I hope you are well and already planning your musical activities for this summer. Around the world, there will be many activities taking place where the horn and its performers will be highlighted. There are opportunities for anyone looking to improve their musical skills or simply to enjoy our wonderful instrument. Inman Hebert, for example, has compiled a list for this issue of Horn and More of North American student music camps which still have horn spots available.
I am really looking forward to our big IHS 55 event in Montréal. I have been following daily the good deal of information that the organizing team has provided: it will have a fabulous cast and activities for all tastes. This is a unique opportunity to see, hear, and hang out with some of the best horn players in the world. I am sure it will be an unforgettable event.
The talented team of Horn and More has prepared an exciting June issue, with lots of information and news worth noting: watch or rewatch the fantastic PBS episode “A Craftsman's Legacy” highlighting the work developed by the Seraphinoff couple in the construction of horns; this month in Meet the People, get to know Greg Cohen, our exhibits liaison officer; in Horn on Record, Ian Zook focuses on the excellent recordings of Sören Hermansson; Gabriella Ibarra introduces Edwin Omar, a talented horn player from the Dominican Republic; in the Pedagogy Column, Prof. Daniel Grabois offers us an interview with David A. Cooper; and there is additional information about IHS 55.
Don't forget that all previous issues of Horn and More are available at hornsociety.org, along with many other articles, links, and horn-related information. There, you will also find out how you can join the International Horn Society. If you are not a member, please consider joining!
Enjoy reading, and I hope to see you in Montréal!
J. Bernardo Silva Vice-President of the IHS
Seraphinoff Horns on A Craftsman's Legacy
by Richard Seraphinoff
In 2017, Seraphinoff Historical Instruments had the great honor of receiving a call from the producers of the television series A Craftsman’s Legacy asking if we would like to be featured on the program, which is aired on PBS stations around the United States. The host of the show, Eric Gorges, travels around the USA to visit people who make things by hand, watch them work, and celebrate the art of hand-craftsmanship. Episodes have featured blacksmiths, woodworkers, glassblowers, textile artists, art metal workers, and many more, but this time Eric wanted to feature a maker of brass instruments who uses traditional methods, tools, and materials. In February of 2017, Eric and his production crew came to our workshop for two days of filming to produce the half-hour show. Eric, who is a maker of custom motorcycles, loves to take part in the work with whomever he is visiting, so we put him to work soldering seams to make a leadpipe, bending tubes, and finishing the surface of the metal. The project on which we collaborated was making a crook for an early 19th-century French orchestral horn that I was restoring at the time.
Eric interviewed my wife Celeste and me, to hear our histories as horn players and horn makers, and to learn what each of us does in the horn-making business. Then we spent the rest of the time working together, and finally playing duets on the finished product. In the photo, Celeste is showing Eric how to use a sharp three-cornered scraper to make a traditional finish on a crook. It was fascinating to see how a television program is created and to take part in it—an experience that we’ll never forget—and we hope you enjoy watching the episode. Please visit our website, too: https://www.seraphinoff.com.
Meet the People—IHS Exhibitor Liaison
by Greg Cohen
International Horn Society Exhibitor Liaison Greg Cohen lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico USA, and he has been a familiar face at IHS functions since the early 1990's, attending annual symposia with his wife, former IHS Executive Director, Heidi Vogel. The newly revamped Exhibitor Liaison position capitalizes on hosts having their own event coordinators, and it emphasizes pre-event preparation which will improve the experience for exhibitors, lighten the load for hosts, and create a concise plan and package for on-site coordinators to utilize. The Liaison works to anticipate as well as to respond to exhibitor needs and questions.
Since coming on board in September 2022, Greg has worked to implement results of the recent Exhibitor’s Survey, and he has created a mini-library of Guides that help both hosts and exhibitors. He has also assembled a complete and verified database of potential exhibitors and vendors, enabling not only the IHS but Workshop and Symposium hosts as well to reach out accurately and easily.
Greg brings over thirty years’ experience in a variety of fields to bear in this role, including budgeting, financial management, live event management, and administration. He has worked extensively in technical and promotional writing, editing, proofreading, advertising, and graphic design. Greg has created the program books for multiple IHS workshops as well as designing the recently released IHS commemorative book, The First 50 Years.
Music has been key in numerous roles throughout his career: Artist Relations for Columbia and Warner Brothers music, event manager for the Seattle Paramount Theater, Advertising and Retail Coordinator for a chain of music stores, and Executive Director of non-profit arts groups ranging from the Juneau Jazz & Classics music festival to the Lanai Arts Center in Hawaii. Greg is a musician, playing harmonica in bands whose styles range from bluegrass and folk to rock and rhythm-and-blues. He has published 3 novels and a collection of short stories, and he is an avid photographer and painter, using acrylics.
