Erich Penzel

playingErich Penzel first recorded many horn concertos and sonatas; his discography is perhaps the most legendary of any hornist in the twentieth century. Through his recording and his teaching, he has influenced horn playing in Germany and throughout the world.

Penzel was born in 1930 in Leipzig, in the former East Germany. He received his horn training at the Musikhochschule in Leipzig, where he studied with Wilhelm Krüger and Albin Frehse. From 1949 to 1961 was the solo horn of the Gewandhausorchester in Leipzig; from 1954 to 1960, he was a member of the Bayreuth Festival Orchestra; and from 1955 to 1961 he taught horn at the University of Leipzig. In 1953 he won third prize in the Prague Spring competition.

In 1961 Penzel escaped from then East Germany and was solo horn of the WDR (West German Radio Orchestra) Köln (Cologne) until 1973.

In 1973 Penzel became the horn professor at the Musikhochschule in Köln and Maastricht.  Many important hornists have since studied with him, including Christian Lampert, Stefan Dohr, Wolfgang Wipfler, Marie-Luise Neunecker, Claudia Strenkert, René Pagen, Will Sanders, and Jens Plücker.

In 2005 Penzel was elected an IHS Honorary Member and received the Order of Merit, First Class, for his outstanding achievements. He continues to teach horn and chamber music at home and abroad.

Myron Bloom (1926-2019)

Photo by Peter Hastings, Cleveland Orchestra

Myron Bloom was a distinguished performer and teacher, known particularly for his tenure as principal horn with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell. He was professor of music at Indiana University from 1985 until his death.

Bloom attended a concert with his parents at age 12, under protest, with no interest in music, and walked out of the concert featuring Emanuel Feuermann playing the cello knowing that he wanted his life to be in music. All his life, he was imitating Feuermann and Casals, and his true love was the cello. However, Myron's father encouraged him to play the horn as the war was coming and he needed to get in a band or be shipped to Japan. Myron first began on trumpet, then studied horn with Marty Morris (Cleveland Orchestra), who later was in the section with Myron.

Myron studied with Arkady Yegudkin at Eastman for one year, then went to New York to study with James Chambers. He played in the Navy Band in Great Lakes, Illinois during the war, where he met cellist Frank Miller (always the cello link!).

Bloom was principal horn in the New Orleans Symphony (1949-1954) before joining the Cleveland Orchestra (1954-1977). In 1977 he was principal horn of the Casals Festival Orchestra in Puerto Rico and then at the invitation of Daniel Barenboim became principal horn of the Orchestre de Paris (1977-1985).

In addition to his teaching at Indiana University, Bloom has taught at the Curtis Institute (1982-2001), Carnegie Mellon University (1993-2001), Cleveland Institute of Music (1961-1977), Oberlin Conservatory, Juilliard School of Music, Boston University, and the Conservatoire National Superieur de Music de Paris.

Bloom has been a member of the Marlboro Music Festival from its inception. He has been a jury member at the International Geneva Horn Competition and juries in Canada. He has performed with the Budapest Quartet. His recordings include Strauss Concerto No. 1 with Szell and the Cleveland Orchestra, Schubert's Auf dem Strom and the Brahms Trio, along with Cleveland Orchestra and Marlboro Music Festival recordings. He influenced the design of Hans Hoyer horns and Houser mouthpiece rims.

Bloom received the Punto Award at the IHS symposium in Bloomington IN in 2003 and was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2014.

Douglas Hill

hill2.jpgDouglas Hill's books are classics of horn pedagogy; his playing, compositions, and teaching are aimed at extending students' and colleagues' imaginations; and he has served the horn community as soloist and clinician and IHS Advisory Council member and President.

Doug was born in 1946 in Lincoln, Nebraska. His varied musical interests (including jazz bass, and composition) were largely initiated and nurtured by his junior high school music teacher, Kenneth Freese. During his high school years, he solidified many of his horn playing techniques while studying from Jack Snider, Professor at the University of Nebraska. He earned a BM and a Performer's Certificate at Indiana University, studying horn with Philip Farkas, and later an MM from Yale University with Paul Ingraham, with whom he performed often in the New York City and Joffrey Ballet Orchestras.

Doug has served as professor of horn at the University of Wisconsin since 1974. He began there performing and recording with the Wingra Woodwind Quintet and now performs and records with the Wisconsin Brass Quintet. After graduation from IU, Hill played solo horn with the Rochester Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, Contemporary Chamber Ensemble of New York, Aspen Festival Orchestra, Henry Mancini and Andy Williams Orchestras, and for 30 years with the Madison Symphony. He was an original member of the Spoleto Festival Brass Quintet and has performed with the New York and American Brass Quintets.

