past blogs of interest from kerryturner.com

Please feel free to browse these blogs from Kerry’s website, dating back to 2004.

Symphony of Carols Performance at Hornsaplenty Christmas in Wisconsin

1 December, 2009 – 8:06pm. 

I just received this from Don Krause in Wisconsin. It looks like it’s going to be a very big event!

The Milwaukee Symphony horn section (William Barnewitz-Krystof Pipal-Dietrich Hemann-Darcy Hamlin-William Cowart-Gregory Flint) plus Cynthia Carr and Kathryn Krubsack will be performing Turner’s “Symphony of Carols” in Milwaukee at the Marcus Theater Uilhien Hall, home of the Milwaukee Symphony. 

Dec 2 at 7:00 pm a master class with Cynthia Carr will be at 4:00 – large group rehearsal will be at 5:30 until 6:30 doors open at 6:45 with 7:00 concert time– it is expected that we may have 75 to 100 horns performing Hornsaplentychristmas music. The Conductor of the large ensemble is Don Krause– curator of Hornsaplenty christmas. 

In Appleton, Dec 19th, “Symphony of Carols” by Kerry Turner will be heard again with (Geoff Winter-Lydia Van Dreel-Andrew Parks-Matt Di Pietro-Bruce Atwell-Gail Schumacher-Sarah Buechler-Kris Bryan-James Saunders-Austin Larson) concert time in Appleton 2:30, master class with Geoff Winter is at 11:00 am, large group rehearsal at 1:30 and the concert time will be 2:30. Geoff will be performing the Brahms trio. Lydia Van Dreel will be performing Villanelle by Dukas. Both concerts are free admission. A free will offering will all go to the Hornsaplentychristmas horn scholarship fund.

Upcoming Events

Submitted by Kerryon 14 November, 2009 – 11:41am. 

It has been a while since I have written anything on this blog space. For those of you who check my blogs regularly, I apologize. I am in the process of changing my webmaster. Suffice it to say, things weren’t working out so well with the original one. Plus, I have been terribly busy. And I use the word “terribly” because I am not yet convinced that it is good to be this busy!

Anyway, a few months ago, I had written a tentative schedule of projects for this season (2009-2010) in a blog. I had also indicated that things were probably going to change somewhat, and that certainly other projects were going to be added. And this has most definitely taken place. 

THE VIRTUOSO HORN DUO AND FRIENDS U.S. TOUR was a huge success. The hosts were all very gracious and perfectly organized. The students whom we coached were well prepared and enthusiastic. And Kristina, Kyle and Laurie- my esteemed colleagues on this tour- all played gloriously every night! Thanks to all who were involved in this project. 

Upon arrival, I was thrust back into the stormy life I lead, trying to balance what are basically three different jobs: Luxembourg Philharmonic, Chamber music (American Horn Quartet and VHD), and composer. And the list of items to take care of and organize had grown substantially. But I shall manage somehow, in the end. 

Here is an updated schedule of events which involve me playing the horn:

November 13-17, OPL, Tchaikovsky 2nd Symphony and Brahms 2nd Piano Concerto, in Luxembourg, on television, in Chalons and Grenoble in France. 

November 23-28, OPL, music by Busoni, Kurtag abd Janacek

December 3-4, OPL, music by Gaubert, Tchaikovsky and Mahler 10, Luxembourg and Ettelbruck.

December 5, Recital and Lecture at the Trossingen State College of Music in Germany. Repertoire: Cherubini Sonata Nr. 2, Bozza En Foret, Beethoven Sonata, Turner “Entrada de los Caballeros”.

December 10-11, OPL, Brahms Violin Concerto and Rachmaninov Symphony Nr. 2, Luxembourg

December 11, Small Choral Christmas Concert. 

December 13, Chamber music concert “Concert-Apéritif” at the Philharmonie, Glazanov Serenade for Horn and Strings Quartet, Turner Sonata for Horn and String Quartet. 

December 15, Christmas Choral Concert “Lessons and Carols” at the Konvikt Centre, Luxembourg.

December 18, OPL, Prokofiev “Romeo and Julliette”, Rachmaninov “Symphonic Dances”. 

January 6-8, OPL, Brahms Symphony Nr. 1, Piano Concerto Nr. 1

January 14-15, American Horn Quartet rehearsals in Luxembourg

February 4-7, Masterclasses and Concerto performance (Weber Concertino?) in Porto, Portugal.

February 11-12, OPL, Mahler Symphony Nr. 7.

February 22-March 7, American Horn Quartet, U.S. Tour.

Virtuoso Horn Duo and Friends US Tour

Submitted by Kerryon 20 September, 2009 – 3:29pm. 

On October 14th, Kristina and I shall be boarding a flight for New York, where we will meet up with Lauretta Bloomer and Kyle Turner to rehearse the 2-week Virtuoso Horn Duo and Friends U.S. Tour. Although we are repeating some of the repertoire from the last tour that we did in the U.S., we are also adding some new pieces, as well as performing music from the various CDs which we have recently released. Here is a short list itinerary and the repertoire list for this tour. If you are free and in the area, please come to one of our concerts. 

THERE IS A FACEBOOK PAGE WITH ALL OF THE CONTACT INFORMATION: http://www.facebook.com/commodore.pap?v=feed&story_fbid=153336082783#/pages/Virtuoso-Horn-Duo/137279973818?ref=ts(look under “events”.)

Friday, 16.10. New York City: Kerry & Kristina – brass master class, Manhattan School of Music, followed by private class for Erik Ralske’s students.

Saturday, 17.10. Montclair State New Jersey: Octubafest; 10:00-12:30 rehearse at Montclair State. 13:00 – short performance for Octubafest (Adagio & Allegro and Far & Away only.) 

Monday, 19.10. State College, PA: 18:45-20:30: Kerry & Kristina give master class to horn students of Lisa Bontrager. 

Tuesday, 20.10.Canton, Ohio:16:30-18:00 Acoustic rehearsal. 19:30 Concert at the Johnson Center, Malone University.

Wednesday, 21.10. Malone University: 9:00 Kerry & Kristina lecture “Living and Working in Europe”, Kyle lecture “25 Years in the Trenches”; Laurie – piano masterclass – chamber music.
10:30 Break – Meet the Artists
12:00 Lunch
13:00-14:30 Horn Masterclass, Tuba Masterclass (simultaneous in separate rooms)
15:30-17:00 Chamber and Horn Ensemble reading session (advanced level)

Thursday, 22.10. Malone University: 9:00 Brass Masterclass (chamber music emphasis)
11:00-12:00 Horn/Tuba Ensemble reading session (intermediate level)

Friday, 23.10. Lindsey Wilson College, Columbia, Kentucky: 19:00 Concert, Slider Humanities Center Recital Hall

Sunday, 25.10. University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri: 12:30-14:00 Laurie – coach 3 chamber music groups. 14:00-16:00 Brass Masterclasses: Start off with Kyle, Kristina & Kerry doing a short talk about life in Europe & New York, then break off into horn and low brass sections.17:00-18:30 acoustic rehearsal, warm-up etc. 19:00 Concert. 

Monday, 26.10. Cincinnati Conservatory, Ohio: 20:00 Concert, Werner Recital Hall, College-Conservatory of Music Cincinnati.

Tuesday, 27.10. Cincinnati Conservatory: 10:00-12:00 Kerry, Kyle, Kristina – horn & tuba master class, Werner Recital hall. 

Thursday, 29.10. University of Western Michigan, Kalamazoo: 16:00 3 K’s – Brass master class. Laurie – master class on vocal accompaniment. 19:30 acoustic rehearsal/set-up. 20:15 Concert 

REPERTOIRE

20.10. Malone, 25.10. Columbia MO, 26.10. Cincinnati:
Concerto Grosso from l`Estro Armonico op.3 #1 Antonio Vivaldi arr. Zoltan Varga
• I. Allegro
• II. Allegro
• III. Largo e spiccato
• IV. Allegro
(Kerry, Kristina, Kyle, Lauretta)

Sonatina for Tuba and Piano Kerry Turner
• I. Allegro Brilliante
• II. Andante (not too fast)
• III. Allegro
(Kyle and Lauretta)

La Entrada de los Caballeros Kerry Turner
(Kerry)

Sonata for Horn and Piano Kerry Turner
• I. Allegro
(Kristina and Lauretta)

Far and Away John Williams
arr. Kyle/Kerry Turner
(Kyle, Lauretta, Kerry, Kristina)

Adagio and Allegro Robert Schumann
(Kyle and Lauretta)

Chaconne Kerry Turner
(Kerry, Kristina, Kyle)

Come Thou Fount Kerry Turner
(Lauretta)

Twas a Dark and Stormy Night Kerry Turner
(Kerry, Kristina, Lauretta)

Barbara Allen and Bonyparte from”4 American Folk Songs” Walter Perkins
(Kerry, Kristina, Lauretta)

All the Things You Are Jerome Kern (1885-1945)
Arr. K. Turner

Take the “A” Train Billy Strayhorn (1915-1967)
Arr. K. Mascher

23.10. Lindsey Wilson College:

Concerto in Eb for 2 Horns and Orchestra Joseph Haydn
I. Allegro maestoso
II. Romance
III. Allegretto
(Kerry, Kristina, Lauretta)

Adagio & Allegro Robert Schumann
(Kyle, Lauretta)

Sonata for horn & Piano Kerry Turner
I. Allegro
(Kristina, Lauretta)

La Viuda de Salamanca Kerry Turner
(Kerry)

Trio Louis-François Dauprat
(Kerry, Kyle, Kristina)

Far & Away John Williams
(Kyle, Lauretta, Kerry, Kristina percussion) arr. Kyle/Kerry Turner

Barbara Allen & Bonyparte from”4 American Folk Songs” Walter Perkins
(Kerry, Kristina, Lauretta)

Prelude in G minor op. 23 #5 Sergei Rachmaninov
(Lauretta)

Four Duos Kerry Turner
(Kerry, Kristina, Kyle)

All the Things You Are Jerome Kern
arr. K. Turner

Take the “A” Train Billy Strayhorn
arr. K. Mascher

29.10. Kalamazoo:

Concerto Grosso from l`Estro Armonico Vivaldi
(Kerry, Kristina, Kyle, Lauretta)

Sonatina for Tuba and Piano Turner
(Kyle and Lauretta)

La Entrada de los Caballeros Turner
(Kerry)

Sonata for Horn and Piano (1st mvt.) Turner
(Kristina and Lauretta)

Far and Away John Williams
(Kyle, Lauretta, Kerry and Kristina assisting)

Adagio and Allegro Schumann
(Kyle and Lauretta)

Come Thou Fount Turner
(Lauretta)

Chaconne Turner
(Kerry, Kristina, Lin Foulk – guest horn)

Two of the Four Duos for Tubas Turner
(Kyle, Deanna Swoboda – guest tuba) 

Twas a Dark and Stormy Night Turner
(Kerry, Kristina, Lauretta)

All the Things You Are Jerome Kern
arr. K. Turner

Take the “A” Train Billy Strayhorn
arr. K. Mascher

17.10. Montclair State – Octubafest:
Adagio and Allegro Schumann
(Kyle and Lauretta)

Far and Away John Williams
(Kyle, Lauretta, Kerry and Kristina assisting)

TIME TO PASS IT ON! Looking for a teaching position.

Submitted by Kerryon 10 August, 2009 – 9:30am. 

I would like to announce my interest in becoming a professor of horn and-or composition. I know it sounds a bit funny to put it like that. I have received a few very good offers throughout the past ten years or so, and I never accepted because I simply was not ready to teach. But after serious consideration and deep soul searching, I have finally arrived at a very comforting visualization of me teaching either horn, or composition or brass chamber music, or any combination of the three. During my 24 years with the AHQ, I have had the opportunity to teach or present masterclasses in horn and brass chamber music, and often times composition, at a multitude of institutes of higher learning, including the conservatories of music in Rotterdam, Zurich, Prague, Saarbrücken, Dijon, Versailles, Oslo, Stockholm, Beijing, Hong Kong, Singapore, Melbourne, Cape Town, Manhattan Scool of Music, Julliard, University of North Texas, Florida State University, and many others.

It is however, a different thing to be in residence at one of these schools, as opposed to being the permanent teacher upon whom your students rely to assist them in their careers and goals. Quite frankly, my interest in the students was simply not keen enough to consider this path in my own career. I also had other responsibilities which occupied my full attention. It was just not an option. But this has gradually changed over the past year. 

