Today, my last day at the 47th International Horn Symposium, was certainly memorable. I’ll post again in a few days with summary comments about the entire week I’ve spent here in Los Angeles, but I also wanted to write a few things about today in particular while they were fresh in my mind. Here we go.
- Lecture – An Introduction to Solo Duet Training for Horns My presentation went very well, I thought, and had good attendance. The duets seem to be interesting to a wide range of horn players, which was definitely my intention. Thanks again to Gina Gillie for volunteering to demonstrate some of the duets with me.
- Recital – Denise Tryon and Stefan Dohr This was my first time hearing Denise Tryon perform live, and her playing was superb. She premiered several new compositions that she recently commissioned, as well as the Neuling Bagatelle. She shared the recital with Stefan Dohr, who I have had the opportunity to hear multiple times this week, first on the Schumann Konzerstuck, then in the Berlin Philharmonic Horn Quartet, and on two solo recitals. Rarely have I heard a horn played with so many colors, contrasts and varieties of shading and nuance. His playing is incredibly interesting to listen to!
- Recital – Chamber and Solo Music I attended this performance primarily to support my colleague and friend Gina Gillie, but I also heard some great playing by the other performers on the program. It was an interesting mix of the following: a familiar work; Mozart Horn Quintet (Emily Reppun, horn); an old work in a new guise; Bach’s Chaconne from the Violin Partita No. 2/arr. by David Jolley for brass trio (Tawnee Pumphrey, horn); original contemporary works, including two selections from Ricardo Matosinhos’s Low Horn Etudes (Marc Gelfo, horn) and Gina Gillie’s The Great Migration for Two Horns and Piano (Gina Gillie and Jeffrey Snedeker, horn). Though all of the performances were pretty solid, I especially enjoyed hearing the new works performed by Gelfo, Gillie, and Snedeker. There was a freshness and energy about their playing that really made these works stand out.
- Evening Concert – A Sojurn, A Celebration, and A Farewell: A Night Honoring the American Horn Quartet I could write a lot about this evening’s performance, the final live concert by the AHQ, but I will try to keep my comments brief. I’ve written about the group before here, so if you would like more information please follow the link. For many reasons this was a very important and special concert, and the AHQ rose to the occasion with a brilliant performance featuring new and old selections from the group’s repertoire. The emotion and energy they brought to the stage was heightened, and it came across to the audience, who gave the group an extended ovation. They played two encores, and I think their second selection, an arrangement of Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better,” aptly sums up the entire program and career of this singular ensemble.
I will be leaving Los Angeles tomorrow, but the sounds, emotions, and other experiences from this week will stay with me a long time. As always, my thanks go out to Annie Bosler and Andrew Bain for putting together a fantastic symposium. [Photos above: Interior of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels, venue for the AHQ’s final concert, and a picture of a lit building in downtown Los Angeles.)