horn of the Toronto Symphony left; Eugene auditioned and got the job.

He was principal horn of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra from 1952 and was co-principal or associate from 1973 until he retired in 1989. He was principal horn of the CBC Symphony Orchestra (1952-1964) and the York Concert Society (1953-1965) and a founding member of the Toronto Winds and the Toronto Woodwind Quintet.

The Toronto Symphony and CBC Symphony shared a number of personnel and so had compatible schedules. It was through the CBC that Eugene had the opportunity to work with composer Igor Stravinsky. "The CBC Symphony was well-known through its broadcasts for doing a lot of contemporary music and for being a virtuoso reading orchestra. Stravinsky was interested in recording all his music and so a deal was reached…. Robert Kraft would lead the rehearsals and then Stravinsky would conduct the concerts…. He had a magic touch."

Eugene also studied privately with Philip Farkas (1967), Frantisek Solc (1971), and Arnold Jacobs (1973). Farkas used the bell throat size of Eugene's Kruspe horn as the prototype for the Holton H179 model. Eugene traveled to Brno, Czechoslovakia to study with Solc and learn about the Bohemian style of playing, "because our tradition of horn playing comes from there."

Eugene commissioned John Weinzweig's Divertimento No. 7 for horn and strings and Oskar Morawetz's Sonata for Horn and Piano and premiered both works on CBC radio in 1980, the divertimento with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra and the sonata with Patricia Parr. A number of other works were dedicated to him.

In addition to teaching and conducting at the University of Toronto (from 1962), Eugene worked for many years with students in the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra and, in the summers, with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (founded in 1960). His students have been prize-winners in Prague, Munich, CBC, and Toulon competitions, play in orchestras throughout Canada, in the US, and around the world, and are now themselves horn teachers and music educators.

Eugene developed the Rittich mute beginning in the early 1960s because he couldn't find a good mute. "The only ones were commercial models which had no low register so I started to experiment. I tried a plain cone, which was simple to put together. Surprisingly it worked very well. I started to make and improve them, changing the materials and proportions I used." The Rittich mute is used all over the world and has often been copied.

Eugene is unique in having been named a Punto recipient twice – in 1988 at the Potsdam NY symposium and in 1998 at the Banff, Canada symposium. Tributes to Eugene appear in the November 1998 and October 2006 issues of The Horn Call, and profile in the April 1990 issue.

Eugene Wade

wadeEugene (Gene) Wade was principal horn of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (1972-2001) and a music educator with many successful students.

Gene grew up on a wheat farm in Wellington KS. He credits his early upbringing on the farm for teaching him the value of hard work. He began piano lessons with his mother in first grade and moved to horn in eighth grade, studying with Leo Ashcraft in the next town. He listened to symphony orchestras on the radio, and once a month his family traveled 35 miles to Wichita to hear the symphony.

Gene earned a bachelor's degree from Wichita State University, a master's degree from Northwestern University, and a performer's certificate at the Eastman School of Music. His teachers included Philip Farkas, Verne Reynolds, and Louis Stout.

Gene was known for his solid leadership of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra horn section, saying, "The main thing is to try to make things as easy and comfortable as possible with the greatest accuracy and with the best tone." He has appeared as a soloist with the Detroit Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Eastman-Rochester Orchestra, among others, and as a member of the Detroit Symphony Woodwind Quintet.

As a teacher, Gene has taught at Wichita State University, the University of Minnesota, Carleton College, Mankato State University, Wayne State University, the University of Windsor (Canada), and the University of Michigan. He has been a guest clinician and recitalist at regional and international workshops. Rick Seraphinoff (Indiana University) comments, "He was a very fine teacher for learning how to play the instrument consistently and easily, and for learning all the things one needs to know to be a successful orchestral player. It was from Gene that I got my basic knowledge of the standard orchestral excerpts during my undergraduate years, and was very grateful to have access to his thorough knowledge of them."

Gene was given the Punto award at the 2001 symposium at Kalamazoo MI. A profile appears in the August 2001 issue of The Horn Call.

Alexander Grieve (1923-2006)

Alexander Grieve receiving the TOAN Lifetime Achievement Award from Roger Wilkins

Alexander Grieve was an outstanding Australian orchestral player, one of Australia's greatest musicians, and beloved for his affability and generosity. "He can make more music with one perfectly placed note than many people do in a lifetime." He was a professional musician, teacher, examiner, and recording artist and an active early member of the IHS.