I am genuinely interested in the younger generation of horn players and composers and I recognize now the fact that I have an enormous amount of experience and knowledge to offer them. Students have been telling me this for years, but I myself didn`t really believe it. And now, I welcome with a satisfying smile, the possibility of passing on this plethora of experience and becoming sincerely involved in shaping the next generation of horn players and composers. 

I don`t know how to proceed. I am posting this blog in the hopes that perhaps someone (the powers that be) will read it and consider my proposal. I would be happy to consider anything in most parts of the world. I can instruct well in English, German and French and my Italian isn`t half bad. Dutch and Spanish are also possible, but I would have to undertake measures of improvement to get them beyond tourist level. 

If you know of any positions open or if you have any advice to offer, please do not hesitate to contact me at kdturner@pt.lu.

The CD-Turner`s Works With Orchestra- is going to Print!

Submitted by Kerryon 12 July, 2009 – 7:41am. 

I`ve just sent in the final texts for the liner notes to Albany Records. That`s the name of the label on which my newest CD will be released. The CD itself was sent off to be remastered onto SACD, or surround sound, about a week ago. If all goes according to plan, this fantastic CD recording should be available by October. 

The program: 

Karankawa, a tone poem for symphony orchestra
Introduction and Main Event for solo horn quartet and symphony orchestra
Concerto for tuba and orchestra
Concerto for low horn and chamber orchestra

The artists are Geoffrey Winter, Charles Putnam, David Johnson and myself (the members of the AHQ), Kyle Turner, Dariusz Wisniewski and the Sinfonia Iuventus of Warsaw. 

The organizational side of this project has been rather tedious. The negotiations and designing of the CD has been a pleasure. But the actual artistic side has been nothing short of spectacular! So keep your eyes and ears open for the release of this CD on Albany Records- Kerry Turner`s Works with Orchestra!

Kristina`s Blog Page

Submitted by Kerryon 26 June, 2009 – 9:37pm. 

Hey everybody, check out Kristina`s blog page. She writes beautifully! And she has just posted a blog about the recent AHQ European Tour. There is also a recent post about the art of lip trilling. So go to:
www.onemoreindulgence.blogspot.comand enjoy it.

A Thrilling Month with the AHQ

Submitted by Kerryon 14 June, 2009 – 9:46am. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_f0123b2382780431c180cc719bfc833a-1119.jpg

Well, that was it then. The last, almost holy notes of Bach`s “Air-on-the-G-String” rang for nearly 5 seconds in the old, Gothic, pilgrimage church of Bleidenberg-Oberfell, high up overlooking the Mosel river valley. It was a sold-out audience that demanded three encores. We only had two in the folders on the stands. And we really had no lips left. But we tagged on our new encore, “Sabre Dance” to bring the listeners to their feet. Walking out of the church, we beheld a spectacular sunset in the direction of the German city of Koblenz. This was concert number ten on a long and drawn out 20th Anniversary European Tour with the American Horn Quartet.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_7590bfffb9e8c4cea7eedc8a86bd000b-1118.jpg

We added some new works to the repertoire- “Hungarian Medley” by Walter Perkins and “Garota de Impenema” arranged by Morais- and revived an old one, Barboteu`s “Sologne”. The concerts all ended up being around an hour and forty-five minutes. A lot of intense playing at an ever-increasingly high level. Any free days on the tour (and there were a few) were spent slathering on various lip balms, tinkering with problematic mechanics on our instruments and, of course traveling. We put down close to 5000 kilometers on this tour!

We would like to thank all of our hosts on this tour who made each performance possible and contributed to a very successful tour.

Bei jedem Veranstalter, der bei dieser sehr erfolgreichen Tournee, etwas zur Aufführung getragen hat, und jedes Konzert ermöglicht hat, möchten wir uns ganz herzlich bedanken. 

Nous voudrions remercier à tout les organisateurs, qui ont contribuè à le succès de cette tournèe et qui ont rendu possible chaque concert. 

And now, we all take our places in our various orchestral jobs, for a few weeks anyway. It is always a strange feeling to go back to the orchestra after particularly intense activity with the AHQ. In the car on the way home last night, my wife Kristina, who played every concert with dependable valor and pizazz, made this comparison: 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_afe3b65d51574ac2fa95f10fe50738b3-1120.jpg

“When you are playing with the AHQ, it`s as if you are Superman. And then, when it`s time to go back to the orchestra, you comb down your hair, put on your old-fashioned suit and thick black glasses, and become Clark Kent again. And nobody has any idea what you`ve been doing.”

Bass-Trombone Concerto PREMIERED! (YouTube link)

Submitted by Kerryon 30 May, 2009 – 8:06am. 

Twelve years ago, during an AHQ trip to Hong Kong, I met up with the Mr. Phil Brink, who was at that time, the bass-trombonist in the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Phil wanted to commission me to compose a concerto for his instrument. It was a strange time for me in my life. I was going through some serious changes. And I was suffering badly from writer`s block. I told Phil as much. But he remained confident and patient, encouraging me to take my time and wait until the muse inspires. We put no dead-line on the commission. 

About two years later, I personally handed the score over to Phil during another visit to the Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts. I really was not terribly sure that I was presenting him with a work that was consistent with the high quality of my other pieces. Phil took the score with gratitude, and I didn`t hear a lot about it after that. I knew that there was some activity concerning the rearranging of the first movement for band and there was even a performance of this in Paris quite a few years ago. But the work, as far as I know, remained unplayed. 

Then in 2008, I received an e-mail from Phil Brink informing me that he was planning to perform the Bass-Trombone Concerto with his new orchestra, the Thailand Philharmonic. He had apparently been practicing the part like a fiend and had become totally convinced that the work was indeed worthy of performance. He kept me informed about the progress on scheduling the work and was duly excited when it was indeed programmed on the 2008-2009 season. He even invited me to Thailand for the world premier! Coincidently enough, I had already booked a CD recording project in Warsaw in the very same week. As a matter of fact, my brother Kyle Turner was scheduled to record the tuba version of the concerto. Kyle had seen the score back several years ago and had expressed an interest in performing-recording it. It was by sheer chance that the two performances were due to take place the same week. I sent flowers to Phil Brink for the world premier of the Bass-Trombone Concerto. I heard that it was a success. And I was told that it had been filmed and recorded and would eventually be available on YouTube. And lo and behold, it is! And here is the link:

Go to YouTube and look for basstrb3. 

This is a truly splendid rendition of the concerto. It was really exactly as I wanted it. And it is astonishingly similar to the interpretation my brother had offered in the version for tuba. I am indeed quite proud of the work. And I am very grateful to Phil Brink for having commissioned me and for having not lost confidence in my creative talent. Phil Brink is the instructor of trombone at the College of Music at Mahidol University in Thailand. 

The CD recording with my brother Kyle Turner`s version on tuba will be released on the Albany label, within the year on the album entitled “Karankawa”.

Prague Spring Once Again!

Submitted by Kerryon 26 May, 2009 – 10:30am. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_56217aa3e9aa5cac4413b8c8b7cd67af-1113.jpg

Back in May of 1987, I found myself in the finals of the horn division of the Prague Spring International Music Competition. It had been a grueling week up until then. I did not have the option of bringing my own pianist, so I was obligated to use the staff accompanist. I had a one-hour rehearsal with Mrs. Ludmilla Cermakova on the Telemann Concerto and the mandatory Czech piece. And then we went into the room and played our tails off. To my sincere surprise I was advanced to the next round. I found out later I had placed first in this round! Mrs. Cermakova and I then had two days to prepare for the next round. I had chosen to play the Weber Concertino and another Czech work, the name of which I have unfortunately forgotten. I seem to remember that I played the Bujonovsky Sonata as my work in the unaccompanied work category. Once again, we were advanced to the next and final round. Ludmilla (I now called her Lida) had about one day to learn the Glière Concerto. And we put in the appropriate hours necessary to accomplish this. I was also obligated to play the Strauss 2nd Horn Concerto in the final round. Both concerti one after the other! The great horn class pianist Iva Navratova was appointed official expert on this challenging part and so I was granted all of about 30 minutes to have a run through with her. But no matter, as all parties concerned came through with flying colors and I won the 3rd Prize and Bronze Medal. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_6791d2c4f7d724b04411921e4fefea64-1114.jpg

That was in 1987. I have, of course, been back to Prague many times since then. It is without a doubt one of the greatest cities of Europe. And it is indispensable in the international touring arena of professional musicians. But this past trip, right on the heels of the OPL tour to Italy, was the first time since my success at the 1987 competition that I have performed again at the Prague Spring Music Festival. So it was rather nostalgic really. Whereas I have played almost exclusively in the great Rudofinum throughout the years, I was playing this time in the famous Smetana Hall. The concert was packed. And the beer at the end of the evening in the Smetana Hall beer cellar was spectacular!

Two days later I was scheduled to perform in Luxembourg with the American Horn Quartet as part of the on-going 20th Anniversary European Tour. 

After note: Lida Cermakova (and her lovely family) and I developed a long lasting musical and friendly relationship after that. We have played together many times since then. And I still run into Iva Navratova at various horn functions around the globe. Both are great ladies and great pianists!

On Tour With the OPL to Italy

Submitted by Kerryon 23 May, 2009 – 2:46pm. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_d5ac66904370e641379830c0c7d9a76d-1111.jpg

I have always loved Italy! I get there as often as I can. And if I can combine it with a performance either with the Luxembourg Philharmonic or the AHQ, all the better. This time it was the OPL (Lux Phil). I was scheduled to play only the Dvorak Symphony Nr. 2 (or 7) on 3 concerts- Brescia, Bergamo and Pavia. It`s a rather strange job to do. I sit around all day long, checking and rechecking my chops, board the bus to the hall, participate in a very short acoustic rehearsal, locate a practice and changing room for myself, go get a coffee, walk around the city a bit, enjoy a light dinner, back to the hall while the orchestra is already playing, warm up and then, at 10:30 at night, dive into 38 minutes of intense orchestral playing. After the concert, we bus it back to the hotel, enjoy a bottle of wine or beer, depending on which country you are in, sleep it off and get up the next day to exactly the same routine. Kristina, who has been holding down the 3rd horn chair all season was playing the Rachmaninoff 3rd Piano Concerto as well.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_70909c3b7a29a5987fc79c3e73611457-1112.jpg

Now if any of you have been on tour to Italy, you must have experienced the magnificent old theaters there. Most of them were built in the 18th century, are somewhat shallow in the parterre, but then head straight up 7 or 8 floors of balconies, the lights of which reveal a beautiful ornate painting of some sort on the ceiling. Although the acoustics in these old theaters are inevitable dry as a bone, the visual joy of playing there to usually packed halls gives me that feeling of belonging to the cultural and artistic time continuum that I am ever seeking. It certainly wasn`t the first time that a chorus of “bravi” roared out from those deep, maroon carpeted boxes.

Riding Two Waves at Once!

Submitted by Kerryon 11 May, 2009 – 9:13am. 

Very often, the members of the AHQ are asked how we coordinate our horn quartet schedules with our busy orchestral schedules. Our answers usually revolve around the praising of a system which allows us to purchase, at our own costs, the necessary replacement in the orchestra. We also point out the fact that European orchestras very often employ up to 8 or 9 horn players. The latter is not the case with the Luxembourg Philharmonic which has 6, nor the Beethoven Orchestra in Bonn which has 7. And it does regularly happen that the events line up so that there is a direct conflict between our orchestras and the AHQ. Two weeks ago, for example, Kristina (who is substituting for Dave Johnson at the moment) and I played a Brahms 4th Symphony concert in Luxembourg, raced to Bonn, spent the short night, and met Charles and Geoffrey at the “Gästehaus Petersberg Königswinter”, performed for the National Association of Criminal Lawyers and raced back to Luxembourg to repeat the OPL concert from the previous evening.