IHS General Membership Meeting
IHS 55 is quickly approaching! Prior to the Symposium in Montréal, the Advisory Council will be holding its annual meetings, and any active members may propose new business to the Advisory Council. Such proposals must be submitted in writing to IHS President Radegundis Feitosa (firstname.lastname@example.org) or to Executive Director Julia Burtscher (email@example.com) by June 18, 2023. We will also be holding our open General Membership Meeting—check the Symposium schedule for it. We hope to see you there!
Hello, I am Seungyong Son, a horn player from South Korea. I am active in various musical fields, including performing classical music, musicals, K-pop, Trot music (an early pop genre), live broadcasts and concerts, recordings, and university lectures. At first, I was perplexed when I was asked to introduce my diverse background in music of various genres. I didn't think the genre was important in music, and I like to play whenever and wherever I can. It's good to work in an orchestra, but I thought it wouldn't be easy to work in one place for a long time because of my personality. It's embarrassing, but one reason is that I like hoodies more than suits, so I try to avoid wearing suits or tuxedos as much as possible!
When I was 11, I started playing the horn in my elementary school orchestra. I thought about oboe, clarinet, trumpet, and horn for a long time, but the horn looked the coolest. (Music for oboe and clarinet seemed too difficult, and orchestral trumpet parts had too many measures of rest!)
From my student days at Busan Arts High School, I studied horn as a major in earnest with my teacher Yeongjin Choi, Principal Horn of the Busan City Philharmonic Orchestra. He cared a lot about me and complimented me for doing well. All my free thought as a musician is greatly influenced by him. Around that time, a friend introduced me to the music of Queen and gave me an album, and since then, I have been interested in pop music and musicals, even though I still like classical music.
After graduating from high school, I played the horn for over ten hours a day because the university entrance exams in Korea are so competitive. I’m sure I practiced ignorantly, but I still miss those days. I managed to win a position in the prestigious Korea National University of Arts. I had great experiences while studying with Professor Mike Harcrow at KNUA. For me, one who was weak in basic skills, I learned from his playing method to accept new challenges as well as about the performer's attitude, etc. He is a professor who became a friend and has had the greatest influence in my instrumental life. I was able to study various types of music in an especially fun way through our horn ensemble.
Then, in my senior year of college, I was invited by the school classroom assistant to play in a musical. It was difficult in those days to find a horn player for such productions because the Korean musical market was not big; many shows were done by touring groups with foreign players. But that's how I had my first musical performance. The show was Tommy, and I fell in love with the all the production aspects that were so different from classical performances.
But because I was working on a musical, I couldn't attend school orchestra rehearsals, so I earned a grade of F. I am probably the first one to receive an F for orchestra at KNUA; but, after many twists and turns, I attended school for my final semester and graduated. I went on to graduate school at Seoul National University, and I continued playing musicals during that degree, too.
When I was in graduate school, there was a tour of Germany and the USA by the University Orchestra, and we performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City. This provided an opportunity to go to Broadway, something I had always dreamed of. We played Strauss' Also Sprach Zarathustra on tour, but all my thoughts were about Broadway. When I finally got to visit Broadway, the theaters were producing shows I had played but also others I really wanted to do, and I became more deeply enamored with the splendid charm of the city.
I can’t believe that I have been playing professionally for 24 years already because the various genres I perform are fun and new without ever tiring me. Shows are funny and sad; there are dizzying moments and times to reflect.
It's fun to be able to do new kinds of music all the time, but it also requires continual practice. If you play popular genres as if they were classical music, the “taste” of the music won't be right. Playing horn in a big band must be like a trumpet or a trombone. Classical music must be played like classical music, jazz like jazz, K-pop like K-pop, hip-hop like hip-hop, traditional styles like traditional Korean music, and opera like opera. Doing style the right way provides music its charm, its enjoyability for the listener.
Off stage, life goes on: forgetting the password to my house door lock after three months of performing in the provinces; performing with foreign musicians from a touring cast for months at a time; performing when I was seriously ill because the deputy performer double-booked; performing multiple times daily; gaining more than 10 kg from nightly cast parties; having a friend loan me an instrument when my own instrument was in poor repair…these are life’s ordinary difficulties. But the playing is worth it all.
Some of the musicals that I have played include Phantom of the Opera (currently), Jekyll and Hyde, Miss Saigon, Les Miserables, Wicked, Aida, Ladies and Gentlemen, Man of La Mancha, and The Gentleman's Guide, among many others. Except during the pandemic, I have earned a living doing musicals almost every month, and usually 8 shows a week.
I have gotten to know many musicians while doing musicals. Classical players don’t always get to meet drummers, bass and electric guitarists, and keyboard players; but because I have, I have built a unique career in the Korean commercial recording industry and in live pop-music performance. I naturally work to bridge the gap between playing classical music and these other genres. In this way, I am able to perform as the only session hornist in Korea.
