Marcus Bonna

bonnaMarcus Bonna has been instrumental in the formation of the Brazilian Horn Association, Brazilian national horn workshops (Encontro Brasileiro de Trompistas), and the 2017 IHS Horn Symposium in Natal, Brazil. Over the years, he has donated products from his company to help the IHS raise money for various programs.  As a current member of the IHS Advisory Council, he has supported a closer association between Brazilian horn players and the international horn community.

Marcus was born in Belem, Pará, Brazil in 1960 and studied at the Federal University of Pará School of Music. He played in the National Theater Orchestra of Brasilia and joined the University of Brasilia before moving to São Paulo to play in the São Paulo State Symphony for the next 20 years. He also played in chamber music groups such Gramado Wind Quintet and Brazil Brass Group.

Marcus hurt his back in 1990 and developed a lighter instrument case for himself. This case sparked interest from his orchestra colleagues, then visiting horn players. He founded the MB company in 1991 to manufacture instrumental cases – all designed by Marcus.  The company now employs 72 people and exports about 700 cases a month to more than 25 countries.  In 2011, the company received the Exporta São Paulo Award for exporting 98% of its production and for manufacturing a product made 100% with domestic raw materials and, in 2016, it was awarded the title of Child Friendly Company.

Marcus is a member of the Board of Bragantina Friends of the Arts Association.  In 2009, together with his wife, Kathia, and Luis Custódio, he founded the Lyra Bragança Project whose purpose is to offer free music education for youth from the periphery of Bragança Paulista (near São Paulo).

Marcus was given the Punto Award in 2017.

W. Peter Kurau

W. Peter KurauW. Peter Kurau has been active as soloist, orchestral player, clinician, author, and teacher. He has been featured at international and regional symposia and workshops sponsored by the IHS and other professional organizations. Peter is currently the horn professor at the Eastman School of Music, director of the Eastman Horn Choir, and principal horn of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra.

Peter came from a musical background; his mother was a soprano singer and his father an organist. He studied at the Eastman School of Music, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Royal College of Music, University of Connecticut, and Florida State University. His principal horn teachers were Verne Reynolds, David Cripps, William Capps, and Horace Fitzpatrick (natural horn).

Peter has also taught the University of Missouri-Columbia, SUNY-Genesee, Nazareth College, Roberts Wesleyan College, and Houghton College, as well as presenting master classes throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. In addition to the Rochester Philharmonic, he has also performed with the St. Louis Symphony, Erie Philharmonic, Chautauqua Symphony, Grand Teton Festival Orchestra, Syracuse Symphony, and Sun Valley Symphony. He has commissioned and premiered new works for horn by Verne Reynolds, James Willey, John Cheetham, and others.

He was a winner in the Heldenleben International Horn Competition, a recipient of an ITT International Fellowship for study in the United Kingdom, and was an Artistic Ambassador for the United States Information Agency, presenting concerts and classes in Serbia-Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Syria, and Macedonia.

In addition to hosting the 29th International Horn Symposium (1997) and participating in many other symposiums, and hosting the first American Horn Competition (precursor to the International Horn Competition of the Americas), Peter served on the IHS Advisory Council (1993-2001), as Secretary-Treasurer (1994-1998), and as Vice President (1998-2000). He was given the Punto Award at the 2016 international symposium in Ithaca NY.

Alan Robinson

a robinsonAlan Robinson and his brother, Gale, were an important part of the Los Angeles studios starting in the 1940s. Gale died in 2006 and Alan is now retired. Alan played the memorable horn part in God Only Knows.

Alan was five years younger than Gale and started to learn horn in junior high school while Gale was away fighting in World War II. He started playing in the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra at age 13; his first movie credit was Humoreque with the youth orchestra. At Los Angeles City College, he studied geology and psychology because, “Music was my life. I knew all about music, so I wanted to learn about other things.”

Alan played in the Utah Symphony for three years before returning to Los Angeles to 20th Century Fox, playing second to Alfred Brain and then Vincent DeRosa. From the 1950s into the 1980s, he traveled between Las Vegas and Los Angeles to perform with leading artists such as the Beach Boys, Barbra Streisand, Dizzy Gillespie, Peggy Lee, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. His movie credits at 20th Century Fox include The King and I, Carousel, Spartacus, and The Sound of Music.