The AHQ has just embarked on a large European tour, which includes concerts in Germany, Luxembourg, France and England. The peculiar thing about this tour is that we are actually returning back to our orchestras from time to time participate in projects where our services are especially needed. For instance, Kristina and I are, believe it or not, squeezing in a 6-day Italian (and Prague) tour with the Lux Phil right in the middle of this AHQ tour. Geoff and Charlie have been required to drive back a few times to Bonn in order to play Electra there at their opera house. I remember once returning for 4 days from an AHQ United States tour in order to play Einheldenleben. It just worked out that we had a 6-day hiatus in the U.S. tour which allowed me to make this bizarre commute. A similar thing happened years ago when I had to find the Lux Phil on the road in Slovenia and play a concert or two with them and then race back to continue a tour with the quartet. And now, I just found out that Kristina is obligated to do several things with her brass quintet- The Ni Ensemble- between rehearsals this week. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_1dd782dcb553d708455213dc9970307e-1109.jpg

Tough and exciting times. The only things that really suffer are our poor lips!!!Kristina Mascher is replacing David Johnson on this tour.

Corrections for Low Horn Concerto

Submitted by Kerryon 30 April, 2009 – 8:56pm. 

There has been some considerable interest lately in my “Concerto for Low Horn and Orchestra”. Interestingly enough, we have just recorded this work on CD; it along with the “Introduction and Main Event” for horn quartet and orchestra, the “Concerto for Tuba” and the orchestral tone poem “Karankawa”. This project was recently completed and I am hoping to have the CD released by Christmas 2009.

Mostly the questions have been about various performances of the piece with the piano reduction. As a matter of fact, over the past year, I have coached many students on the “Concerto for Low Horn”. And every time I have to alert them to the two major misprints in the horn part. I also have a few tips for the pianist. So I have therefore decided to list the misprints and suggestions on this blog as follows:

FIRST MOVEMENT
Bars 20- 29: all of the F-sharps should be F-naturals.

Bars 32- 54: this part works better at a slightly slower tempo, about 108.

SECOND MOVEMENT
The bass-clef starts in bar 28.

A NOTE ABOUT THE PIANO PART:

FIRST MOVEMENT:
bars 21-29: is it possible to have another person, like the page turner, play those chords in the left hand thereby allowing the pianist two play both treble lines?

bars 29-31: the ad lib notes can be, for example, all the back keys or another pentatonic scale. The same thing for bars 127-134.

SECOND MOVEMENT:

It would be really great if the pianist could play harpsichord on this movement since that is what the orchestration asks for.

Surprise Change in of Personnel for AHQ European Tour

Submitted by Kerryon 17 April, 2009 – 6:22pm. 

As I mentioned in the earlier blogs, there is a grand European tour for the American Horn Quartet approaching with great rapidity. I have been working on all of the hundreds details around the clock. Yet STILL there is always the unexpected which pops up when you least desire it to. In this case, it was the sudden illness of AHQ colleague David Johnson. I won`t provide any details in this blog, but it is a serious enough problem to cause him to cancel his participation in the aforementioned tour. 

My first thought, of course, was of Kristina, with whom I have been concertizing at a very high level these past few years. In the past we have been quite successful with using Karl Pitoch of the Detroit Symphony as a replacement, once for Geof Winter and one time for Charles Putnam. Mr. Larry Johnson in Oregon has also stepped in and played my part on the Schumann Konzertstück, as has OPL colleague Nagy Myklos. 

But my confidence in Kristina was such that I was prompted to put her forward as the main candidate for this tour. She has a huge pile of music to learn! But we tackled a good portion of it today and have the weekend to work on the remaining works. I shall be informing all of the concert organizers of this temporary change in personnel.

American Horn Quartet 2009 U.S. Tour

Submitted by Kerryon 7 April, 2009 – 2:43pm. 

Here it is, the 7th of April, and I am only now sitting down to write about the AHQ U.S. tour which officially ended over two weeks ago. It was a very successful tour, there is no doubt about that. But I had made the journey to the States several days prior to the first concert of the tour. I flew to San Antonio, Texas to visit my mother and her husband as well as my brother Ken. Meeting up with the lads of the AHQ in Dallas, we were driven by Mark and Ute Miller, the organizers of the Mount Vernon, Texas Music Festival. This is a delightful little chamber music festival which takes place about an hour and a half east of Dallas. The hall was full and the audience was extremely enthusiastic. Here is a link which leads you to a review of the concert: http://www.winnsborotoday.com/articles/2009/American%20Horn%20Quartet.html

The next day, the group was driven to the University of Texas in Commerce. As we were unpacking our horns and suits and generally preparing for the evening’s concert, Charlie Puntam alerted us to an alarming problem with the first valve on his horn. The thing was most stubbornly stuck and would simply not move! It took the efforts of 4 people, holding parts, making suggestions and fetching various tools to finally take the valve casing apart and clean it out. Thus was the concert saved! But it was a close call. 

The following morning we all flew to Austin to perform at the University of Texas. Our competition that evening was the famous comedy musical “Spamelot” and a UT basketball game, all taking place within a half a mile of each other. But we had a respectable crowd. My mother showed up dressed as a matador and looked spectacular! The AHQ also gave a masterclass at UT and presented a very interesting question and answer session about living and working in Europe. 

The next leg of the tour took us to Ithaca New York. It was the 2009 Northeast Horn Workshop which took place the 13th through the 15th of March and was organized and hosted by Alex Shuhan. The AHQ were the guest artists at this event, along with Gail Williams and Adam Unsworth. 

On March 16th, we all drove to the Rochester Airport and departed for Columbia, South Carolina. We were to be teachers and lecturers for the band at Fort Jackson. We heard some fine playing from the soldiers there, including a horn quartet from Ft. McPherson. The recital was given at the university of South Carolina, an event organized by Bob Pruzin. The members quartet were all presented with the “Coin of Excellence” by the staff of the Army Band at Fort Jackson. 

The IHS Mid-South Workshop at the University of Memphis was the next and final stop on this tour. It was hosted by Dan Phillips, whose hospitality was exemplary. We had a rather busy schedule there: masterclass, recital, performance of my Introduction and Main Event with the University of Memphis Band, and something a little out of the ordinary for me. I performed as guest artists with the Southern Comfort Big Band of the University of Memphis. I was supposed to play “Nature Boy” which had been arranged especially for me. I had practiced the part that had been sent to me and had interpreted the style to be blues-y, laid back and a bit smoky. I knew I wasn’t going to get a rehearsal and I knew the band was going to be rather loud. But imagine my surprise when the introduction imitated a rousing Stan Kenton big band sound. The brass, drums and saxes were up full blast ad the harmony was stacked. And I…..was totally smothered. Nevertheless I carried on and blasted my subtle rifts as accurately as I could. The whole business was funny really. 

The tour ended, the gentlemen of the quartet flew their separate ways, and I headed up to New York City. I was to meet with Gregg Squires, the producer of my newest CD, an album which features Karankawa for Symphony Orchestra, Concerto for Low and Horn and Chamber Orchestra, Concerto for Bass-Tuba and Orchestra and Introduction and Main Event. But that is another blog.

Repertoire for 2 AHQ Tours

Submitted by Kerryon 10 February, 2009 – 9:41am. 

From March 7th until March 22nd, I will be on the road with those grumpy old men from the American Horn Quartet. We shall be performing and coaching in five different locations in the US: Commerce and Mt. Vernon, Texas, U. T. at Austin, the IHS Northwest Horn Workshop in Ithaca, NY, Columbia, South Carolina and the IHS Mid-South Regional Workshop in Memphis. For more information about this tour, you can check out David Johnson`s website at www.davidjohnsonhorn.com. I have decided to list here the repertoire for this tour:

Quartet for 4 Horns by James Langely
Fugue in c-minor by J. S. Bach
Barbara Allen by Kerry Turner
Three Movements for Four Horns by Kerry Turner
Sinfonia 11 by J. S. Bach
Intuitions by Kazimierz Machala
Carmen Suite by Bizet (arr. Turner)

Quartet Nr. 3 (1st and 3rd Movements) by Kerry Turner
Sechs Kleine Stücke by Anton Richter
In These Delightful Pleasant Groves by Purcell
Fugue Nr. 16 by J. S. Bach
Three Songs from West Side Story by Bernstein

Introduction and Main Event for 4 Solo Horns and Wind Ensemble by Kerry Turner
Antico by Dana Wilson

Following this tour, I shall once again hitting the tour circuit with the AHQ. This time we will be all over Central Europe from May 10th until June 13th. I will eventually post another detailed blog about this tour, but for the time being, I will list the cities and repertoire for the tour:

Neunkirchen, Saarbrücken, Luxembourg, Chemnitz (D), Saint Nazaire (F), Paris, Tonbridge (UK), Versailles, Bonn (D) and Bernkastel-Kues (D). And this will be the repertoire:

West Side Story by Leonard Bernstein
Sologne by Georges Barboteu
Quartet Nr. 3 by Kerry Turner
Suite from Carmen by Bizet (arr. Turner)
Garota de Ipanema by Jobim (arr. Morais)
Hungarian Medley by Walter Perkins
Casbah of Tetouan by Kerry Turner
Take 9 Antiphonal Fanfare by Kerry Turner
Farewell to Red Castle by Kerry Turner

Fantastic Revue for the “Rotterdam Chamber Players” CD!

Submitted by Kerryon 2 February, 2009 – 7:15am. 

Plausible Interest
Chamber music by
Kerry Turner –
reviewed by
PATRIC STANDFORD
‘… accessible, neatly made, technically challenging …’

Kerry Turner is a Texan by birth, a native of San Antonio, but for the last twenty years has been resident in Luxembourg where he is a member of the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra, a notable French horn soloist and a member of the American Horn Quartet.
As a composer he certainly knows what he is doing, and does it extremely well. His work is accessible, neatly made, technically challenging — yet like all the best competent writing it doesn’t make any severe demands on the listener, even though the players might find it a tough test. Horn playing is a tough test, and the horn quartet, so rarely appealing to composers because they don’t know how to make a success of it, is one of the toughest to make sound warm and untroubled. Turner creates the sort of music that leaves the listener comfortably unaware of technical problems, either in its making or playing.
His Quartet No 3 for horns is fifteen years old this year, and has a syncopated buoyancy (covering four octaves!) and a witty good humour that could be, for British listeners, reminiscent of two of our great knights, Walton and Malcolm Arnold at their best.
There is a short wind quintet, Berceuse for the Mary Rose, beautifully written for the medium, portraying the great ship’s battles, a homage to Henry VIII (quoting his academic but jolly song ‘Pastyme with good companye’) and the subsequent long sleep on the seabed. There is also a very effective Sonata for horn and strings, and a piece called Quarter-After-Four, a worthy short companion to the Brahms Op 40 trio for horn, violin and piano.
The final track is a superbly symphonic Rhapsody for nine instruments — commissioned by a Mr Maarten Hudig of Rotterdam for ‘the smallest possible orchestra’ — a structurally well made piece in four linked sections which are significant snapshots of the composer’s past life, people, places, a picture, a church, and a brief finale that draws all the threads together.
Turner knows how to handle instruments well, and how to maintain plausible interest in his work. I usually maintain that a composer’s music is only boring if he is. Turner can’t be!
Copyright © 4 November 2007 Patric Standford

You can order this CD directly from MSR Classics. There is a link on this website.

Rhapsody for Nine Instruments (English, Deutsch, Francais)

Submitted by Kerryon 16 January, 2009 – 10:43am. 

For those of you who are interested in a larger ensemble work of mine, I would like to suggest you take a look at “Rhapsody” for nine Instruments which was composed in 2001. The instrumentation for this 13- minute fantasy piece is flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello and contrabass. There is a spectacular recording of “Rhapsody” on the CD entitled “Rotterdam Philharmonic Chamber Players- CHAMBER MUSIC OF KERRY TURNER” which was recorded in 2006 and features the great Dutch horn player, Martin van de Merwe. This CD is available on the MSR label (MS1186) for which there is a link on this website. You can also listen to excerpts from it on the “Discography” page of this website. If you would like to read more about “Rhapsody”, please go to “Catalogue of Works” and then to “woodwind”. 