Alex was a member of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra for thirty years, then principal horn of the Stonnington Symphony (a community orchestra in Melbourne) for many years. He also played with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and many Australian orchestras, including the Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Broadcast Company orchestras, Australian Pops Orchestra, and Australia Felix. He was still playing in area orchestras into his 80s "and still makes that magic sound."

Alex made a number of recordings, the most popular being Horn Masterworks (C112 in the Australian Music archives).

Alex was founder and director of the Melbourne Horn Club. He taught at all levels, "in retirement he spent much of his time developing horn players and assisting orchestras by being involved with management committees." He also was an accomplished artist and exhibited paintings and drawings in Australia and overseas.

Alex was awarded the Order of Australia medal in 1994 for services to community music and the TOAN (Australian National Orchestra) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2005.

Alex was a member of the IHS Advisory Council (1971-1977) and was given the Punto award in 1986 at the Detmold, Germany IHS symposium. A tribute appears in the October 2006 issue of The Horn Call.

Yasuyo Ito (1943-2006)

itoYasuyo Ito was a leader of horn playing in Japan, forming the Japan Horn Society in 1988, initiating annual horn festivals in regions of Japan, and leading the effort to host the 1995 IHS workshop in Yamagata, the first IHS workshop in Asia.

Ito was born into a family of music lovers. His older brother and sister both played the piano, and his father created a student orchestra at the University of Niigata, where he was president. Ito was more interested baseball before he started his first instrument – trumpet – in junior high school. At a local orchestra, he was given a mellophone to play.

When he was in high school, Ito's father sent him to study trumpet with a professor in Tokyo. At his third lesson, the professor advised him, "The trumpet has so many students, it may be difficult to survive professionally. On the other hand, there are fewer horn players and it will be easier to make a living on it. I will send you to a good teacher." Ito took his advice and studied the horn diligently.

After high school, Ito attended the Musashino University of Music in Tokyo. His teacher was Kiyotaka Sono, second horn in the NHK Symphony Orchestra. He also had lessons with Richard Mackey, first horn in the Japan Philharmonic for two years and later fourth horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. He played with the Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra, which was formed for the Olympic Games in 1964, until his retirement at age 60.

Ito heard a recording from the Los Angeles Horn Club that impressed him so much that he wrote to Wendell Hoss, librarian of the club, asking for copies of the music to play in Japan. With these scores, he called on horn players in various orchestras and began a professional horn ensemble called the Tokyo Horn Club.

Ito heard the Chicago Symphony's horn section, led by Dale Clevenger, play Ein Heldenleben with the New Japan Philharmonic. After the concert, Ito went backstage and asked Clevenger to allow him to go to Chicago and study with him. Ito was in his early thirties at the time. He had lessons with Clevenger, ensemble playing at Northwestern University, and attendance at Chicago Symphony concerts each week. Clevenger took him to the IHS Workshop at Michigan State University, which impressed him immensely and started his dream of bring the IHS Workshop to Japan.

Back in Japan, Ito organized a festival to celebrate the retirement of Kaoru Chiba from the NHK Symphony Orchestra. This gathering of professionals, students, and amateurs led to the formation of the Japan Horn Society. With Ito as its first chairman, the society began its activities in 1988 with regional festivals, culminating in 1995 with the international workshop at Yamagata. This workshop was supported financially by the municipal government, and its audience totaled more than 10,000 people during the week. Ito later commented that having the festival in Japan "created a solid foundation that has resulted in a higher level of horn playing among the Japanese youngsters."

Ito later established the Alexander Horn Ensemble Japan to provide opportunity for players in their thirties, which he led to the issuing of a CD.

Ito received the Punto Award at the IHS workshop in Yamagata in 1995. A tribute to him appears in the February 2007 issue of The Horn Call.

Wayne Barrington (1924-2011)

barringtonWayne Barrington was an impeccable musician and hornist, and a tireless teacher who expected nothing but the finest from his students but who, in return, was dedicated to their success. His playing career took him to the Chicago Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he taught at the University of Texas in Austin for 34 years. He died in Austin in 2011 after a long illness.

Wayne was born in 1924 in Schenectady NY and brought up in Detroit and Worcester MA. His mother was an amateur pianist and his father studied horn in Detroit with Albert Stagliano, principal horn in Detroit and later the first principal horn of the NBC Symphony. In Massachusetts, his father changed to bassoon, but his mother took up horn and studied with Walter MacDonald, second horn in the Boston Symphony. In 1939, when students were needed at New England Conservatory, his mother was given free tuition to perform in the orchestra and study with Willem Valkenier, principal horn of the BSO. The family often invited other musicians to the house for evenings of chamber music.

