Day 3: Another exciting day at the 47th International Horn Symposium! Here’s what I attended during the morning and early afternoon.
- Lecture – Contemporary Solos for Low Horn (Robert Stonestreet) A fascinating presentation focused on little known works which feature the horn’s low register. I knew a few of the works mentioned, but discovered some new ones, including several which were commissioned by Denise Tryon of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and which will be premiered at the symposium.
- Recital – Stefan Dohr and Arkady Shilkloper Both of these renowned musicians played great sets. Dohr’s included two works which were unknown to me; Lewy’s Divertissement Op. 13 on Themes by Franz Schubert, and Haas’s Sonata No. 2 in F, Op. 29. Shilkloper’s virtuosity and sheer inventiveness on both the horn and alphorn were impressive as always. Though their musical voices are quite different, I took note of several common elements between the two which I think have contributed to their success as musicians and soloists. 1) A confident and comfortable stage presence 2) A distinct musical voice 3) Great sounds on the horn, but even more important, the use of different colors and interesting sounds. These include the full range of articulations, dynamics, timbres, etc.
- UW Madison Alumni Ensemble “Hill’s Angels” This was certainly the highlight of the day for me. Getting to catch up with old classmates and meet some new faces was fantastic, and we played some great music as well. The concert was well attended, and the audience seemed to enjoy the repertoire we performed. Here’s a picture of the group, taken just after our morning rehearsal.
- Concert – Genghis Barbie I’ve heard recordings of this quartet, but until today had not seen them perform live. They put on a great show, and can really play! In addition to having great chops, another element worth noting is their energetic and unique stage presence. Their show included a number of pop tune arrangements, many with vocals. It’s a good combination, and I highly recommend this group!
- Evening Concert – Then & Now: A Night Honoring the Horn in Hollywood This was a very special night, bringing together most, if not all, of the main studio horn players working today. Studio playing legends Fred Fox and Alan Robinson were honored with both words and music. Like many horn players, my first experience with being thrilled at the sound of the instrument came from movie scores. It was a real treat to see and hear so many of the players who recorded this important and inspirational music. It was a big program (approximately 2.5 hours), and my favorite works were James Horner’s Titanic Fantasy, performed in honor of the late composer, with James Thatcher performing the solo part; and George Hyde’s Color Contrasts, which was one of the first works I played which required extended techniques. Here’s a shot of the marquee for the concert venue, the Los Angeles Theatre. Follow the link to see some amazing images of the interior of this historic building.