Für diejenigen die, an einem etwas grösseren Kammermusikwerk von mir, interessiert sein sollten, möchte ich nun vorschlagen, dass Sie mal das Stück “Rhapsody” für 9 Instrumente anschauen. Es wurde 2001 komponiert. Die Besetzung dieses Fantasie-Stückes ist für Flöte, Oboe, Klarinette, Fagott, Horn, Geige, Bratche, Violoncello und Kontrabass. Es gibt eine spektakuläre Aufnahme von “Rhapsody” auf der CD “Rotterdam Philharmonic Chamber Players- CHAMBER MUSIC OF KERRY TURNER”, die 2006 produziert wurde, und stellt den renomierten Holländischen Hornist, Martin van de Merwe heraus. Diese CD trägt den MSR Label (MS1186) , dessen Link auf dieser Website zu finden ist. Auf der “Discography -Seite” dieser Website, kann man ebenfalls, einen Ausschnitt davon anhören. Falls Sie sich wünschen, etwas mehr über “Rhapsody” zu erfahren, gehen Sie bitte bei “Catalogue of Works” und anschliessend bei “woodwind”. 

Pour ceux qui sont intèressè à un plus large ouevre de musique de chamber de moi, je voudrai proposer que vous regardez “Rhapsody” pour 9 Instruments qui à ètè ecrit à 2001. La formation pour cette pièce est flute, hautbois, clarinette, basson, cor, violine, viola, violoncello et contrabass. Il y a une enregistrement spectaculaire du “Rhapsody” sur le disc “Rotterdam Philharmonic Chamber Players- CHAMBER MUSIC OF KERRY TURNER”, avec le grand maitre du cor Martin van de Merwe. Cette CD est disponible sur la MSR label (MS1186) de quelle il y a un “link” sur cette site ici. Vous pouvez pareilement ecouter un petit extrait sur la page “Discography” de cette site. Si vous desirez lire encore plus du “Rhapsody”, veulliez acceder “Catalogue of Works” et puis “woodwind”.

Six Lives of Jack McBride and Quarter-After-Four

Submitted by Kerryon 2 January, 2009 – 10:42am. 

I would like to make an advertisement for two of my best works, “Six Lives of Jack McBride” for horn, tenor, violin and piano and “Quarter-After-Four” for horn, violin and piano. 

“SIX LIVES OF JACK MCBRIDE” was commissioned by Charles Putnam and the IHS Meir Rimon Foundation. It was premiered in 1994 at a recital hosted by the American Ambassador to Luxembourg at his residence. I sang the solo tenor role of Jack McBride, Charles Putnam played horn, Attila Keresztesi on violin and Beatrice Rauchs performed the piano part. The work’s main theme is based on an old Gaelic theme from the Orkney Islands. I wrote the following about “Jack McBride”:

Flipping through an encyclopedia or perusing at a bookstore, one’s eyes pass by dozens of pictures and titles of the most dramatic events in history. If one allows his eyes however to halt haphazardly and focus on the subject on which it lands, he may become instantaneously captivated by the pictures or words before him. He is for a moment transported to the time and location of the story. From Admiral Peary’s conquest of the North Pole, or the slaying of Captain Cook by the Hawaiians, to the Battle of Hastings, every recorded event in history from all over the globe is at one’s fingertips. It is indeed the closest we can get to time travel.

The idea to write a work which deals with the notion of global-historical time travel has always fascinated the composer. To find, however, a musical medium in which to protray this concept can prove to be difficult. After reading about and viewing televised documentaries on the phenomena of reincarnation and the practice of hypnotizing individuals for the purpose of “going back” to possible previous lives, the composer thought that this might be the best scenario in which to set the piece. We have at once a recurring, consistent character (the person being hypnotized) in Jack McBride, who being of Gaelic descent, is given an old Gaelic theme. He then gives a firsthand account of his six previous lives, which happen to be the times and places that fascinate the composer the most.

The six lives in the character of Jack McBride:

1. Auschwitz – During World War II approximately 4 million people, mostly Polish Jews, were dragged from their families and homes and sent on trains to Oswiecim, the site of the infamous Auschwitz concentration camp. Jack McBride was among them.

2. 1850 – The great expanse of the western plains, stretching from Canada to Texas. The early settlers of this wild terrain built their farms on vast stretches of land, sometimes several days’ ride from another human being. On certain Sundays the settlers from all over central Texas would come together at the church and after the service and business discussion, they would dine together and enjoy one another’s fellowship. Jack McBride remembers.

3. In April, 1789, the crew of the trade ship Bounty was forced to mutiny against their captain, the notorious lieutenant Bligh. Aware of their crime against the British Crown, they sought out a remote uncharted island, where they set fire to the ship and lived out the rest of their lives. On the ship’s register – Thomas Hampton, boatswain.

4. In 981, Erik the Red set sail from Iceland to explore and settle the land he called Greenland (“he said people would be much more tempted to come there if it had an attractive name.”) Most of these settlers established themselves in Julianehaab (The Eastern Settlements). Because of the increasingly poor conditions, the settlers were eventually cut off from the rest of Europe. Archaeological evidence of grave finds reveals a grim story of progressive deterioration in this hardy Norse colony. It is unlikely that any of them survived into the sixteenth century.

5. According to Matthew 4:25 in the Holy Bible, “Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan” met on a mountainside and listened to Jesus Christ preach his message to the world. A voice from somewhere deep in the past of Jack McBride’s transmigrations gives an account.

6. The year 72 AD. On the eastern edge of the Judean desert, on the brim of the Dead Sea fault, 15,000 Roman soldiers laid siege to the fortress citadel of Masada, which had been occupied by the Zealots for two years. Because of its position high on a four-sided cliff, the Romans could not succeed in capturing the city. After enslaving people from the surrounding settlements (including other Zealots), they forced them to build a giant ramp up to the fortress. When they finally arrived at the top, the Romans discovered to their horror that the occupants of Masada, some 967, had committed mass suicide. This is witnessed through the eyes of one of the Roman soldiers.

This work is a very serious composition indeed! It is one of my best works to date. I have performed the role of Jack McBride many times at concerts in Luxembourg, Germany and Switzerland. And I am very often willing to travel long distances to sing it. So if you are interested in performing this dramatic piece with me, please do not hesitate to contact me. 

“QUARTER-AFTER-FOUR” was commissioned by Mr. Attila Keresztesi, the violinist who was so active in the creation of “Jack McBride”. These are my notes from 1996:

Every night around four fifteen I awaken. It is neither sudden nor brought on by a bad dream. Usually my mind is quite blank when I drift out of a deep sleep. Then as if on cue the first haunting thought occurs. It is usually a dilemma I have not been able to resolve. I’ll turn it over in my head one more time until I’m reminded of something I said to someone who may be mildly related to the dilemma. Embarrassment, anger, and regret come over me as I relive the stupid remark…there in the darkness, under my sheets.

Turning on my side, I’ll toss off an insult to myself about my irresponsibility and suddenly I am reminded of something I was supposed to do, or perhaps something I must do tomorrow. I won’t however be able to take care or it tomorrow because of that original dilemma I was pondering earlier.

I turn over on my other side, and slowly many other problems and dilemmas, each somehow related to the original one begin to circulate in my head. I toss and turn more turbulently now, and usually throw the covers off in an overheated sweat. I make conscious attempts to calm my mind, reciting the 23rd Psalm or Reinhold Niebuhr’s prayer, “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change…”

Sometimes the clear solution will briefly come into focus through the confusion of prayers, bewilderment, and resentment. Then it too will become swirled into the grand dilemma. It remains unsolved. And the storm that haunts me every night at quarter-after-four has numbed my mind. I drift off as quietly as I awoke.

Quarter-After-Four was composed during the month of September, 1996. It was originally intended to be a piece for violin solo and piano, which was to be written for the violinist Attila Keresztesi, a colleague of mine in the Luxembourg Philharmonic. The addition of the horn brought a wider spectrum of color and special effect possibilities. It was also a logical choice to add the horn, as several horn players of international repute had suggested I compose a piece that could conceivably be programmed with the Brahms Horn Trio. I hope this piece will be added to the already fine repertoire that is steadily growing for this type of ensemble.

Both of these works have been recorded on CD: “Six Lives of Jack McBride” can be heard on the “Unlikely Fusion” CD (ebs records 6066) and “Quarter-After-Four” on “Ricochet” (musicians showcase msrcd ms1064). You can also hear short clips from each work on this website. Go to Catalog of Works and click on the picture of the cover.

Our Musical Footprint Around the World

Submitted by Kerryon 15 November, 2008 – 6:13pm. 

In my cellar, where I have set up my own personal work-out gym, there hangs a large map of the world. On this map, Kristina and I have placed colored pins on the cities around the world where we have performed. I am not sure why we originally took the initiative to do such a thing, but there it is. And as I was working out today, I thought it might be interesting to make a list of the many countries in which the two of us have performed with our various ensembles. 

Kerry- either with the American Horn Quartet, the Luxembourg Philharmonic or the Virtuoso Horn Duo: 

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
China
Croatia
Czech Republic
Denmark
England
Estonia
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Guam
Hong Kong
Hungary
Italy
Japan
South Korea
Liechtenstein
Luxembourg
Macau
Netherlands
Norway
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Serbia
Singapore
Slovakia
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain
Sweden
Switzerland
United States
(This list does not include countries in which I have practiced without actually playing a concert, such as Tunesia, Iceland, Morocco, Vatican City, Mexico, Malta, Ireland, etc.)

Kristina- either with one of her many orchestras, the AHQ, the VHD, or the Ni Ensemble:

Argentina
Australia
Austria
Belgium
Canada
China
Cuba
Czech Republic
Denmark
England
France
Germany
Greece
Hong Kong
Hungary
Italy
South Korea
Luxembourg
Netherlands
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Russia
Scotland
Singapore
Slovakia
South Africa
Spain
Switzerland
United States
Venezuela
Wales

(Her list of interesting countries where she has practiced but not performed includes Ireland, Tunesia, Norway, Malta, Monaco, etc.)

Virtuoso Horn Duo in China

Submitted by Kerryon 30 October, 2008 – 8:21am. 

It has taken me some time to get around to it, but I am finally free from other
obligations enough to write a little bit about the trip to Beijing that Kristina and I
recently underwent. The occasion was the 2nd Beijing Horn Festival, organized by
Professor Han Xiao Ming. The venue was the Beijing National Conservatory, and the event
took place the first week of October, right in the middle of the largest folk festival in
China, something they call “The Golden Days”. Because of this huge and very popular
festival, there were hundreds of thousands of people from all over China visiting
Beijing. This event however did not seem to hinder students from various provinces of the country from
attending the week’s activities at the conservatory.

Xiao Ming had invited Kristina and me to travel to Beijing to not only teach private
lessons in whichever format we deemed best, but also to work with ensembles, perform a
small recital and generally fill the students with enough enthusiasm to last them for a
while, or at least until the next horn festival.

So directly on the heels of our performances in Poland, Kristina and I boarded the plane
in Frankfurt and flew to Peking. This was my third trip to China and Kristina’s first. We
were generously housed at the Minzu Hotel, only a couple of kilometers from Tienanmen
Square and The Forbidden City and we were met at the airport by two students of Han Xiao
Ming, Mr. Li Tao and Mr. Yang Wen. These two young men took marvelous care of us the
entire time we were there! They really did not want to leave our sides and served not
only as guides and organizers, but translated the lessons and the narrative during the
concert as well.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_9dacabaa82684c847cf2b83fb4c56ddd-1028.jpg

Kristina explains the finer points of Mozart interpretation to a young student at the Beijing Horn Festival while Li Tao translates.We had decided to organize the four days of teaching into a masterclass format.
Consequently, I would teach a student, and then Kristina would perhaps make a comment or
two, and then we would switch so that she taught and I put “my two cents worth in”, that
is, if I felt the need to do so. This particular arrangement was rather interesting in
the end. Kristina and I have very different approaches to teaching, especially in a
masterclass setting. Whereas she tends to focus on, let’s say, the more psychological and
humanistic aspects of the student’s playing, I tend to work on the more physical side of
horn playing, for instance, pointing out curious alternate fingerings, accepted liberties
in changing dynamics and phrasing, recounting anecdotes about performances gone terribly
wrong, etcetera. As one could imagine, this type of teaching- from both of us- requires a
great deal of talking, and we were challenging our translator (Mr. Li Tao) to the hilt to
correctly translate difficult and deep concepts. A surprise visit from the celebrated Mr.
Meng Po (Paul Meng), who speaks absolutely fluent English, presented us the opportunity
to assess just how much of the translation Li Tau was getting right. And apparently he
was doing an absolutely smashing job!

