The Life of Jon Hawkins
by Neil Hawkins
Jon Erik Hawkins was born in Stockholm on July 14, 1965, when his parents were working and studying in Sweden. He arrived in the United States on his first birthday, and two years later began a nomadic childhood when his father reentered the US Air Force. After moving for the third time, he had his first piano lesson in Montana at age 6. He continued his piano lessons when his family moved to England.
At age 11, while living in Illinois, he was smitten with another passion − orchestral music. After listening to Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture for the first time, he said, "Someday I will play in a major orchestra!" He wanted to play any instrument. To Jon it didn't matter, but the school band needed French horns, so a horn it was. Jon immediately fell in love with the instrument which, from the beginning, to him was not a French horn but THE Horn.
In Illinois he studied with Larry Strieby of the St. Louis Symphony and played one year with the St. Louis Philharmonic before his family moved to Burke, Virginia in 1982. In Virginia Jon studied with Ted Thayer of the National Symphony and played with the Northern Virginia Youth Orchestra, American University Orchestra, and the Brass of Peace Ensemble. In 1983 he auditioned for and was accepted to fill an opening with the Air Force Band of the Golden Gate at Travis Air Force Base, California. There he played with the concert band and woodwind quintet and studied with A. David Krehbiel of the San Francisco Symphony.
In 1988, just prior to his reassignment to the Air Force Band in Japan, Jon attended the IHS Workshop in Potsdam, New York, where he purchased a Vienna pumpen horn, the horn he wanted to help him achieve his greatest desire, to play with the Vienna Philharmonic.
On April 5, 1991, Jon left the Air Force to pursue his dream to study and play in Vienna, Austria. On his way home the following day, his dream suddenly ended when he died in a traffic accident.
Jon was a life member of the IHS, just starting his career as a professional musician. To commemorate his life and help preserve his dreams and aspirations, Jon's parents, Neil and Runa Hawkins, decided to support projects related to horn playing as a continuing form of a memorial for their son.
The first step was initiated by Eric Strohecker, Jon's close friend and fellow musician. He developed a plan to commission a concerto for horn and orchestra that would be dedicated to Jon. Eric selected Dr. Werner Pelinka (born 1952) of Vienna, Austria to compose the concerto. Dr. Pelinka is experienced in writing for the Vienna Horn and has written several works for horn in consultation with Roland Horvath of the Vienna Philharmonic. Eric prepared a brochure regarding this concerto. A copy of the concerto is presented to the winner of the Jon Hawkins Memorial Award each year.
The second memorial is an award, funded by Jon’s parents, to a deserving student to attend the IHS symposium each year. The award includes funds for attending the symposium, a lesson at the symposium, an opportunity to perform at the symposium, and a one-year IHS membership.
Jon Hawkins Memorial Award
Information for 2021 TBA
Jon Hawkins (1965-1991) was a Life Member of the IHS, just starting his career as a professional musician when he met his death in a traffic accident. His parents, Neil and Runa Hawkins, established this award as a memorial to their son. More information on Jon Hawkins.
The purpose of this award is to encourage the attendance of deserving, highly motivated horn students at the annual IHS symposiums, where they can be intensely exposed to state-of-the-art levels of performance, pedagogy, equipment, and resources.
Award: TBA One award up to $1,500 (US) to be used for the registration fee, room, board, and travel costs to the 2020 IHS Symposium. In addition the award winner will:
- receive instruction from at least one symposium artist, in the form of a private lesson and/or masterclass;
- give a solo performance at the Symposium;
- receive a copy of Werner Pelinka’s Concerto for Jon;
- receive a one-year IHS membership.
Age Requirements: Hornists under 24 years of age on TBA may apply.
Applications must be submitted online. A complete application must include:
- A completed Hawkins Memorial Award Form (must be logged in to access online application), including three short essays.
- An essay describing your background, experience and education;
- An essay describing your future goals as a horn player;
- An essay explaining your current financial situation and how this award would affect your plans.
- A recording of the applicant’s playing including at least two contrasting works that represent a range of the applicant’s performing abilities. An unaccompanied piece is acceptable, but if a piece has piano (or other) accompaniment, then it must be played with said accompaniment.
Judging: The winner will be selected on the basis of performance ability, a demonstrated need for financial aid in order to attend the upcoming workshop, and personal motivation.
Deadlines: Completed applications must be received by the IHS Executive Director no later than TBA. Applicants will receive notification of the awards by TBA.
IHS Premier Soloist Competition
Information for 2021 TBA
The purpose of this competition is to nurture and develop the great horn soloists of the future. All finalists are expected to pay for travel to the Symposium and register as a participant.
- First Prize: $1000 and a three-year IHS membership.
- Second Prize: $750 and a three-year IHS membership.
- Third Prize: $500 and a three-year IHS membership.
Age Requirements: Hornists less than 25 years of age on TBA may apply.
