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.

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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.

Lowell Shaw

spikeMost horn players are familiar with the Fripperies, Quipperies, Tripperies, etc. of Lowell ("Spike") Shaw. Spike has made these and other arrangements and compositions available through his publishing company, The Hornists' Nest, and Spike can be found at an exhibit table at most international symposiums and many regional workshops.

Spike was born in 1930 in Joliet IL. Both his parents were amateur performers who believed in the value of musical training. His father brought a horn home when Spike was in the sixth grade, a rental from Lyon and Healy in Chicago. Spike had been studying piano for several years with little enthusiasm. After a few months, his grade school teacher sent him to a trombonist, Jaroslav Cimera, with whom Spike studied until his senior year in high school, when he studied with Max Pottag. When Spike was a high school sophomore, he played second horn to Jim Winter in the Oak Park-River Forest Symphony when Jim was working on an advanced degree at Northwestern University. That association sparked Spike's interest in making horn his career.

Spike earned a bachelor's degree from Northwestern University in 1951, continuing his studies with Max Pottag, who stressed musical playing in their large horn ensembles. A smaller group met on its own. Some arrangements for that group are now in the Hornists' Nest catalog. After graduation, Spike played in the US Air Force Band at Sampson AFB near Geneva NY for four years. The members were encouraged to arrange music for the many groups within the organization; "it became a four-year lab course in playing and writing," remembers Spike. Occasionally the dance bands were short a trombone, and Spike filled in, learning how to play the uneven eights that are the basis of the Fripperies.

Spike went back to Northwestern for a master's degree. Philip Farkas was then the horn teacher, and he guided Spike in changing his embouchure. In 1956, Spike started auditioning and won the position of second horn in the Buffalo Philharmonic, where he stayed until 1994. He started teaching at the University of Buffalo in 1957 and founded The Hornists' Nest in 1964.

Asked about the origins of the Fripperies, Spike explains, "The first Frippery was written as an exercise for my horn students at the University of Buffalo. For several years I was the band director at UB as well as the horn instructor. There was interest among the band students in forming a dance band, and, as there weren't too many charts available at that time, I began writing arrangements for the group. As long as I was going to be at the rehearsals anyway, I added a horn part to the standard big band instrumentation so I could play along. The horn students were eager to have the chance to participate, and we were soon using a horn section of four players. Rather than let them embarrass themselves the way I had when I first had the chance to play that style music, it seemed best to give them some small exposure to particularly the eighth-note patterns that are so different from what we had experienced in the Kopprasch books. My aim was to give them some idea where those pesky final off-the-beat eights fall within the uneven swing notation."

The name "frippery" came about because "I was looking for something to suggest the frivolous, fun, light-hearted nature of the music. The word 'fripperies' came to mind, and it was several years later when I finally looked up the real meaning of the word. Something about a cheap, showy bauble of little intrinsic worth was the nicest of the definitions. Somehow, it stuck."

Spike organized his university students into a horn choir as he was convinced, from his experience with Pottag, that the ensemble was a good teaching tool. Area professionals and high school students joined, forming the Buffalo Horn Club, which played some of the LA Horn Club arrangements as well as original compositions. A member who was moving away suggested that, instead of copying the arrangements just once for his future use, they start a publishing venture in 1964. "Four of us put up $100 each, talked to a lawyer, ran off some copies of HN 1, 2, and 3, and then mailed a copy of the Five Bach Trios to all the horn players we could think of. The business gradually grew from there. … Two of the original investors left the area and one took a break from the horn, so I was left doing most of the chores. Gradually it became clear that it was really a one-man operation and I bought the others out. What started out as a spare time activity now keeps me quite occupied in my retirement."

In addition to the Fripperies, the first of which were written in the 1960s and which now number 40, Spike has written 19 Bipperies, 4 Tripperies, 8 Quipperies, and 13 Just Desserts for solo horn with optional string bass parts – and counting.

Spike has arranged many other works for horn choir. "The name Bach seems to show up quite frequently in our catalog. There is rarely a dull line in a Bach composition. Each voice is always heading somewhere."

Spike says, “I feel fortunate that I discovered an unfilled niche and had the background and experience to take advantage of it. I still enjoy playing in horn ensembles, attending workshops, and keeping in touch with the many friends I have made through music.”