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_c667fc02ecd2a2e3c9b02cc983a644d9-1027.jpg
http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_185b594ae331f80f69d805b3e4475931-1026.jpg

Xiao Ming had been gracious enough to allow a good deal of sightseeing during our 8 days
in Beijing. Thus we were able to visit the Forbidden City, the Great Wall (my first trip
there) and the Lama Temple. Dan, Lora, Kristina and I visited the Lama Temple in Beijing.We were also able to shake our guides from time to time, mostly evenings,
and wander off into the Hu Tongs to experience another fascinating side of Chinese life.
I have to mention that we ate like kings the entire time we were there! A delightfully
unexpected turn of events arose with the arrival of my old childhood chum from San
Antonio, Mr. Daniel Vimont and his wife Lora. Lora had just accepted a teaching job at
the international school in Tianjin, only about an hour’s train trip from Beijing.Enjoying Peking Duck with current and former students of Prof. Xiaoming Han during the Beijing Horn FestivalThe
two of them hung out with us for a good portion of our stay. We even took a long taxi ride
together over to the more western quarter of the city where we ate at an Italian
restaurant and found a Belgian beer bar!

On one of the evenings, Mr. Meng Po, along with the vice-president and the president of
the China Horn Society, took us out for a spectacular meal at a traditional Mongolian Hot
Pot restaurant. The food, drink and conversation were all of the highest calibre. We
learned about interesting developments in the horn world in China and discussed future
plans. I was also delighted to find out that my music is very popular there and that it
has been so for some time now. What a thrill for me to hear that musicians in China are
performing my compositions!

On a somewhat more nostalgic note, I was moved at one point in the masterclasses. While
watching Kristina teach, I suddenly remembered the documentary from the late 70’s- “From
Mao to Mozart”. In this unique documentary the Chinese government had invited, for the
first time in many years, the great American violinist Mr. Issac Stern to travel to China
and give the very first masterclasses from the west in the history of the communist
government there. It was a milestone, not only in international relations and the opening
up of the “New China”, but for the music world as well. I remembered that documentary very well. And I really never ever imagined that I would be doing the very same thing, in the footsteps of Issac Stern, in China. There is enormous talent in
China! Teaching these young musicians the finer points of western classical music
interpretation and challenging them to higher levels of expertise is without a doubt an
investment in the future of the world’s fine arts arena.

Virtuoso Horn Duo in Concert in Poland

Submitted by Kerryon 8 October, 2008 – 12:56pm. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_328a679f24c047d6a923727a68fcb3ef-1024.jpg

This picture shows Kristina and me rehearsing my “Twas a Dark and Stormy Night” with the Lower Silesian Philharmonic in Jelenia Gora, Poland, under the direction of Dariusz Wisniewski.
Many of you may have never heard of Jelenia Gora. And if I told you that it is called Hirschberg or Deer Mountain in German and English, that probably wouldn`t help you much. The fact is, it is a small and quite delightful little city in western Poland, only about a 45-minute drive from the German border. And it was here that Kristina Mascher and I traveled to perform with the Lower Silesian Philharmonic Orchestra with Mr. Dariusz Wisniewski conducting. On the program for us to perform were the Haydn Concerto for 2 Horns in Eb as well as my own “Twas a Dark and Storm Night”, 2 works which we had recorded with Mr. Wisniewski in Cracow a couple of years ago (CD- Virtuoso Horn Duo, works by Haydn, Rosetti, Vivaldi and Turner, MSR Classics MS 1181). 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_44689f59f463a901116c64f8648bdecd-1025.jpg

Now you may wonder that we drove such a long distance to play this one concert, especially given our rather busy orchestral touring schedule this past September. Originally, we were supposed to perform and teach in Warsaw during the week just after the Jelenia Gora concert. But due to strange and incredible circumstances, that part of the tour was canceled, and contracts being what they are, we were still obligated to travel to Lower Silesia for this one concert.And I am glad we did! We stopped along the way in the city of Eisenach, the birthplace of Master Bach and famed haunt of Martin Luther, where we spent the night in a rustic, old inn where Martin Luther himself had spent much time! We even engaged in deep religious debate over several tankards of Lutherbräu beer. Good stuff! 

On the way back from Jelenia Gora, we popped by Oederan outside of Chemnitz in Germany, where we met up with Mr. Ricco Kühn, the famous builder of the Kühn horn. Both Kristina and I had some work and fine tuning to be done on our horns, and Ricco was more than accommodating, dedicating his entire Saturday to our particular needs. It was rather like the Formel 1 Race, where the cars, in the middle of the action, are forced to pull over and have their motors and tires checked, oiled and tweaked and the odd bit changed. The reason for this technical pit stop? The next day, September 29th, we were off to Beijing for the 2nd Beijing Horn Festival. And for that, you will have to read the next blog…..

Weimar- A Long Journey Pays Off

Submitted by Kerryon 7 September, 2008 – 4:17pm. 

I have just returned from an very long and difficult journey. I was on the road with the Luxembourg Philharmonic, whose run-out concerts to other countries and cites is usually carried out in style. This particular run-out however looked a bit dodgy even from the outset. First of all, it`s a long long way to Weimar from Luxembourg, some 550 kilometers. Second of all, we were suppose to take the bus! Whereas we almost alway fly to cites that far away, the administration had decided, for some reason, that we should take the bus. The third oddity about my particular situation in this scenario was that I was booked to play only on the Berlioz “Harold in Italy”. 

This Friday morning we all hesitatingly climbed aboard three buses and tucked in for the long haul. And long indeed it was. The journey there took us nine (9!) hours. We had a nice enough hotel, if a little bit out of the city. And the rehearsal and concert the next day all came off quite splendidly. Tabea Zimmerman was the viola soloist and Emmanuel Krivine led us from the podium. At the rehearsal, we were welcomed by Frau Nike Wagner, the great-granddaughter of THE Richard Wagner (and by the way, the great-great-granddaughter of Franz Liszt.) Frau Wagner is the principal organizer of the “Pèlerinages – Kunstfest Weimar, which is the festival in which we participated. 

While we were in Weimar, we had the opportunity to look around this remarkable city. Weimar is a name which appears quite often when one is reading any sort of German history, be it literature, music or political. But for some reason, the city of Weimar is practically never on anybody`s tourist itinerary. In fact, when talking about Germany, even to Germans, it is indeed seldom mentioned. Yet this place is teeming with history! Look at the list of famous people who have resided in Weimar: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Friedrich Schiller, Lukas Cranach the Elder, Martin Luther, J. S. Bach, C. P. E. Bach and Wilhelm Freidemann Bach, Franz Liszt (whose Summer residence we had the pleasure of visiting), Richard Wagner, Johann Nepulmuk Hummel, just to name a few. Politically, the Weimar Republic was founded there and the infamous Buchenwald Concentration Camp is right outside the city walls. I mean, what a paradise for history buffs! 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_0478a7d247966f1ab52cd0bb46f9536a-1009.jpg

The concert, as I said, was a big success and we duly toasted it`s further success several times at the hotel bar. And then perhaps a few more times.Because we knew that tomorrow we would have to board….that….bus….again.One of my favorite hobbies is visiting the residences of great composers. 

Internedii and Viols sing Mass by Byrd

Submitted by Kerryon 31 August, 2008 – 6:30am. 

Yesterday evening (August 30, 2008), in the small Luxembourgisch townn of Bettange-sur-Mess, five members of the vocal ensemble “Intermedii” interpreted the very soulful and historically interesting Kyrie, Gloria, Sanctus, Benedictus and Agnus Dei from the Mass for Five Voices by William Byrd. They were accompanied by 5 Viol players- the Melusina Consort- who lent the performance a beautiful authenticity. The singing of the work was properly integrated into the mass itself there at the Catholic Church in Bettange. 

The following morning, the two groups moved chairs and stands to the Anglican Church of Luxembourg, where we wove the five movements into the 11:00 o`clock service. I like to think we achieved a spiritual warmth and contemplative musical atmosphere that, considering the historical premise under which it was written, left us all feeling quite content.

AHQ Perform at the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival

Submitted by Kerryon 26 August, 2008 – 5:52am. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_090faf6633236c39137562a6cc2f9882-982.jpg

The members of the horn jury along with the AHQ and significant others enjoying a Korean feast in JejuIt was certainly an interesting place to hold a brass festival and an international competition. If you are not sure where the devil Jeju Island is, don`t feel bad. Most of us had never heard of it either, until recently that is. In fact, Jeju is a special self-governing province of South Korea, and indeed, that is how it is officially called. Apparently, this was the 13th such brass festival to have taken place here. Not only were bands from around the globe invited to perform at the various concert venues around the island, but several prestigious brass ensembles as well, including the American Horn Quartet. And that is how I wound up spending over a week on this obscure little island, playing horn quartets to clapping audiences. Oh, there was also an international competition going on at the same time. The categories were for trumpet, horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba and brass quintet. I have to say, the standard was pretty high. Those most curious lads of the AHQ along with my eccentric self were designated jurors for the horn competition. Please go to the website of the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival (www.jiwef.org) to learn more about it as well as to read about the winners of the competition.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_fd4eec9f93f19ad8faf880d8b045f532-983.jpg

There was plenty of time to do some exploration of the island and I was happily able to sort of combine business with holiday pleasure. The AHQ performed the a-minor Fugue of J. S. Bach, Intuitions by Machala, the Suite from “West Side Story” and the “Casbah of Tetouan” with guest hornist, Kristina Mascher on two of the concerts, and we added the first movement of my Quartet Nr. 3- The Sooners”- for the last one, along with four Fripperies by Lowell Shaw.AHQ performing at the Jeju Seaside Arts Center

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_58ebe3af41c9bcd899627d3ef4a2b076-984.jpg

Following the eight days on jeju Island, Kristina and I began our adventure vacation in earnest as we took off for Seoul where we spent 4 days. Geof, Charlie, Kerry, Sherry, and Kristina made up the American Horn Quartet contingent at the Jeju Festival parade.

Just Passing Through…

Submitted by Kerryon 7 August, 2008 – 12:50pm. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_26f358a6115c9cd9e911aceb134a9a84-981.jpg

Well, here I am, back home in Luxembourg. It has been kind of a hectic tour. I left for Amsterdam on July 9th where Kristina and I performed with the Luxembourg Philharmonic in one of Europe’s most famous concert halls, the Concertgebouw. Immediately following these 2 concerts, we boarded a plane for New York, where we spent a week or so on vacation. The IHS International Horn Symposium in Denver, Colorado was the next port of call. The AHQ was to perform my own “Introduction and Main Event” for 4 horns and concert band with the Hong Kong Academy Wind Ensemble.The AHQ performed my “Introduction and Main Event” with the Hong Kong Academy Wind Ensemble at the IHS symposium in Denver, conducted by Joe Kirtley.This concert went off splendidly and we all continued on to Daytona Beach, Florida for the 2nd Annual AHQ Horn Camp. Although the turn-out was a bit on the small side, it was nevertheless a very enjoyable week and we played with and taught some fine highschool and college age horn players (and one or two more mature ones as well). Popping back up to New York, we hung out three more days where we met up with Heather and Leon Ni (of the “Ni Ensemble”) in China Town, and attended a thrilling performance of the Hubbard Street Dance Company at the Joyce Theater. This is an absolutely inspiring and world class modern dance troop. 

So what’s next? The AHQ (and Kristina as guest artist) is due to play three concerts at the Jeju Wind Festival on the island of Jeju, South Korea. We have our “e-tickets” and we are supposed to depart of Sunday, August 10th out of Frankfurt. So back we flew across the pond to good old Luxembourg, where things seem to have come to a stand still for the summer holidays. We have two and a half days to repack, do laundry, practice, rest up and get ourselves to the Frankfurt airport. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_57b389ca25a11d5af945bbed03f581fc-980.jpg

In the meantime, I am still checking my e-mails and trying to answer them. Stay tuned for more developments.The AHQ poses in front of a sunset at Daytona Beach, FL.

Revival of the Perkins Concerto for Four Horns (AHQ)

Submitted by Kerryon 29 June, 2008 – 9:45am. 

There is a frenzy of AHQ activity on the horizon. I will soon be meeting up with those curious lads at the IHS International Horn Symposium in Denver. We will be performing my work for horn quartet and orchestra (version for wind band) entitled “Introduction and Main Event”. The AHQ will be guest soloists with the Hong Kong Academy of Music Wind Symphony with Mr. Joe Kirtley conducting. Immediately following this event, we are all flying down to Daytona Beach for the 2nd Annual AHQ Summer Horn Workshop which will take place from July 28 to August 3rd (see www.hornquartet.comfor details). Then on August 11th, we once again board the plane and fly to South Korea and then on to Jeju Island for the Jeju Music Festival. 

