Saturday, March 25, 2017

Horn Ensemble Series: American Horn Quartet

The American Horn Quartet was probably the first dedicated horn ensemble that brought world attention. They were founded in 1982 by four Americans who perform in European orchestras. Through winning several international prizes, the quartet embarked on to an international music scene.

Their first CD came out in 1991, 2 years after winning Philip Jones International Brass Chamber Music Competition in Barcs, Hungary in 1989). It is called 'American Horn Quartet'. The recording features 3 compositions by Kerry Turner one of which is 'Fanfare for Barcs' where he wrote this piece to commemorate their success at the competition above. I have been looking for American Horn Quartet performance of this piece but I couldn't find one but the performance below is also amazing.

Here is Fanfare for Barcs performed by Budapest Festival Horn Quartet.

They recorded 9 albums for horn quartet music in total. That does not only provide amazing recordings for us to listen and to reference to but also new repertoires for horn quartet setting in which Kerry Turner has also became well-known as a leading composer for horn.

Sadly, the quartet ends their journey in 2015. However, their impact to the horn world is immense. It is in a way similar to how London Horn Sound did with big horn ensemble but nearly 20 years earlier.

More of horn quartets will be introduced and in future posts.

David Johnson (left in 2009)
Charles Putnam
Kerry Turner
Geoffrey Winter
Kristina Mascher (joined in 2009)

PS. I read from some that there was another founding member before Charles Putnam joined but I couldn't find any information now. Anybody knows? Thanks!

Here are selections of their performance. Enjoy!

Live performance part 1

Live Performance part 2

Live Recording from Thailand Brass and Percussion Conference 2014 (from 21:00 onward)


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