Thompson, Michael

Michael
Thompson
french horn

Internationally acknowledged as one of the world's leading horn players, Michael Thompson is also regarded as a charismatic and inspirational teacher. As a conductor, he is known as a fine orchestral trainer and has received acclaim for his work with young musicians.

After studies at the Royal Academy of Music, he was appointed principal horn with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the age of eighteen. Within three years he was offered the principal horn positions of both the Philharmonia and Royal Philharmonic Orchestras. He joined the Philharmonia and remained in that post for ten years before leaving to concentrate on his solo and chamber music career. His work as director / soloist or conductor has seen him perform in Japan, Australia, the U.S.A. Europe and Scandinavia, including his debut with the Danish Radio Sinfonietta in Copenhagen, the Ostgota Winds Symphony in Sweden and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra. In the UK he has directed the London Sinfonietta, Bournemouth Sinfonietta, Britten Pears Orchestra, Ulster Youth Orchestra and the Royal Academy's Sinfonia and Concert orchestras. He has conducted a number of community orchestras and was Principal Conductor of the City of Rochester Symphony Orchestra from 2003 until 2008.

Montgomery, Roger

Roger
Montgomery
french horn

Roger Montgomery (conductor and horn player) studied at the University of York and at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with Anthony Halsted. Interested in contemporary music and period instrument performance he plays horn with many of the leading groups in both fields, and is a member of the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House.

As a founder member and conductor of Jane's Minstrels he has given many premieres and performed at leading festivals in the UK and in the USA, Scandinavia and Europe, directing three compact disc recordings for the NMC label and frequently broadcasting for the BBC.

He has also directed Avanti!, BBC Singers, Endymion, Capricorn, Park Lane Group Ensemble, Ondine (in several series of Contemporary classics and new works) and the recently formed Orchestra 18/20. He was recently invited to conduct the Esbjerg Ensemble in the premiere of Morten Olsen's Ictus for Danish Radio. With New Music Players, he has directed many performances including Ligeti's Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures and the premiere and recording of James Wood's Crying Bird, Echoing Star. Roger teaches at Trinity College of Music.

Watkins, Richard

Richard
Watkins
french horn

Richard Watkins is well-known as a concerto soloist and chamber music player. He was Principal Horn of the Philharmonia Orchestra from 1985 until 1996, and is currently a member of the Nash Ensemble and a founder member of London Winds.

Richard Watkins is at the forefront of promoting contemporary music for the horn. He has given premières of concertos by Sir Peter Maxwell Davies, Nigel Osborne, Magnus Lindberg, Dominic Muldowney, Nicola LeFanu, and Colin and David Matthews. Other premières have included James MacMillan's Quintet for Horn and Strings, Huw Watkins' Horn Trio at the Wigmore Hall in 2009 and Colin Matthews' Time Stands Still for horn, violin and piano at the 2006 Aldeburgh Festival. Watkins also premièred Britten's In Memoriam Dennis Brain, for four horns and strings, culminating in a tribute at the 2007 Proms on the 50th anniversary of Brain's death, and later recorded for NMC on Unknown Britten.

Richard Watkins is in great demand for teaching and masterclasses in Europe and the USA. He currently holds the Dennis Brain Chair of Horn at the Royal Academy of Music.
 

Tuckwell, Barry

Barry
Tuckwell
french horn
Barry Tuckwell is the most recognizable name in solo horn playing in the latter half of the 20th century, but he is also revered as a conductor, educator, and author. He was present at the first horn workshops and was the first president of the IHS. Barry was born in Melbourne, Australia in 1931 into a musical family. He learned organ, piano, and violin and has perfect pitch. He started playing horn at the suggestion of family friend Richard Merewether, who became his first horn teacher. At age 15, Barry joined the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra as third horn, moving to Sydney a year later to study with Alan Mann at the Sydney Conservatorium and play assistant to Mann in the Sydney Symphony Orchestra. In 1951, at age 19, Barry arrived in London. Over the next four years, he played in the Buxton Spa Orchestra, Halle Orchestra, Scottish National Orchestra, and Bournemouth. In 1955 he became first horn of the London Symphony Orchestra, a position he held for 13 years. He was also on the board of the orchestra and chairman of the board for six years.
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