Now in Florida and in South Korea, we will be performing recitals. And on the programs of these concerts we have scheduled the Concerto for Four Horns by Walter Perkins. Many of you may indeed remember our performances of this spectacular and extremely difficult work back in the early 90`s. Walt was a colleague of mine here in the Luxembourg Philharmonic. He is a trumpet player. He became fascinated with the AHQ back in the late 80`s and offered to arrange music from his favorite musical West Side Story for the group. Of course, this arrangement and our performances of it became legendary. Indeed, the work practically became the calling card of the American Horn Quartet. Walt had expressed the commonly heard opinion that one could not always tell who was playing which part at which time in our quartet. Thus he thought it might be an interesting idea to compose a work which would feature each player as a soloist. The two of us collaborated quite closely during his work on this piece. He checked with me on just about every tricky passage, and catered each part to the individual player. The end result is a 5-movement work of compositional maturity, creative depth with a myriad of colors and character. It is pretty difficult however! There is constant mixed meter and finger twisting technical passages which render the work quite challenging to put together. 

Interestingly enough, we are playing the work better than we ever did, the last performance having been played back in the mid-nineties sometime. The one or two rehearsals we have had on the piece have revealed an eminently approachable and fantastic addition to the horn quartet repertoire. I do hope that horn players around the world will have the opportunity to hear the AHQ in a dazzling performance of this rarely played , challenging yet thoroughly enjoyable work!

Two Hours of Hollywood Blockbusters!

Submitted by Kerryon 22 June, 2008 – 9:04am. 

It`s Sunday morning. I rolled out of bed to get a big cup of java and get ready for church, when I noticed something on my lip. Splashing hot water on my face, I came to realize that it was not so much something “on” my lip, but rather something “wrong” with my lip. It appeared to be sticking straight up. And it was stiff as an over-starched shirt. Just behind these nasty feeling and not much better looking lips lurked a few aching teeth. Did I go a few rounds with Mike Tyson last night or what? 

Then I remembered. Last night was the “Fete de la Musique” (Festival of Music) in the city of Luxembourg. And my colleagues in the Luxembourg Philharmonic and I had been booked to excitedly interpret (read: blast through) 2 solid hours of soundtracks from Hollywood blockbuster movies. Gast Waltzing was at the helm, and we had been granted three rehearsals for this hyperactive concert which was to be performed outdoors on the Place Guillaume. Each instrument received it`s own microphone in order to further amplify the bombastic spectacle. On the program were some of the most famous horn pieces from the recent movie soundtrack repertoire:

Pirates of the Caribbean
Jurassic Park
Lord of the Rings
James Bond Medley
Spiderman
Gladiator
Mission Impossible
Star Wars the Phantom Menace
Jaws
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Titanic
Apollo 13
E.T.
American Tale
Harry Potter
(I think there was something else, but I forgot what it was.)

This, you may rightly conclude, is a program which should be executed using an assistant (or a bumper). Indeed, it really requires 6 players, maybe more! But due to a recent upheaval in the horn section, and conflicting schedules, it seemed that I was going to be left to fend for myself. My wife, Kristina, was holding down the 3rd horn desk, so there was some very welcome reinforcements (she`s strong as an ox, that woman!). Steve Boehm and Mark Olsen were wielding their axes on 2nd and 4th horn, and we fearlessly charged into this dramatic evening with horns-a-blazing! 

And then, it became increasingly clear that we weren`t going to get an intermission. Now, I was counting on an intermission. We were up 200% in volume by the time Gladiator rolled around. I had it all worked out and had been pacing myself….thinking that I was going to get a 20 minute break. Apparently the rest of the brass began to grasp the situation as well. I listened for my allies from the trumpet section. Yep, they were pulling back. The trombones on the left flank were bringing it down as well. But not the tubist. He seemed to be rushing headlong into sure disaster. What a brave man, thinks I! 

And then we saw the light at the end of the tunnel. Only four more pieces to go and it would be “Miller Time” (or the Luxembourgish Beer equivalent thereof). When it comes to sheer heroics, I would match the horn parts to John Williams`”E.T.” against any Mahler symphony or Strauss Tone Poem. I simply couldn`t resist the temptation to test just…how…loud…this…horn….could go. And neither could my section. I was fairly lifted out of my chair at the end of the “flying scene”, as these brave lads (and lass) summoned all their strength, experience and talent to fulfill the obligation of horn sections around the world, who for some reason, feel that they are obligated to blow the instrument so loudly that their eyes go blurry and their stomach muscles ache like a Navy Seal`s. But what good fun it was! And how beautifully that first large glass of “Diekirch” beer washed past my horribly abused pair of lips! 

You know, this little anecdote may sound a tad over dramatic. But I don`t really care. And horn players know exactly what I`m talking about.

“Grail Symphony” completed (English/Deutsch)

Submitted by Kerryon 29 May, 2008 – 6:51am. 

I just wanted to make it known that I finished my symphony today. It has been a huge endeavor that has taken me 2 years to complete. It is called “The Grail Symphony” and has the traditional 4 movements:
1. The Sword of St. Michael
2. The Tears of Charlemagne
3. Candles in the Darkness
4. Knight of Pentacles

It is by far the most complex thing I have ever written. The next incredibly tedious part of the project involves setting it onto computer, proofreading the score and organizing a CD-recording of the work.

Stay tuned!

Ich wollte nur mitteilen, dass ich heute, meine Sinfonie, fertig geschrieben habe. Es ist eine riesige Unternehmung gewesen, die über 2 Jahre gedauert hat. Es trägt den Titel “Sinfonie des Heiligen Graals” und beträgt, traditionsgemäss, 4 Sätze:

1. Das Schwert des Sankt Michaels
2. Die Tränen Charlemagnes
3. Kerzen in der Finsternis
4. Ritter des Pentagrams

Es ist, in seiner Komplexität, weitaus über mein bisheriges Werk. Zunächst, fange ich damit an, alle vier Sätze, durchzuprüfen und ins Komputer zu setzen. Anschliesslich kommt die Organisation einer CD-Aufnahme. Bleiben Sie daran….

A Depressing Comparison (OPL Concert with the New York Voices)

Submitted by Kerryon 10 May, 2008 – 3:40pm. 

This past Thursday evening, May 8th, I had the pleasure of hearing the jazz vocal quartet called New York Voices. As a matter of fact, I was in the orchestra for this concert, and I must say, due to a pretty heavy first horn part, I was more than usually preoccupied with my own part in the production. I did however find time to ponder an interesting point. You see, the New York Voices are in every way a brilliantly professional, well organized, sophisticated ensemble. The arrangements of their a cappella vocal repertoire are superb to say the least. And the way I understand it (from the conductor of this particular program, Mr. Gast Waltzing), when asked what they could possibly do with orchestra, they offered us, the OPL, a plethora of songs for vocal quartet, their own combo and symphony orchestra. So their repertoire for this genre is quite on the cutting edge as well. I was informed by a friend who knew them well, that they had just come from Germany, where they had sung a concert of totally different songs accompanied only by their combo. And the day after our gig with them, they were off to perform with the well-known WDR Big Band in Cologne, presenting once again, a totally different program.

So there I sat, on the one number I had free, wishing to God I could be up there with them singing those magnificent arrangements in front of that enthusiastic sold out crowd. And I truly thought that given the chance, I probably could fit in with them. And then I began to think about my career with the American Horn Quartet. I began to compare the AHQ with the New York Voices. The AHQ performs a wide variety of spectacularly virtuoso works at a world-class level. There is no doubt about that. So do the New York Voices. The AHQ had always had a devoted following, as have the New York Voices. And the AHQ has travelled the world, presenting top entertaining concerts with breath taking precision, as have the New York Voices.

So wherein lies the difference? Well, the AHQ has always been immensely frustrated with our self management. Finding an agent or manager has proven to be nearly impossible. On the occasions when I actually received a reply from an agent, they almost invariably wrote the same condemning line: “We will contact you if we ever need a horn quartet”. But NOBODY every really NEEDS a horn quartet. That’s the problem. The AHQ requires an agent with vision, someone who recognizes this unusual group of horn players who seem to always bring audiences to their feet….playing horn quartets. The AHQ also requires (required) a large budget with which to hire arrangers and publicists, you know, the usual pop-hype charade. But we never got that.

The New York Voices have managers, arrangers, agents, travel agents, publicists and a budget. But that’s not the only difference. Their repertoire is from the pop world, albeit top quality composers like Duke Ellington, Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder, the Beatles, etc. And the repertoire of the AHQ is almost exclusively classical, and most of the time, very serious indeed. Our type of music simply doesn’t bring in the huge crowds (although I must take this opportunity to say that we have had a few very large audiences and near rock band-like receptions). Nevertheless, there exists a grand difference between a group like the New York Voices and the American Horn Quartet. We may be just as talented as them. We may be just as driven and ambitious as them. And in our own little horn world, we are probably just as successful as the New York Voices.

So what’s the problem? Why aren’t we electrifying huge audiences and demanding the appropriate fees, and all organized by an agent who truly believes in us and also pockets a pretty piece of change? In the end, there is only one answer:

We’ re just a horn quartet.

Nine Pieces for Solo Horn

Submitted by Kerryon 19 April, 2008 – 8:17am. 

Back in October, 2005, I was commissioned by the Maritime Museum of Rotterdam to compose a piece for solo horn. It was to be a gift for the retiring curator of that fine museum, Mr. Coen Schimmelpinick van der Oye. After having finished his piece, which was entitled “Phantom Shanties” and is based on a few old dutch sea shanties, I was still feeling rather creative. So I began to write several more solo pieces, each one with a very different style than the others. These include “The Testament of Saladin”, “Crossing Union Square”, “Twelve-Tone Waltz” and “Echoes of Glastonbury”. I had already composed a small piece for solo horn back about a year ago. This piece was called “Caprice”. Then the horn player from France, Monsieur Herve Joulain, commissioned me to write an encore piece for him to use on his many solo engagements. Subsequently the piece “La Entrada de los Caballeros” was born. A few weeks thereafter, the trumpet player, Heather Madeira Ni, commissioned me to write a couple of pieces for her to perform at this year`s Chosen Vale International Trumpet Festival. Out came “The Hunt of the Cheetah” and “The Widow of Salamanca”. I composed these pieces with an eye for their possible inclusion in the compendium which was already almost complete. Indeed they work very well for horn and I play them myself. This makes all together a volume of nine.

I have decided to release a limited number of these volumes which I would like to offer here for sale. They have been printed properly using a Sibelius format and I have bound them into a book. Each piece is about three to four minutes in length and I have found them to be a delight to practice and play. The titles of the pieces are:

1. Caprice
2. Phantom Shanties
3. The Testament of Saladin
4. Crossing Union Square
5. Echoes of Glastonbury
6. Twelve-Tone Waltz
7. La Entrada de los Caballeros (The Entrance of the Cowboys)
8. La Viuda de Salamanca (The Widow of Salamanca)
9. La Chasse du Geopard (The Hunt of the Cheetah)

If you would like to order “Nine Pieces For Solo Horn”, send me an e-mail at: kdturner@pt.lu

NEW AHQ CD! Now available (English-Deutsch-Francais-Italiano)

Submitted by Kerryon 8 April, 2008 – 7:54am. 

The new American Horn Quartet CD is now available for purchase. It is called “Myths and Legends” and features high quality and virtuoso horn quartet works by Eric Ewazen, Kazimierz Machala and myself. This CD truly captures the AHQ at the height of its musical and ensemble maturity. You can order it directly from the MSR website: www.msrcd.comand click on the catagory “brass and winds”. 

Die neue AHQ-CD ist jetzt endlich fertig und Sie können es bestellen. Der Titel der CD ist “Myths and Legends” und Hornquartett-Werke von höchster Qualität und virtuosität stehen auf dem Programm. Diese Aufnahme ist eine wahrhafte Darstellung des Gipfels der musikalischen und virtuosen Reife des Ensembles. Sie können es, direkt von der Website bestellen: www.msrcd.comund dann klicken auf “brass and winds”. 

