Friday, March 31, 2017

Horn Ensemble Series: Transatlantic Horn Quartet

While I was researching for more horn quartet groups to write for a future post, I suddenly think of few groups that I know back when I was younger. One of that is Transatlantic Horn Quartet.

The group was found in 1998 by two prominent horn players from the UK and another two from the USA. Those are

  • Richard Watkins - former Principal horn of Philharmonia Orchestra and Horn Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, UK
  • Michael Thompson - former Principal horn of Philharmonia Orchestra and Horn Professor at the Royal Academy of Music, UK 
  • David Ohanian - former Empire Brass and Canadian Brass, and Horn Professor at Boston Conservatory of Music. 
  • Charles 'Skip' Snead - Horn Professor at The University of Alabama School of Music. 
They appeared at in many horn workshops especially in the US. Those included Southeast Horn Workshop in 2000 and Southwest Horn Workshop in 2004. I found their early profile from the latter workshop.

Here is the performance from their Southeast Workshop in 2000.

This group recorded one CD (as seen from video above). After that, I thought the group was disbanded and have heard nothing of them at all until today when I googled their name! 

To my surprise, the group name came up with recent performance video on YouTube and with new members!

Charles Snead is the only original member. The three new members are  
  • Abel Pereira - Principal horn of National Symphony Orchestra (USA)
  • Jeff Nelsen - Horn Professor at Indiana University and former Canadian Brass
  • Leslie Norton - Principal Horn of Nashville Symphony Orchestra and Horn Professor at Vanderbilt University
Since all the member are now from the same continent, it does not really 'transatlantic' anymore. However, name is just a name. As long as it is still there, I don't think many people will care why they are called that way. 

The reason I wrote about them is not only I found that they are not disbanded. This group was probably the one of two active horn quartet group apart from American Horn Quartet around 1900s.
Even though members have changed, I am glad to see them back and I hope to hear more of them!

1 comment:

  1. Yes, I had heard of this quartet, but I also thought they hadn't done anything in recent years. I also completely forgot that Jeff Nelsen was in this quartet until you mentioned it. Really nice recording of them on the Schumann, although I think Ethan, Nick, you, and I definitely have them beat!