A Fine Collaboration – Ed Kocher

As the school year comes to a close in the
academic community, we encourage students and teachers to reflect on
their educational experiences. Upon my early reflections, the Horn Effect,
a recent artistic collaboration of the horn section of the Pittsburgh
Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, and  Duquesne
University’s Mary Pappert School of Music stands out as a highlight of
our season.

At the Horn Effect, the PSO hornists presented a superb
master class that covered a broad range of topics that engaged the
audience. In the master class, the PSO hornists performed beautifully
on their instruments, and beyond that, they interacted magnificently as
human beings. Their obvious respect for each other as people and
musicians conveyed a warm message of musical and human understanding.
The audience consisted of more than 40 hornists of varying ages and
experience levels who traveled to Duquesne University from a radius of
several hundred miles.

the inspiring master class and a complimentary lunch thanks to
Duquense, the hornists rehearsed David Keberle’s newly commissioned
piece Soundings V for Four Horn Soloists and Horn Ensemble utilizing extended techniques. Soundings V
is the fifth in a series of educational works by David Keberle
commissioned by PCMS that provides student, amateur and professional
instrumentalists of varying backgrounds and levels of achievement an
opportunity to explore together in a workshop environment, the
relatively unknown world of extended techniques on their instruments
and then share the stage in a performance of the new work with leading
soloists. After a focused rehearsal and a break for refreshments, the
Horn Effect concluded with an enthusiastic performance of Soundings V in Duquesne’s PNC Recital Hall.

The inspiration and managerial knowhow for the Horn Effect
came from the Pittsburgh Chamber Music Society, the artistic core was
the PSO horn section, and much of the logistical support and
hospitality was courtesy of Duquesne University. The Horn Effect
reached an appreciative audience of hornists and their families and
friends. It was an excellent concept that received exemplary support
from the PCMS and Duquesne University.  In my opinion, the critical
ingredient that made the Horn Effect an especially high quality musical
experience for all of the participants is the exceptional musical and
personal excellence of the PSO horn section. As my summer reflections
continue, I remember with gratitude the international level of the
highest artistic standards that the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra gives
our region. Thank you PSO hornists for a fine collaboration and best
wishes for an energizing summer!

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