Enfin, le nouveau compact disc de l`AHQ est disponible, et Vous pouvez le commander. Ca s`appelle “Myths and Legends” et le programme inclut des oeuvres de tres haute qualitès du Eric Ewazen, Kazimierz Machala et de moi meme. Ce enregistrement montre l`AHQ sur le zènith du son maturitè et virtuositè musicale. Vous pouvez le commander ici: www.msrcd.comet clickez sur “brass and winds”. 

Il CD dal American Horn Quartet è arrivato et in vèndita. Il tìtolo è “Myths and Legends” e la programma includè gli òperi da Eric Ewazen, Kazimierz Machala e mi stesso. Questo CD mostre la maturità e virtuosità musicalmente dal AHQ. “Myths annd Legends” è disponibilè al website: www.msrcd.come indicare “brass and winds”.

14-Day Musical Marathon!

Submitted by Kerryon 16 March, 2008 – 8:53am. 

If any of you have ever played a silent film “live” orchestral accompaniment by Carl Davis, you will know that they can be pretty hefty. We’ve been doing them you years here in “The Burg”. And that’s how this little playing marathon began. On March 3rd, we dove into rehearsals on the King Vidor film, “The Big Parade” and after a dress rehearsal two days later, performed the 137-minute WW1 epic twice, once on Friday and once on Saturday. By the way, of the 137 minutes of music, the first horn plays about 110 minutes! The following morning, Kristina and I threw our choral singing togs and music into the car and raced down to Genouilly in Burgundy. We were scheduled to perform with Intermedii at an all-weekend music festival. We were the Sunday afternoon show and we chose an hour program which was comprised of pieces by Tallis, Byrd, Nystedt, Di Lasso and Pitoni and Gershwin. The little show cut off quite splendidly and we all retired to the Vigar’s abode to partake in our traditional post-Intermedii merriments . Chris and La Vigar, by the way, are members of Intermedii and have a marvelous country house near Genouilly. 

But alas we could tarry no longer (madrigal talk), and the next morning we headed back to good old Luxembourg. The first rehearsal of Mahler’s Fourth Symphony was scheduled that Monday afternoon. And after two more subsequent rehearsal days, we performed this magnificent work on Thursday night, the 13th. The French “Wunderkind” (gotta love the linguistic irony there), David Guerrier was the soloist, performing the Strauss 1st Horn Concerto on the “Wienerhorn”. 

The following day, the OPL read through the next big program which was scheduled for Saturday, the 15th. The program was fantastic for the horns! John William’s superbly written “Cowboy Overture”, theme from “The Magnificent Seven”, “Rawhide”, Hoe-Down from “Rodeo” and “Billy the Kid”, both by Copland. Immediately following that concert, most of us drove once again down to France. This time we were in Fixem, just across the Luxembourg border. Kristina joined the section (She had been tied up in a CD recording project all day) to read down the program and play to a packed house at 8:30 PM. On the program: Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, Gershwin’s “Summertime”, Bernstein’s “West Side Story Suite and Overture” and an interesting medley of folksongs about Jeanne d’Arc, who was from that region. All in all, the concert was a huge blow, especially right on the heels of a 2 1/2 hour rehearsal, which itself immediately followed the “Cowboy” program! 

Kristina and I fairly limped off the stage last night, drove home in the rain, popped open a few strong Belgian beers and hit the sack. Needless to say, I won’t be playing my horn today. And although I truly enjoy these periods of incredible business, they are really only manageable if there are a few good recovery days scheduled in. And that brings me to Palm Sunday. Oh yea! My piece for wind quartet, “New-Found Journal” is being performed this afternoon at the Syrdal Musical Series out in Roodt-sur-Syr. Well, at least I’m not playing or singing. But I think they want me to say something in Luxembourgish about the piece. Now how do you say “swash-buckling adventure” in Luxembourgish?

My Two Works For Symphonic Band Are Now Available For Rental

Submitted by Kerryon 13 March, 2008 – 6:34pm. 

It has been quite a number of years since I composed them. KARANKAWA for symphonic band was composed in 1993 and POSTCARDS FROM LUCCA in 2000. Both works were truly labors of love in the highest sense of the word. “Postcards” was a commission by the United States Air Force Heritage of America Band in Virginia. Karankawa was originally written for symphony orchestra and was reorchestrated for symphonic band shortly thereafter. You can read about each work on my website, under “Catalogue of Works” and then “Wind Ensemble”. Click on the titles. 

But the good news is- you can now rent the score and parts directly from me. Thanks to the generous help of many friends of mine, we have managed to put together useable parts and a full score of each work. Karankawa has a duration of about 9 minutes and “Postcards” is in three movements (La Fattoria a la Mattina, Portrait of Puccini, Lucca From the Sky) and lasts about 15 minutes. Both works are relatively challenging but are easily approachable by university level wind ensembles, semi-professional bands and military concert bands. 

If you are interested in renting one of these works from me, or if you would just like more information about them, please do not hesitate to contact me at : kdturner@pt.lu.

Meeting the Challenge of the John Williams Concerto!

Submitted by Kerryon 10 January, 2008 – 5:37pm. 

About one year ago, a young horn player here in Luxembourg came by for a lesson. He said he had exams coming up and was going to play the Concerto for Horn and Orchestra by John Williams; and could I help him with it. Now although I had read all about this new and challenging work for horn and orchestra, I had not yet seen the music and had certainly never heard it. Needless to say, I could not work in much detail with the lad. So I procured the music, pushed the cap forward atop my head and got to work on it. I was going to learn this new and masterful addition to our repertoire. 

But hold on a minute. This Concerto for Horn and Orchestra by Mr. Williams is really hard! One does not simply read it off the page. Furthermore, one does not even learn the first movement after a week of practicing. And the second movement (there are five) is MUCH more difficult. 

So last May, I had lunch with Mr. Philip Myers and among other interesting topics, we discussed the Williams Concerto. Practically speaking, if a performance of the work is your goal, there seem to be a lot of pros and cons. The horn part itself is not the only difficult bit. The piano reduction is enormously challenging and I hear the orchestra accompaniment is pretty tough as well. And you know, a lot of busy professional horn players simply do not have the time to dedicate to such a daunting project. 

Wait right there. All great artistic achievement demands time, patience and dedication. It is the nature of the fine arts. When it comes to composing great music, John Williams certainly has a spectacular track record, one of the best of our time! Should I not therefore trust his artistry and do my utmost to learn this work, knowing that it will indeed be worth it, and that it will count as one of the most important horn concertos of the age? 

Enter the Christmas holidays. Yupee! Lots of time off and nothing pressing that I need to practice. So I once again brought out the 5-movement opus and labored through it, bar by bar. And I am pleased to report that it is coming along swimmingly. At least the first three movements are. I think I could even say that if I were to be asked to perform these three movements next week, I could probably pull it off. And I can certainly teach it now! 

The Concerto for Horn and Orchestra by John Williams was commissioned by the Edward F. Schmidt Family Commissioning Fund for the Chicago Symphony and was premiered by Dale Clevenger. It has five movements each entitled:

1. Angelus- “Far Far Away, Like Bells, At Evening Pealing”
2. Battle of the Trees- Swift Oak…Stout Guardian of the Door”
3. Pastorale- “There Came a Day at Summer`s Full”
4. The Hunt- “The Hart Loves the High Wood”
5. Nocturne- “The Crimson Day Withdraws”

Rhapsody Awarded Prize at the IBLA Music Competition

Submitted by Kerryon 5 January, 2008 – 5:42pm. 

I am delighted to announce that my work entitled “Rhapsody” for nonet has been awarded the “Special Mention” prize at the 2007 IBLA Grand Prize World Music Competition. The IBLA competition was founded in honor of the International Christopher Columbus Festival 1492-1992, “celebrating the Quincentennial of the Discovery of America and the United Nations 1993 Year of the Indigenous People”. The competition is open not only to composers, but to all instrumentalists as well, both as soloists and in ensembles. The finals took place in Ragusa Ibla in Italy. Most of the competitors were pianists and violinists and the entries, several hundred(!)of them, came literally from all over the world. On the official website of the competition (www.ibla.org) it appears that “Rhapsody” was awarded the highest prize for a composer.

“Rhapsody”, a nonet for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello and contrabass was composed in 2002, a commission by Mr. Maarten Hudig. I consider the work to be one of my absolute finest achievements and there is a fantastic recording of it on the CD “Chamber Music of Kerry Turner- Rotterdam Philharmonic Chamber Players” (MSR Classics MS 1186).

n Autumn to Remember- 28 Concerts in 78 Days

Submitted by Kerryon 25 November, 2007 – 10:20am. 

It had once been my dream as a young man to tour the world, performing for enthusiastic audiences in the great concert halls. In my young and over-ambitious fantasy, I had an incredibly hectic and full touring schedule which never seemed to end. Ah, I was so young and naive. 

However, this “over-ambitious” dream became reality this Autumn. Mind you, it`s not the first time I have experienced such an agenda, and I am by no means alone in such an accomplishment. Why even as I write this, hundreds of musicians- soloists, chamber groups and orchestras- are milling around in airports around the globe or delicately pacing out their day in a foreign city in order to be at peak performance by this evenings show (My wife, Kristina, has even just arrived in Hong Kong for her next project). 

It all began in New York actually. I was on vacation and had just met up with my son, Trevor John, who was off to Penn State University. I had a couple of days remaining in Manhattan before my return to “the old country”. A busy period with the American Horn Quartet- read blogs “AHQ and Friends Perform at Memorial Concert for Dennis Brain” and “Autumn Tour Number 1- Austria, Switzerland, Germany” for details- and I was back in Luxembourg for rehearsals with the Philharmonic. Our tour took us back down to the South where we performed works by Schumann, Liszt, Brahms and Sibelius in some of the worlds most famous concert halls. This tour was beautifully organized and took us to Budapest, Vienna, Villach, Linz, Graz and Llubliana, Slovenia. While I was on the road with the orchestra, I made a side trip to Györ, Hungary. I had been asked to teach two days of masterclasses at the conservatory in that beautiful city with the strange sounding name. I heard some very accomplished horn players, not a big surprise, considering the famous school of brass playing in that country! The OPL returned home on October 25th, I repacked my suitcase, and was back in my seat with my seatbelt fastened, my tray table stowed and the back of my seat in the upright position by 10:00 am the next morning. 

It was time for the long awaited US-Coast-to-Coast-Tour of the Virtuoso Horn Duo and Friends. Kristina and I were joined by my brother Kyle and our pianist, Lauretta Bloomer for a three-week recital tour which took us to New York (for rehearsals), New Jersey, Texas, Colorado, Kentucky, South Carolina, Arkansas and Oregon. You can read about the details on my blog called “Virtuoso Horn Duo and Friends US Tour”. There were a few glitches, almost all involving the abuse of authority at US airports, and I fell ill in Oregon (probably a stomach virus) but all in all, the tour was a cracking success! Each of the players performed very difficult repertoire consistently at the very highest technical and musical level. Indeed it was all I could do to keep up. Constantly nursing “my chops” and strenuously guarding my afternoon “power nap” and diet routine all helped to insure dependably high quality concerts. The four of us got along famously! There was never even a hint of a personality rub. I suppose touring all these years with the AHQ has taught me a few things, eh? 

I did have one last concert to perform upon my arrival on November 16th back in Luxembourg. I was scheduled to play the Hindemith Octet, Ligetti 6 Bagatelles and the Spohr Nonet in the chamber music hall of the Philharmonie on the 18th. 

But now it is all over and I am settling down to good old-fashioned orchestra work till Christmas. I started this odyssey at the end of August. It was still Summer time. I ended it last week and it had turned into Winter. The Amsterdam Airport was all decked out in Christmas decorations! I saw it turn into Fall and then into Winter from inside a bus, airplane and hotel room. Yep, it is time to slow down a bit.

Autumn Tour Number 1- Austria, Switzerland, Germany

Submitted by Kerryon 9 October, 2007 – 7:58am. 

Tour Number One, in a series of three this Autumn, has proven to be quite a success. I made the journey down to Hörbranz in Austria, which is next to Bregenz for those who are familiar with that city‘s well-known opera festival on the lake, where I met up with the gentlemen of the American Horn Quartet. The occasion was a horn workshop organized by fellow horn player Andreas Schuchter. Mr. Schuchter teaches there at the regional music school and plays in the marvelous Symphonic Wind Orchestra of Vorarlberg. I call it marvelous, but this ensemble under the baton of Mr. Thomas Ludescher could hold its own against just about any wind band I have ever heard! And we were booked to play the Schumann Konzertstück with them (a very good arrangement, by the way). The band also performed the second movement of my work for wind orchestra entitled “Portrait of Puccini”. Masterclasses were also on the weekend agenda as well as a run-out concert to Kufstein, Austria. 

