Horn Repertoire Week 2: Orchestral Auditions and Orchestral Life



This week we really have much more to cover than could possibly be covered in one week. Fortunately, most of this general content spills over into materials and concepts we talk over individually in lessons and also in our studio class, and for readers online who want to look in depth at orchestral playing there is a lot out there already to reference.

Updating this for 2018, I had a group of materials that I liked to use for this particular class that were revised into a Kindle ePublication, Orchestra 101 (more info at www.hornnotes.com). It is based on materials posted originally in two main locations in Horn Matters:

  • Orchestra 101, The Big Picture of Orchestral Playing
  • Auditions 101

Buy the book! It is $2.99 on Amazon. The article linked below gives some flavor of the content:

Also, some of the same general audition concepts are outlined, in much more depth, in Chapter 10 of Horn Playing from the Inside Out by Eli Epstein (my review starts here). This is no coincidence as during the most pivotal year of my audition preparation (between my MM and Doctoral study) I took a number of professional auditions and my primary lessons were in fact with Eli Epstein, who at the time was second horn in the Rochester Philharmonic, but that year won the second horn position in the Cleveland Orchestra. This is to say that your best audition advice will come from players who have orchestral jobs. When I was in late graduate school I regularly took extra lessons with active, tenured orchestral players. They are the most “in tune” with the trends and it is in your interest as an advanced student to take advantage of their input as you perfect your excerpts and approach.

The first two sessions of this course have covered materials that could very easily be extended to cover an entire semester. Fortunately, again, in my actual teaching, these topics are covered further in lessons and in our studio class. It gets at the whole large topic of career development, which is much more than we can cover within the confines of this present course. But it is a topic to look at further and I hope to develop further specifically for the University of Horn Matters in the future.

Before we close, I would highly recommend one CD as a supplemental material. We will listen to portions of it in class, but so far as I know the tracks are not available as downloads. It is the “Audition Improbable” CD, which supposedly was secretly recorded in the finals of a major orchestra audition. A great deal of insider information is presented in this recording in a humorous format. It is available for purchase several places online, for example here.

Next week we move more directly toward horn repertoire, with the beginning of our look at the natural horn.

Continue to Week 3 of Repertoire Course

This is week 2 of a fourteen week course in horn repertoire, the second semester of a broad overview of horn repertoire, performance, and pedagogy. The introductory article is here, and the series is presented for the educational purposes of our readers.

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