Alan became a house painter and real estate agent during the musicans’ strike in 1958, and toured with the National Orchestra of Mexico, then in the Los Angeles Philharmonic, finally joining Gale in a tour of the Pittsburgh Symphony in 1964. Back in Los Angeles in the freelancing era, Alan played on television series The Waltons and Starsky and Hutch; movies include The Muppet Movie, Star Trek I, and To Kill a Mockingbird. His last studio session was for television in the early 1980s.

See Annie Bosler’s article on the Robinson Brothers in the February 2007 issue of The Horn Call.

David Duke

david dukeDavid Duke played in the UCLA band in the 1950s and has been sought after in Hollywood studios since the 1960s. He was a member of the Westwood Wind Quintet and played with ensembles such Henry Mancini, the Monterey Jazz Orchestra, Neil Norman, and the Abnuceals Emuukha Eletric Orchestra (organized by Frank Zappa).

David has performed with countless artists and composers for over four decades, including Cannonball Adderley, Teresa Brewer, Dizzy Gillespie, Randy Newman, Kenny Rogers, Arturo Sandoval, Doc Severinsen, John Williams, and Nancy Wilson. Recordings include The Beach Boys, The Carpenters, Natlie Cole, Judy Collins, Miles Davis, John Denver, Neil Diamond, Ella Fitzgerald, Quincy Jones, Johnny Mathis, Prince, and Frank Sinatra.

Movie soundtracks include Agent Cody Banks, Along Came a Spider, Cats and Dogs, The Chronicles of Riddick, Collateral Damage, The Color Purple, Constantine, Dragonfly, Dreamcatcher, Elf, King Kong, The Legend of Zorro, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, Meet the Fockers, Panic Room, Paycheck, Peter Pan, Red Dawn, Rocky II, Star Trek: Nemesis, Under the Tuscan Sun, and War of the Worlds.

Christopher Larkin

larkin Chris Larkin is Chairman of the British Horn Society, has special interest in historical brass instruments and period horn playing, and is also a conductor.

Chris was born in Wigan in Northwestern England and started playing in his school's brass band. He studied at the Northern School of Music with Peter Rider and Julian Baker and at the Royal Academy with James Brown. He has been a member since 1973, and Director since 1982, of the London Gabrieli Brass Ensemble, and has a passion for unearthing and publishing original music for brass. He has been a member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra since 1979 and has conducted many brass and wind programs for various radio stations around the world.

Chris has researched and recorded CDs of French music for organ and brass, 19th-century brass music and 20th-century American music (including music of Charles Ives) for the Hyperion label. For the 1996 BBC Ives Festival, he created an open-air re-enactment of a George Ives brass band collision in London’s Leadenhall Market. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the history of brass instruments and often gives lecture-demonstrations, entitled Around the Horn, on horns through the ages. His most recent recording for Hyperion, Antique Brasses, was made entirely on period brass instruments.

Chris owns an extensive collection of historical horns, including two hand horns, two Kruspe crooked rotary valve horns, a Vienna horn, a Raoux piston valve horn, four trompes d'Orléans, a trompe Dauphine, a trompe Dufouilloux, three cow horns, and an althorn.

Chris was elected an Honorary Member in 2014 at the IHS Symposium in London, where he performed on trompes-de-chasse and the Vienna horn.

Michael Thompson

mthompsonMichael Thompson has had a varied career – principal horn in major British orchestras, an international soloist, professor of horn, and conductor.

Mike was born in 1954. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, and was appointed principal horn with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at age 18. At age 21, he became principal horn in the Philharmonia, leaving after 10 years to concentrate on his solo and chamber music career.

Numerous solos, premieres, recordings, movie sound tracks, work with Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, the Michael Nyman Band, and Sir Paul McCartney (Stately Horn), conductor of the Ulster Youth Orchestra and City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra, and Fellow and Aubrey Brain Professor of Horn at the Royal Academy indicate the breadth and depth of his accomplishments. He has been especially acclaimed for his inspiring leadership and work with young musicians. As a member of the London Sinfonietta, he has given many first performances, including the UK premieres of Ligeti's Hamburg Concerto and Richard Ayres's Noncerto.

