There is no doubt that French horn players have made significant contributions to the world of classical music, jazz and other genres. The scope of that contribution is surprisingly broad. So, for the benefit of the many horn players who visit wagner-tuba.com, we have compiled a list of some of the most notable French horn players born in the 20th century.
Notable French Horn Players
- Dennis Brain (1921-1957): Considered by many to be the greatest horn player of all time, Brain was famous for his virtuosic playing and exquisite tone. He was a master of the natural horn and played with many of the world’s top orchestras, including the Philharmonia and the Berlin Philharmonic. Sadly, Brain’s career was cut short when he died in a car accident at the age of 36. “‘He is irreplaceable, but his art and his influence have left their permanent mark upon horn playing” quote from Walter Legge (see full article here)
- Barry Tuckwell (1931-2020): Australian-born Tuckwell was one of the most recorded horn players of all time, with over 50 solo albums to his name. He played with the London Symphony Orchestra for many years and was known for his warm and expressive playing.
- Philip Farkas (1914-1992): American horn player Farkas was a member of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for many years and was known for his beautiful tone and technical skill. He was also a widely-acknowledged teacher and author, have written several influential books on horn playing.
- Hermann Baumann (b. 1934): German horn player Baumann is considered one of the world’s leading players and teachers. He has recorded extensively and has performed with many of the world’s top orchestras.
- Dale Clevenger (1940-2022): American horn player Clevenger who was the principal horn player of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for many years. Known for his impeccable technique and beautiful tone. He was also a renowned teacher and mentor to many young horn players.
- Stefan Dohr (b. 1965): German horn player Dohr is known primarily for his work as principal horn player of the Berlin Philharmonic, one of the world’s top orchestras. Acclaimed for his impeccable technique and beautiful tone and has recorded extensively as a soloist.
- Radovan Vlatković (b. 1962): Croatian horn player Vlatković, recognised for his expressive playing and virtuosic technique. He has played with many of the world’s top orchestras and has recorded extensively.
- Gail Williams (b. 1958): American horn player Williams was the principal horn player of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for many years and has played with many other top orchestras. She is known for her technical skill and expressive playing and has also recorded extensively as a soloist.
- Marie-Luise Neunecker (b. 1958): German horn player Neunecker is one of the world’s leading players and teachers. She has played with many of the world’s top orchestras and is known for her virtuosic technique and expressive playing.
- Richard Watkins (b. 1964): British horn player Watkins is one of the world’s leading players and teachers. He has played with many of the world’s top orchestras and is known for his expressive playing and impeccable technique.
- Sarah Willis (b.1968): Sarah Willis is a British horn player, currently a member of the Berlin Philharmonic. She is also a television presenter and has made several documentaries about classical music. Known for her expressive playing and her work to promote classical music to a wider audience.
Each of these players has inspired young French horn players to pursue their passion for music but, make no mistake, this is by no means an exhaustive list. The A-Z list of players of French horn, German horn, Vienna horn, natural horn, tenor horn and alphorn on Wikipedia’s page here makes for fascinating reading.