Previous faculty appointments include Oberlin Conservatory, Aspen Music School, Conservatories of Music in Beijing and Shanghai, the Asian Youth Orchestra, Wilkes College, University of South Florida, Sarasota Music Festival, Yale Summer School at Norfolk, the Asian Youth Orchestra in Hong Kong, and the Kendall Betts Horn Camp. He recently served as the Wind and Brass Adjudicator and Chair of the Classical Music Division for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, as a judge for the Fischoff and Coleman Chamber Music Competitions, and on the judging panel for the first International Horn Competition held in Toulon, France. Hill has appeared as soloist and clinician throughout the US, Germany, France, and China, including numerous international, national, and regional brass and horn workshops and symposia.

Doug's extensive publications include Collected Thoughts on Teaching and Learning, Creativity, and Horn Performance (2001), Extended Techniques for the Horn (1981/1996), Introducing the Instruments: Horn Home Helper (2005), Warm-ups and Maintenance Sessions for the Horn Player (2002), High Range for the Horn Player (2005), From Vibrato to Trills to Tremolos for the Horn Player (2004), dozens of articles, scores of original compositions and pedagogical etude books, the educational video/DVD Hill on Horn, and three solo recordings and a variety of orchestral and chamber ensemble recordings including Thoughtful Wanderings: Compositions by Douglas Hill, featuring alumni, faculty, students, and staff of the UW School of Music. As a frequent recipient of research grants, he has studied unrecorded horn and piano repertoire, extended techniques, hand horn, extemporization, and compositional techniques and applications.

Douglas Hill served on the IHS Advisory Council from 1976-82 and 1994-97. He was elected IHS President for three years beginning in 1978. During his tenure the society created its Articles of Incorporation, solidified its Constitution and Bylaws, developed the Communications Network of regional coordinators and area representatives, hired its first executive secretary, fully developed its composition contest and commissioning projects, and tripled its membership.

Hill was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 2008 at the 40th International Horn Symposium, where - appropriately - he performed, served as moderator for four panel discussions on pedagogy, led his university horn choir in concert, and heard his Set of Songs and Dances performed by Gail Williams and his Jazz Soliloquies performed by Bernhard Scully just hours after the honor was announced.

His principal horn related compositions include:

Ten Pieces for Two Horns (1969)
Five Pieces for Three Horns (1970)
Trio Set for Horns (1971-72)
Character Pieces for Solo Horn (1973-74)
Jazz Soliloquies for Solo Horn (1978)
Abstraction for Solo Horn and Eight Horns (1980)
Jazz Set for Solo Horn (1985)
Thoughtful Wanderings for Natural Horn Percussion/CD (1992)
Song Suite in Jazz Style for Horn and Piano (1993)
A Place for Hawks for Voice, Horn and Strings (1994-95)
Shared Reflections for Four Horns (1994)
Reflections for Horn Alone (1996)
Timepieces for Brass Quintet (1997)
Elegy for Horn Alone (1998)
Elegy for Violin and Horn (1998)
Americana Variations for Four Horns (1998)
Scenes from Sand County for Mixed Nonet and Narrator (1999)
Tribal Images for Brass Quintet and Percussion (2000)
The Glorious Privilege of Being for Horn Quintet (2000)
Oddities for Four Horns (2004)
Oddities for Solo Horn (2004)
Greens/Blues/Reds for Horn and String Quartet (2005)
Greens/Blues/Reds for Solo Horn (2005)
Americana Variations for Brass Quintet (2005)
A Set of Songs and Dances for Clarinet, Horn, Vibes and String Bass (2006)
A Set of Songs and Dances for Horn Alone (2006)
Recollections for Horn Octet (2007)
Three Moods for Woodwind Quintet (Horn feature) (2005/2008)
Abe Lincoln's Song Book for Horn Trio with Dialogue
(And for horn with various brass, strings, or winds)

Arkady Shilkloper

arkadyArkady Shilkloper has electrified IHS symposiums with jazz and improvisation on horn, alphorn, and various other instruments since his first appearance at the 1992 symposium in Manchester, England. He had already impressed the jazz world at various venues, at the same time being a member of the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra. In addition to his contributions to numerous IHS symposiums, Arkady has served on the Advisory Council (2001-2003).

Arkady was born in Moscow in 1956 and now lives in Germany. He started on an alto horn at age six and switched to horn when entering the Moscow Military Music School at age 11. After two years of military service, he studied at the Moscow Gnessin Institute (1976-1981). He was a member of the Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra (1978-1985), formed a jazz duo with bassist Mikhail Karetnikow in 1984, and performed and toured with the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra (1985-1989).

Arkady has collaborated with pianist Mikhail Alperin since 1986; the duo then formed the Moscow Art Trio in 1990 with clarinetist and researcher Sergey Starostin to perform Russian ethno jazz. In 1990 Arkady visited the US for the first time, performing at the University of Idaho Jazz Festival. Pago Libre was formed in 1995 with Austrian violinist Tcho Theissing, Swiss pianist John Wolf Brennan, and Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid; bassist Tom Götze from Dresden joined in 2012. Later Arkady formed the Mauve Trio with Brazilian guitarist Alegre Correa and Austrian bassist Georg Breinschmid (their debut album was awarded the Hans Koller Prize as CD of the Year).