In the off-season, I always play classical music as a guest with South Korea’s great orchestras. The reason is to remember to play delicately. If one only plays session music or musicals, the beautiful, idiomatic veiled tone of the horn can be replaced with a brasher sound. I often play as a sub with the KBS Symphony Orchestra, the National Symphony Orchestra, the Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra, etc., and always with a studious mind.
I think the reason I do a lot of unusual performances—and do so often—is because I am good at maintaining relationships with people and selling the appealing charm of the instrument called the horn. As I recorded and released individual solo albums in the genre of “city pop,” the number of invitations to perform concerts and broadcasts increased.
Now, as I watch musicians show off their skills on social media networks like YouTube and Instagram, I am also preparing for a YouTube channel as one of my next goals. Please watch for it to come!
I hope that accepting the challenges of new musical genres and my desire to increase a horn “infrastructure” will give more opportunities to those who come after me.
School’s out! If you’re tired of books with words, get one with lots of pictures!
Jazz Set for Solo Horn was composed to sound as if it is improvised expressions of a parent's feelings and responses to their child's innate and contagious silliness, to burdensome feelings of sadness, through peaceful moments of rest and teasing, and outrageous moments of play. (The "Emily" of the fourth piece is Hill's daughter.)
The personal qualities of these moments are heightened by the use of familiar jazz idioms along with the expanded vocabulary of extended techniques, additional vocabulary for the horn player to use when an idea cannot be better expressed any other way. Included are three full pages of notational descriptions and explanations of the requested techniques and effects as they are encountered in these four pieces.
Included in the purchase are sound recordings of Doug Hill performing his work. The recording was generously made possible through permission from George Schuller and GunMar Recordings.
Acadia Summit for Horn Ensemble by Ethan Resnik
Acadia Summit is a work inspired by the composer's experiences exploring Acadia National Park. The piece aims to represent the thrill of hiking Cadillac Mountain and nearing Acadia’s highest peak. While standing on the summit, sounds of wind harmonize with birds soaring at eye level and below. There are moments of cacophony and rapidly-changing textures which represent the adventurous ascent up the mountain, as well as the accompanying natural sounds: the swaying trees, the ubiquitous rustling blueberry bushes, and wind and sea against jagged cliffs.
The work alludes to Acadia’s colorful horizons and expansive landscapes, represented in lyrical melodic lines and dense textures. As a whole, the work evokes a sense of excitement, serenity, calm, and adventure.
Acadia Summit won the 2023 Northwest Horn Symposium Composition Contest in the Large Ensemble category.
Our next adventure with Horn on Record takes us to Sweden, the land of IKEA furniture, the famed ICEHOTEL in Lapland, and the traditional fika daily coffee break. This album, from hornist Sören Hermansson and recorded in 1982 for the Thorofon label, includes the Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano, Op. 44 by Lennox Berkeley and several pieces for horn and piano by Carl Czerny, Paul Dukas, Carl Nielsen, and Francis Poulenc.
Sören Hermansson is well established as a musical innovator and champion of modern composers, having been active in commissioning new pieces for horn since the late 1980’s. He has recorded an extensive array of music, ranging from concerti for horn and strings (many listener’s first CD experience with the Gordon Jacob Concerto and Lars-Erik Larsson’s Concertino), two albums of music for horn and harp with Erica Goodman, and several albums of modern repertoire for both horn solo and with electronics. He has premiered over sixty new works, collaborating with composers such as Marie Samuelsson, Leilei Tian, Per Mårtensson, Joakim Sandgren, Åke Parmerud, Marcus Fjellström, Fredrik Olofsson, Tommy Zwedberg, Magnus Bunnskog, and Alessandro Perini.
Born in 1956, Hermansson studied in Stockholm at the Royal Academy for Music with Wilhelm Lanzky-Otto, for a year with Adriaan van Woudenberg in Amsterdam, and finally at the Karajan Academy with Gerd Seifert where he regularly performed with the Berlin Philharmonic. He joined the Gothenburg Symphony as third horn in 1983 under Neeme Jarvi, later leaving to pursue a solo and teaching career. He has taught at the University of Gothenburg, the University of Michigan, and in a guest appointment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is a frequent guest for masterclasses across Europe, the USA, South Africa, and Brazil.
The album’s A-side features the Trio for Horn, Violin and Piano by Lennox Berkeley composed as a commission in the early 1950s by the pianist Colin Horsley for Dennis Brain. Alongside violinist Manoug Parikian, this group premiered the piece in 1954 and recorded it 1959. Hermansson provides the next recorded interpretation twenty-three years later, joined by Hans Maile on violin and the exceptional pianist Horst Göbel.