Spike received the Punto award at the 1990 symposium at Eastern Illinois University and was award Honorary Membership at the 2010 symposium in Brisbane, Australia. An interview with him appears in the February 2000 issue of The Horn Call.

 

Young-Yul Kim

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Li Fu and Young-Yul Kim receive the Punto award at the 2000 Beijing symposium
Young-Yul Kim has studied and performed in both Korea and US. He has been a soloist, an orchestral player, and a professor. He has contributed to the Korean horn world through his teaching, playing, and interest in connecting Korean hornists with the rest of the horn-playing world.

Kim graduated from Seoul High School of the Arts and Seoul National University, then earned a Master of Music degree from Temple University and Doctor of Musical Arts and Performer’s Certificate from Eastman School of Music. His teachers have included Mason Jones, Joe de Angelis, Daniel Williams, Randy Gardner, and Verne Reynolds.

Kim has toured with the Eastman Philharmonia and the Eastman Wind Ensemble. He has performed recitals in Philadelphia, Rochester, Seoul, Taejeon, and at the IHS symposium in Athens GA. He has been associate principal horn of the KBS Symphony and acting principal of the Puchon Philharmonic.

Kim has appeared as soloist with the KBS Symphony, Seoul Chamber Orchestra, Pusan Philharmonic, Seoul Symphony, Seoul Art Orchestra, among others.

Kim is a professor of music at Seoul National University where he teaches horn, directs the horn ensemble, coaches chamber music, and leads the SNU Wind Ensemble. He is a founding member of the Korea Aulos Woodwind Quintet, the Seoul Brass Quintet, and the Charity Chamber Ensemble. He directs the Korean Horn Society Horn Ensemble.

Kim received the Punto Award at the IHS symposium in Beijing in 2000.

Brice Andrus

andrusBrice Andrus is admired for his beautiful sound and for his focus and composure as principal horn in the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. His teaching also pays particular attention to sound and tone production, even for beginners.

Andrus followed an unusual path to his career in music. He had some lessons as a youth with Donald Schulz, a Farkas student, but he entered Georgia State University as a pre-med student. A "wretched" chemistry class met in a room just below where a brass ensemble was rehearsing. The combination of an unmotivating class and wonderful music-making above sent him for a change-of-major form. He studied with trombonist Bill Hill, conductor of the brass ensemble. He became assistant principal horn of the Atlanta Symphony that freshman year, soon moved to third, and became principal in 1975.

After getting into the Atlanta Symphony, Andrus began taking lessons with Forrest Stanley in Pittsburg every three months or so. He also credits the orchestra itself with developing his musicianship. "I really had the perspective of growing up in a symphony orchestra, getting to listen to great players through the years, and having such a wonderful section to play with."

Andrus plays with chamber ensembles and other groups outside the symphony, including PDQ Bach and overdubbing for Bruce Springsteen (the producer was based in Atlanta) with the orchestra horn section. In addition to recording symphonic works with the orchestra, he has recorded the Brahms Trio and premiered many works. He is on the faculty at Emory University.

Andrus received the Punto Award at the IHS workshop in Athens GA in 1999. A profile appears in the August 1999 issue of The Horn Call.

Li Fu

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Li Fu and Young-Yul Kim receive the Punto award at the 2000 Beijing symposium
Li Fu has earned the Best Teacher Award at the Shen Yang Conservatory of Music three times and has been active in cultural exchanges and workshops internationally.

Fu was born in 1935 and started studying horn at age 10. His teachers were Mr. Shimizu from Japan and Mr. Kosikin from the former Soviet Union. He joined the Shen Yang Military Command Band, and in 1956 he became a soloist, playing most of the Mozart horn concertos, Beethoven Sonata, Saint-Saëns Concertpiece, and the Gliere Concerto.

Fu retired from the band in 1961 and began teaching at the Shen Yang Conservatory of Music. He served the Wind Department Coordinator for many years and established the wind teaching curriculum for the brass department. Some of his ideas have been published in Chinese music periodicals.

Many of Fu’s students have won prizes, are playing in orchestras, or are teaching at conservatories. Fu has attended IHS symposiums and helped to arrange visits by well-known teachers and players to his conservatory as well as to other conservatories in China.

Fu received the Punto Award at the IHS symposium in Beijing in 2000.

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