Arkady started playing alphorn in 1998, an unusual instrument for improvisational music. He performed the Concerto for Alphorn and Orchestra by Daniel Schnyder, commissioned by the Menuhin Festival in Gstaad, in 2004. He has recorded albums with alphorn as well on horn with various ensembles.

Arkady has changed the perception around the world of what is possible on the horn and on instruments related to the horn, especially in the realm of jazz.

Ab Koster

KosterAb2The Dutch hornist Ab Koster was professor of horn at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg for 39 years, retiring in 2019; 94% of his former students hold positions as professional performers. Ab is also known as an outstanding orchestral player and as soloist on both natural and modern horn. He has been active in the IHS as a featured artist at IHS symposiums and serving on the Advisory Council for two terms (1998-2001 and 2014-2016).

Ab was born in The Hague, Holland, the son of a Dutch hornist. He completed his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in his hometown with a Prix d’Exellence, then continued at the Folkwang University in Essen, Germany with Hermann Baumann, who called him one of the “leading hornist of his generation.”

Ab held the position of principal horn in the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Germany from 1977 until 1990, when he left in order to accept many invitations as soloist and chamber musician. He has  collaborated with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Gustav Leonhardt, and Frans Brüggen (Orchestra of the 18th Century) and earned an international reputation with solo performances, records, radio, and television recordings in various countries. Concert tours have led him to almost all countries in Europe as well as in the US, Canada, Japan, Australia, China, and Taiwan.

For years, Ab has belonged to the small circle of soloists who are sought after world-wide, on the natural horn as well as on the valve horn. His interpretation of the concertos by Mozart and Strauss are particularly celebrated all over the world.

William C. Robinson (1919-2019)

robinson2.jpgWilliam (Bill) Robinson is responsible, more than anyone else, for starting the International Horn Workshops and the International Horn Society. His mission in life has been as a music educator.

Bill was born in Oklahoma in 1919. He earned his degree in Instrumental Music Education at the University of Oklahoma in 1942 and became band director at Norman High School before going into the Army that same year. He played baritone and trombone in the army band in El Paso and started horn instruction with Leonard Hale, who was also a member of the band. He played in the El Paso Symphony until the band was sent to the Pacific in 1945.

After being discharged from the Army in 1946, he returned to Norman, earned a master's degree from the University of Oklahoma, and resumed his position as band director at Norman High School. He studied horn with George Yeager and played in the Oklahoma City Symphony Orchestra for seven years.

In 1958, after hearing the Chicago Symphony Woodwind Quintet and becoming acquainted with Philip Farkas, he went to Chicago during the summer to study with Phil. They became good friends - a friendship that lasted for the rest of Phil's life.

In 1959, the Robinsons moved to El Paso TX, where Bill taught in the public schools and played first horn in the El Paso Symphony for seven years.

During his years in secondary band programs, Bill developed what was called the "Breath Impulse System," which promoted breath support, tone production, and good rhythmic body feeling. With his colleague in Norman, James Middleton, and his colleagues at Baylor University, Richard Shanley, Larry Vanlandingham, and Gene Smith, he wrote a book, the Complete School Band Program for the benefit of school band directors. He later published two horn method books that were edited by Phil Farkas.

robinson3Bill was the horn professor at Florida State University in Tallahassee FL from 1966-71. He was a member of the Faculty Chamber Orchestra, Faculty Woodwind Quintet, and Brass Trio. While there, he hosted the first three International Horn Workshops (1969, 1970, 1971) and was instrumental in forming the International Horn Society in 1970. He served as vice president of the IHS for five years (1971-76).

In 1971, he moved to Baylor University in Waco TX, where he taught horn and later became Chairman of the Instrumental Music Division, which grew from 19 to over 125 instrumental music education students during the years from 1971 to 1986, when he retired. While at Baylor, he also played in the faculty woodwind quintet and brass quintet, the Waco Symphony, and the San Angelo Symphony.

Bill was elected an IHS Honorary Member in 1978, elected to the Oklahoma Band Director's Hall of Fame in 1988, and received the Edwin Franko Goldman Award from the American School Band Directors Association in 1995. He was a charter member of the last organization in 1953. In 1999, he was honored at Baylor University as the founder of the Chamber Music Society in Waco.

Bill studied horn with George Yaeger, Philip Farkas, Dale Clevenger, and Arnold Jacobs and also had help on the horn from Frøydis Ree Wekre and Hermann Baumann. He taught horn students of all ages from schools in Orlando FL and surrounding areas in his retirement until shortly before his death.

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.

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