The first movement has a very spacious melody built on rising fourths. Hermansson plays with driving clarity and rhythmic propulsion when this melody later changes to a martial, descending figure:
The final movement is an original theme (which Berkeley again based on fourths) and a set of variations. Variation VII Adagio features a plaintive, sustained melody in the horn underpinned by the theme in the piano bassline. Hermansson plays with generous portamento on the descending cadential fourths through this cantabile line:
The rollicking Andante and Polacca by Carl Czerny truly showcases both performers. Hermansson balances articulation that is both firm and meticulous while crafting lines with generous affectation and panache. Horst Göbel, orchestral pianist for both the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic orchestras, is simply dazzling and performs feats of keyboard wizardry.
Neilsen’s Canto Serioso is a miniature gem, written as a low horn audition piece for the Danish Royal Theater Orchestra in 1913. In the closing Andante sostenuto of this rendition, Hermansson and Göbel exude calm as the melody languidly expands to its restful conclusion:
Finally, we’ll hear true contrast in the music of Poulenc with his gorgeous but emotionally fraught Elegie, written in memoriam of Dennis Brain. This piece pairs frenetic and angsty music against plaintive, meandering moments of solemnity. Once more, Hermansson plays with sweeping sustain, then wrangles the rapid articulation into a wonderfully anguished cadence:
This album is available through Discogs, since Spotify does not stream these vinyl albums. I hope you’ve enjoyed listening to Sören Hermansson’s earliest recording and reading Horn on Record!
Entrevista—Edwin Omar Morel
con Gabriella Ibarra
Edwin, “The Tropical Horn,” is a young hornist in the Dominican Republic who has a vibrant motivation to have the horn be the featured instrument in popular music. His passion has driven him to keep working and improving daily, and that's why he was the first horn player to win a scholarship to the 2023 summer course at the Berklee College of Music. Enjoy this insight into Latin American musical culture, and follow his work on social media.
Generally, a wider range of opportunities exists for high school students in the world of summer music camps. The more limited number of opportunities available for college students almost exclusively requires applications long before June 1st. However, people of all ages can still attend the International Horn Symposium in Montréal in late July this year. It will offer a plethora of horn-related learning opportunities and competitions—see the list from our hosts at the bottom of the Newsletter. So, to any college students who have missed out on summer festivals for 2023, join us at the IHS Symposium!
For pre-collegiate horn players, a vast array of local music camps exists across the United States which offer valuable learning opportunities. Attached, I have listed the numerous summer camps which still have openings for student horn players as we head into June. Generally, the list is centered in the United States because the US has a very strong band culture, with lots of universities hosting camps over the summer which offer valuable opportunities for high school horn players. Click the link above!
Ein Waldhorn Lustig
Pedagogy Column—David Alan Cooper Interview
by Dan Grabois
What you will see in this month’s Pedagogy Column is a video, part 1 of a two-part interview which I conducted with David Cooper. Part 2 will be available in the July issue of Horn and More. In the interview, David speaks about his personal history with the horn, the development of his career (including some veiled hints about what is coming next), and his connection with music. I hope you find his enthusiasm as infectious as I did! Thank you for watching.
IHS 55—Call for Questions
by Angela Winter
IHS 55—Competitions: A Unique Learning Opportunity
Dear fellow horn players,
The Symposium is only weeks away, and we are so excited to meet you all! We are particularly excited to meet the students from all over the world and to get to hear them play and see them grow as they participate in workshops, performances, masterclasses, and competitions!
Marjolaine Goulet, associate solo horn at the Orchestre Symphonique de Québec, has participated and won prizes in many competitions, including the Paxman Young Horn Player International Competition and the Montréal Symphony Orchestra Competition where she won the SOCAN Prize for best interpretation of a Canadian work.
We asked Marjolaine what it had meant to her to participate in all these competitions, and here is what she had to say: “Taking part in competitions has always been very formative! From the small local competitions to the ARD International Music Competition, they all were opportunities to surpass myself, to learn new repertoire, and to learn from other horn players. Mainly, it has given me the energy to invest myself fully in my art, no matter how old I was or what prizes I won. The simple fact of participating and making it as far as possible was the best award.”
Competitions are quite a challenge—you only have a few minutes to impress the judges with your technique, your knowledge of the repertoire, and your musical sense. IHS 55 Competitions will allow players to check the quality of their preparation, assess how they perform under pressure, and provide them access to constructive comments from several renowned horn players. From the Youth Day Solo Horn competition to the Jazz Horn, Natural Horn, and Horn Ensemble competitions, we are providing opportunities for students of all ages to perform!
As we approach the July 1 deadline to register for competitions, we would like to invite all students to register—and for all teachers to encourage their students to register!