Wayne began studying at New England Conservatory with Valkenier in 1942, but the next year he was drafted into the Army, where he played in a band that was based in Germany and France. He returned in 1946, studied with Walter MacDonald, was a student at Tanglewood during the summer, and went back to NEC in the fall. He played principal horn in an orchestra conducted by Arthur Fiedler for broadcasts when the BSO was out of town, and in shows on their way to Broadway; during this time he assisted Arthur Goldstein with the humorous Schmutzig method book.


Barrington with his CSO colleagues
Louis Stout and Philip Farkas

Wayne returned to Tanglewood in the summers of 1947 and 1949, then took a job in San Antonio, but after only one season was called up to serve in Korea. He ended up playing in the band at General MacArthur's headquarters in Tokyo, including the farewell ceremony when President Truman fired MacArthur.

Wayne returned from the service in 1951 and won a position as second horn in Pittsburgh, where over the next three years the orchestra made a number of recordings under William Steinberg for Capitol Records. He also played the spring Pops season in Boston. Then he auditioned for Fritz Reiner, the new conductor in Chicago, and a few months later was offered the third horn position. The section included Philip Farkas, Joe Mourek, and Clyde Wedgewood, with Louis Stout and David Krehbiel as assistants. He also played in the Chicago Symphony Brass Ensemble with Bud Herseth, Renold Schilke, Frank Crisafulli, and Arnold Jacobs, an ensemble often cited as highly influential in establishing the brass quintet as a standard format for brass chamber music. He taught at DePaul University and at home.

After ten years in Chicago, Wayne looked for a better climate because of his wife's illness. Zubin Mehta hired him as associate principal horn in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and he also played in the Los Angeles Brass Quintet. After two years, when his wife had died, Wayne found a position at the University of Texas in Austin, where he taught from 1966 to 2000, also playing in the faculty woodwind quintet, the Solar Winds, and in the Austin Symphony (1966-1988).

When asked about his pedagogical techniques, Wayne responded that although he had never discussed playing or teaching the horn with Philip Farkas, they shared many concepts and solutions to horn playing problems. He believes that music is a unique profession where competition is put aside in favor of cooperation. In retirement, Wayne has pursued publication of excerpt books and encouraged chamber music in Texas.

Wayne received the Punto Award at the IHS workshop in Denton TX in 1991. A tribute appears in the August 2001 issue of The Horn Call.

Olavi Vikman (1931-2006)

vikmanOlavi Vikman is the first "master" for many Finnish horn players. He is regarded as an uncompromising player who honors music, a great musician and a great human being. The first performance in Finland of Schumann's Konzertstück took place in Turku with Vikman as first horn.

Vikman was born 1931 and started his musical studies in the Guard's Band in 1944, studying with Holger Fransman (1944-52). He became a member of the Turku Philharmonic Orchestra in 1951 and remained for 42 years; he was principal horn for 34 years. He taught for several years at the Turku Music School and Conservatory.

Vikman was active as a conductor as well as soloist and chamber musician, and he made arrangements for orchestras and choirs. He was always willing to help his students and fellow musicians. Vikman was always encouraging and had a good sense of humor.

Vikman received the Punto Award at the IHS symposium in Lahti, Finland in 2002.

William Capps (1941-2010)

cappsWilliam (Bill) Capps is renowned for his teaching at Florida State University in Tallahassee FL.

Bill earned his bachelor's degree from the Curtis Institute of Music, studied on a Fulbright scholarship in Berlin, and earned MM and DMA degrees from the Catholic University of America in Washington DC.

Bill has been principal horn with the Spoleto Festival Orchestra in Italy, the Philadelphia Little Symphony, the Berlin Radio Orchestra, the Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, and the US Marine Corps Orchestra and Band in Washington DC. He has appeared as a soloist and as a member of the Philadelphia Orchestra horn section for Robin Hood Dell concerts.

Since joining Florida State University in 1971, Bill has performed with many orchestras in the southeast US, including the Savannah Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Florida Orchestra, the Florida Philharmonic, and the Atlanta Symphony. He retired from FSU in 2004.

Bill has taught master classes at conservatories in Europe and the US and has been a jury member for international competitions. His students play in professional orchestras and teach at universities and conservatories around the world.

Bill hosted the 25th IHS Workshop at Florida State University (site of the first three workshops) in 1993. He received the Punto Award at the symposium in Tuscaloosa AL in 2005.

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