Recordings include solo repertoire, on period instruments, and with his wind quintet and horn quartet. Numerous soundtracks as a studio musician include Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Bond films. He plays a Paxman horn.

Mike was honored with the Punto Award at the IHS symposium in London, where he conducted several concerts.

Sydney Coulston (1910-1999)

Coulston (l) being presented his
Punto Award by Barry Tuckwell

Sydney Coulston was one of Britain's most highly respected hornists and teachers of the 20th century. His influence on British horn playing, through both his teaching and performing, was immense. He had legendary powers of concentration and accuracy, and he was a teacher of great renown.

Coulston was born in Oldham, Lancashire in 1910, son of a warehouseman. As a youth, he played tenor horn in the local Temperance Band and worked in a metal polish factory. He moved to a piston valve French horn and studied on scholarship with Otto Paersch at the Royal Manchester College of Music (1927-1930). His first professional position, while still a student, was with the Hastings Municipal Orchestra, a seasonal orchestra with top-class soloists and conductors.

In 1930 he left his studies to join the Scarborough Spa Orchestra and in 1934-1935 played two seasons of opera at Glynbourne. He changed to an Alexander 103 double horn in 1934. In 1938, he became principal horn with three orchestras – the Hallé, the BBC Northern, and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic – possible in those days because of part-time and compatible schedules.

In 1940, Coulston joined the RAF Air Gunnery Section, eventually serving as a Lancaster rear gunner over Germany. He returned to the Hallé a few times between sorties to play in wartime concerts.

After the war, the Hallé and Liverpool became full-time orchestras, so Coulston concentrated on playing principal horn with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, later renamed the BBC Philharmonic. He traveled to America in 1950 with Dennis Brain and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra under Sir Thomas Beecham. He frequently was guest principal with the Philharmonic, especially when Brain was away in another engagement. In 1953, he played second to Brain at the coronation in Westminster Abbey. He was a close friend and admirer of Brain, having first met him in Hastings when Brain was there on holiday as a boy.

Coulston was professor at the Royal Manchester College (later the Royal Northern College of Music) from 1950 until his retirement in 1979. His list of successful students is phenomenal. He even gave lessons to Brain on the then-new German horn in B-flat. He remained loyal to the BBC in Manchester, despite the temptation to move to London.

Coulston received the Punto Award at the IHS workshop in Manchester, England in 1992. A profile appears in the October 1992 issue of The Horn Call and a tribute in the 1999 issue of The HORN Magazine of the British Horn Society.

The horn section of the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra, ca. 1960, included
(l-r) Peter Ryder, Frank Taylor, Robert Aspden, and Sidney Coulston.

Jack Covert

covertJack Covert (born 1937) is known especially for his years of teaching at Ithaca College in New York State (1966-1996), where he was honored with the Dana Professor Distinguished Teaching Award. Many former students play professionally and/or teach at music conservatories, including Martha Glaze-Zook (Philadelphia Orchestra), Gail Williams (Chicago Symphony, Northwestern University), Jon Menkis (Boston Symphony, New England Conservatory), Richard Graef (Indianapolis Symphony), and Rick Menaul (Boston free-lance, Boston University). Jack also taught at the University of Memphis (1965-1966) and at elementary schools in Livonia, New York.

Jack's music education was at the Eastman School of Music, where he studied with Fred Bradley in the Preparatory Division, with Milan Yancich while earning a BME degree (1959) and Performer's Certificate, and with Verne Reynolds for an MME degree (1965).

Orchestral playing includes the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Memphis Symphony, Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Northeastern Pennsylvania Orchestra, and Natal Philharmonic Orchestra in Durbin, South Africa. While teaching at Ithaca College, he also played in the Ithaca Woodwind Quintet and Ithaca Brass Quintet.

Yamaha Brass sent Jack to South Africa in 1974 to work with indigenous brass bands and at universities. He returned to South Africa and Namibia in 1982 to work at a number of universities, concertizing, giving master classes, and consulting on curriculums. Since retiring, he has continued to teach and play: guest teacher at Eastman, sabbatical replacement at Northwestern University, and a season with the Syracuse Symphony.

Jack was honored with the Punto Award at the 2013 IHS Symposium in Memphis, Tennessee.

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