Three Repertoire Requirements for the Recorded Performances:
- First Movement (with piano or orchestra) from one of the following:
- W. A. Mozart Concerto No. 2, K. 417
- W. A. Mozart Concerto No. 4, K. 495
- Richard Strauss Concerto No. 1
- An unaccompanied solo work from the 20th or 21st century.
- One of the following works (with piano):
- Eugène Bozza En Forêt, op. 41
- Paul Dukas Villanelle
- Robert Schumann Adagio and Allegro, op. 70
Judging: Applications will be judged on the quality of the recorded performances (including the fidelity level). Individual identification of recordings will be removed by the Executive Director before being submitted to the judges to ensure anonymity. The judges will select up to five finalists to compete at the forthcoming IHS International Symposium (Eugene, OR, USA).
Finalists will perform the same concerto and work with horn and piano that was submitted to the judges. A rehearsal with a staff accompanist will be arranged for finalists who do not bring their own accompanist. All finalists will receive written evaluations of their performance. The judges will select any prizewinners and they will be announced during the annual IHS business meeting.
Deadlines: Completed applications include both an application form and a recording of the three required selections, and must be received by the IHS Executive Director no later than TBA. Applicants will receive notification of the awards by TBA.
Frizelle Orchestral Audition Contests
The Dorothy Frizelle Memorial Fund (biography appears on page 124 of the April 1989 issue of The Horn Call) was established in her memory to support the study of orchestral horn playing at IHS workshops.
Award: One winner may be selected in each category (High and Low). Winners will receive an orchestral coaching session from an orchestral artist at the International Horn Society Annual Symposium and a one-year IHS membership.
Age Requirements: Full-time students under 25 years of age on January 1, 2021 are eligible.
- Applicants can sign up online (must be logged in) through the link below
- Audio Recordings of all excerpts listed for either low or high horn - all recordings must be unedited. You may record the excerpt list in either one or two takes (i.e. you can record half of the list in each take - be sure to label each file accordingly). Upload files (mp3 ONLY) to in the application form.
- Proof of enrollment full-time in public or private school, conservatory or university. Proof of enrollment must be provided at the time of application, students must be enrolled in the current academic school year or the term immediately preceding the symposium (August 9-14, 2021).
- The first 15 applications received between March 1 - 15, 2021 for each audition (low horn and high horn) will be considered.
- If entering both high and low competitions, you must submit a separate application for each competition (one for low and one for high).
High Horn: (1st horn parts unless otherwise specified)
- Beethoven Symphony No. 7, 1st movement, mm. 89-101
- Brahms Symphony No. 2, 2nd movement, mm. 17-31
- Ravel Pavane pour une enfante défunte, opening solo
- Strauss, R. Ein Heldenleben, mm. 1-17
- Strauss, R. Till Eulenspiegel, 1st horn, mm. 6-20;
AND 3rd horn, 19 m. after #28 – 1 m. before #30
- Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 5, 2nd movement solo
- Beethoven Symphony No. 3, 2nd horn, 3rd movement Trio
- Beethoven Symphony No. 9, 4th horn, 3rd movement, mm. 82-99
- Shostakovich Symphony No. 5, 1st horn, 1st movement, # - 
- Strauss, R. Don Quixote, 2nd horn, Variations 7 & 8 (complete)
- Strauss, R. Ein Heldenleben, 2nd horn, 4 m. after  to 1 m. after 
- Wagner, R. Prelude to Das Rheingold, 8th horn, mm. 17 - downbeat of 59
Judging: All participants will receive written evaluations of their performances by the judges. Details concerning the location and time of the contest will be made available online and in the IHS 53 app when they become available.
Barry Tuckwell Award
The Barry Tuckwell Award was established in 1997 to honor the IHS Founding President and is designed to encourage and support worthy horn students as they pursue education and performance opportunities by attending and participating in masterclasses and workshops throughout the world. Application deadline December 15, 2021.
Award: One award of up to $500 will be used to help pay the registration, room and board, and travel costs to attend any master class, workshop or symposium in which the applicant will study with master hornists and perform. The winner will also receive a one-year IHS membership.
Age Requirements: Applicants must be age 18-24 on January 1, 2022.
- A completed Tuckwell Award application form (you must be logged in to submit the online application), including an essay describing your musical training and background and why you want to attend and/or participate in your specific workshop of interest.
- A recording of the applicant playing one etude, and one movement of a concerto or sonata (accompaniment optional) or an unaccompanied piece.
- One letter of recommendation, which includes an assessment of your financial need.
Judging: Applications will be judged on a combination of ability, character, motivation, goals, financial need, and opportunities available at the selected venue.
Deadlines: Completed applications must be received by the IHS Executive Secretary no later than December 15, 2021. Applicants will receive notification of the awards by January 14, 2022.
This award is payable directly to the symposium or master class artist, or to the winner upon submission of receipts for expenses.