Following the concert in Kufstein, I met up with my wife, Kristina, who had been performing with the Ni Ensemble up in Nürnberg. The two of us made our way over to Winterthur, Switzerland for stage two of the tour. I had 4 days in Winterthur to begin creating the fourth movement of the symphony I have been working on this past year. As you may have read, the symphony revolves around the four elements of the legendary Holy Grail, and this movement was too be about the Paten-The Disc-Autumn-Earth-Sir Gawain. Kristina was of invaluable service, helping me to assemble various references on the internet and finding books on the subject at various antique book shops in the old town of Winterthur. And I did indeed make a lot of progress on the piece. I stopped at the mysterious “Grail Procession” which is a key factor in Sir Gawain‘s (or Parzifal‘s, depending on which version your prefer) character in the story. It‘s a twelve-tone section which is in stark contrast to the otherwise tonal nature of the symphony. 

On October 5th, I met up with David Johnson and the two of us moved on to the next part of this little tour. Those most curious lads of the AHQ were booked to give masterclasses and perform a recital at the weekend horn workshop in Überlingen, Germany (see blog from October 8th for a review). This event was organized by an old friend of mine, Ralf Ochs. Five student horn quartets of varying levels rotated from one AHQ member to the other where they were coached on the fine art of horn quartet playing. The AHQ recital was on Saturday night and the student concert took place on Sunday in the beautiful palace museum on top of the hill overlooking Überlingen and Lake Constance. 

All in all, it was a very productive and artistic nine days. Now comes Tour Number Two: Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg does Hungary, Austria and Slovenia. I shall be playing first on the first half of these concerts and third on the beautiful Brahms Haydn Variations, and thus be free during the Sibelius symphony to practice for Tour Number Three: Kristina Mascher, Kyle Turner, Lauretta Bloomer and I tour the USA coast to coast. And I get one evening to do laundry and repack for that tour!

AHQ and Friends Perform at Memorial Concert for Dennis Brain

Submitted by Kerryon 13 September, 2007 – 6:29pm. 

On September 1st, 1957, the great horn player, Dennis Brain, perished in an auto accident as he was driving over night from Edinburgh to London. Dennis Brain is of course well known to almost every horn player around the world, and is hailed as the single most important hornist of the 20th century. The members of the AHQ, as well as their horn player wives, and I all grew up listening to his spectacular recordings of the Mozart Concerti, the Strauss Concerti, as well as his remarkable rendition of the Dukas Villanelle and Schumann Adagio and Allegro. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_b206740c986f75dbae6d1948cc8237f9-852.jpg

Therefore it did indeed seem quite fitting that we should, in some way or another, pay tribute to this great artist. Luckily the opportunity arose when David Johnson met and spoke to Ursula Jones, the widow of the great brass guru, Philip Jones, well known to us all of course, because of the fantastic brass ensemble which bore his name. Mrs. Jones is a Swiss national and was very enthusiastic about getting involved in the project. In fact, she managed to convince Mrs. Yvonne Brain, Dennis Brain‘s widow, to fly down to Lugano, Switzerland where the momentous event was to take place. 

During the latest IHS International Horn Workshop, which was held in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, Heather Petit-Johnson became acquainted with Mr. Jonathan Stoneman, a journalist from Britain and a horn enthusiast. Jonathan spoke of a radio broadcast called “Desert Island Discs” in the UK. The BBC host would invite certain celebrities on to the show and have them share with the public their choice of the ten recordings (classical or pop) they would wish to have with them if they were ever stranded on a desert island. As it turns out, Dennis Brain was one of the guests on this program, and Jonathan Stoneman had managed to procure arrangements (by Stephen Roberts) of most of the songs he had chosen. And these arrangements had been done for horn ensemble no less! Well, horn ensemble with percussion, and sometimes piano, guitar or harpsichord. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_15d800eefa72d37d95e0237300edbbcd-851.jpg

Naturally, it was decided that we should somehow perform these works at a memorial concert which would commemorate the anniversary of the death of Dennis Brain. As it followed, not only did Yvonne Brain manage to get to Lugano, accompanied by Ursula Jones, but Mr. John Amis, a freelance writer, broadcaster and critic who had been a guest on this interesting program back in the day, as well as Jonathan Stoneman were flown in as well. So on this past September 1st, at the Conservatorio de la Musica in Lugano, the members of the AHQ along with my wife, Kristina Mascher, and several other very capable horn players and students from the area, performed under the baton of Heather Petit-Johnson these curious arrangements of the choice pieces of the master in the presence of his lovely widow.

The event was very well attended and there was a splendid reception following the concert. At that reception, I had the chance to talk at length with Yvonne Brain. We did have a few friends in common, and rather than make small talk, I cut right to the chase and asked her all sorts of questions and gushed to her about how much I had , well, almost worshiped Dennis Brain as a teenager. And she didn‘t seem at all surprised. But do you know, there was something especially magical about that meeting and conversation. She was the direct link to a legend. The same lovely face and voice which addressed me had also spoken to, listened to and had even kissed the most influential horn player of the 20th century. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_83dddd1bc286eb8067e13c0642aaac6b-850.jpg

Several days later, sitting in my study, I opened my copy of Stephen J. Pettitt‘s book “Dennis Brain- a biography”. And there on pages 100 and 102, in black and white photos, was that charming little woman with whom I had spoken, standing and sitting next to the great Dennis Brain.Kristina and I had the chance to talk for a while after the concert with Dennis Brain’s widow Yvonne.

A Bit of Vacation News

Submitted by Kerryon 9 September, 2007 – 1:16pm. 

Ah, back home at last! It was indeed a rather busy Summer vacation. In fact, it was only marginally a vacation at all. After about a week in my favorite city- New York- I flew down to Daytona Beach, Florida to teach, play at and generally participate in the 1st (what will now be) annual American Horn Quartet Summer Workshop. You know, it was truly a success. There were really great people there, horn players of all ages and levels, and it was a pleasure to coach them, listen to them play, and share any wisdom I may have acquired over my way-too-many-years of carrying a French horn around with me. There was a lot of my own music being played at this shin-dig, and that‘s always a cool thing. Yes indeed, a good time was had by all.

The day after the final concert in Daytona Beach, I flew over to my home city of San Antonio, Texas to be with my wife and son, brother and my mother and her husband. We were there during Tropical Storm Erin and spent much of the time out on my brothers porch, watching the rain fall down in a deluge while we remained dry up in his tree house-like apartment in downtown. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_748a87d7a53199b17ecc27be37cebe07-847.jpg

Kristina and I were granted one more free week in Manhattan before flying back across the big pond. During this last week, we watched soft ball in Central Park, ate Afghan and Burmese food and visited the museum and birthplace of one of my favorite American heroes, Theodore Roosevelt (they had his hat and sword from the charge up San Juan Hill on display there, you know).

One day after our arrival in Luxembourg, we were off to rehearse, once again, with those most curious lads of the AHQ. We were preparing for a concert in Lugano, Switzerland which was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the death of Dennis Brain. And you can read all about that in my next blog.

VIRTUOSO HORN DUO AND FRIENDS US TOUR

Submitted by Kerryon 6 September, 2007 – 4:58pm. 

On October 26th, right on the heels of an OPL tour of Hungary, Austria and Slovenia, I shall be departing for New York with my wife, Kristina and our esteemed pianist, Lauretta Bloomer. It will be the first destination on a coast to coast tour of the United States. My brother Kyle will be joining us for this wonderful tour as viruoso tubist of the highest order! The purpose of our musical tour is three-fold; to bring high quality and virtuoso brass playing to young audiences and aspiring professionals, to perform and sell recent and lesser known works of mine and to demonstrate and discuss the concept of making a living in music performance without actually holding a position in a symphony orchestra. 

The program is as follows:

Concerto Grosso from “l‘Estro Armonico”.—-Antonio Vivaldi
Sonatina for Tuba and Piano—–Kerry Turner
Twelve-Tone Waltz
La Entrada de los Caballeros—-Kerry Turner
Irish Reel and Leaving Home from “Far and Away”—-John Williams
One Hand, One Heart/Somewhere from West Side Story—-L. Bernstein
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing—–Kerry Turner
Chaconne———-Kerry Turner
Twas a Dark and Stormy Night——Kerry Turner
All the Things You Are—-Jerome Kern
When I Fall in Love—-Errol Garner

We will also be presenting a number of masterclasses at some of the venues along the way. You can contact the various schools of music or even send me an e-mail (kdturner@pt.lu) for more information.

Here is the itinerary:

October 27- New Jersey, Montclair State, McEachern Recital Hall
October 30- San Antonio, St. John‘s Evangelical Lutheran Church, Nueva Street in Downtown
October 31- Denton, University of North Texas, Recital Hall
November 1-4 Denver, Lamont School of Music, Newman Center for the Performing Arts
November 5- Columbia, Kentucky, Lindsey Wilson College, Slider Recital Hall
November 6- Columbia, South Carolina, University of South Carolina at Columbia, Recital Hall
November 7-11 Conway, Arkannsas, Residency at University of Arkansas at Conway
November 12- Eugene, Oregon, University of Oregon, Beal Recital Hall
November 13 University of Oregon, masterclasses
November 14- Albany, Oregon, United Presbyterian Church, 5th Avenue

Rhapsody Awarded Prize at the IBLA World Music Competition

Submitted by Kerryon 28 August, 2007 – 4:21pm. 

I am delighted to announce that my work entitled “Rhapsody” for nonet has been awarded the “Special Mention” prize at the 2007 IBLA Grand Prize World Music Competition. The IBLA competition was founded in honor of the International Christopher Columbus Festival 1492-1992, “celebrating the Quincentennial of the Discovery of America and the United Nations 1993 Year of the Indigenous People”. The competition is open not only to composers, but to all instrumentalists as well, both as soloists and in ensembles. The finals took place in Ragusa Ibla in Italy. Most of the competitors were pianists and violinists and the entries, several hundred(!)of them, came literally from all over the world. On the official website of the competition (www.ibla.org) it appears that “Rhapsody” was awarded the highest prize for a composer. 

“Rhapsody”, a nonet for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, violin, viola, cello and contrabass was composed in 2002, a commission by Mr. Maarten Hudig. I consider the work to be one of my absolute finest achievements and there is a fantastic recording of it on the CD “Chamber Music of Kerry Turner- Rotterdam Philharmonic Chamber Players” (MSR Classics MS 1186).

Great Review for the Virtuoso Horn Duo Premier CD!

Submitted by Kerryon 21 July, 2007 – 10:05am. 

“Here’s another “find” from the Connecticut-based MSR Records company who offers a wonderfully diversified catalogue of music you are not likely to find elsewhere….The artists that appear on this disc…are indeed virtuosos of the first rank…all the works on this disc [are] impeccably performed, with outstanding support from the Sinfonia Cracovia under Dariusz Wisniewski’s baton…The interesting thing about this disc is that both hornists—obviously with similar outstanding techniques and talents—vacillate as to which artist plays the first horn part. The booklet indicates who plays first horn in each of the movements of all pieces, something rather of nice to know, though both play with such virtuosity and enthusiasm that it doesn’t really matter at all. Another point is that Kristina Mascher plays a Ricco Kühn triple horn whereas Kerry Turner plays a Paxman triple. The two instruments blend and are voiced perfectly…The recording quality is outstanding with good balances between the soloists and orchestra with very natural acoustics. If you are fond of brass music, and especially the horn, this will be a recording you will want to add to your collection, but if you enjoy music from the time of Haydn, this will add substantially to your collection. The big news for me, however, is to make the discovery these two supreme artists of the French horn, Mascher and Turner.”
Classical Music Guide ~ June 2007

You can order this CD from the MSR directly or from Amazon.com. See links on this website.

Season Ends for the OPL

Submitted by Kerryon 21 July, 2007 – 9:26am. 

Well, it finally arrived- VACATION! The concert last night with the Luxembourg Philharmonic here at the beautiful Philharmonie concert hall in Luxembourg was a success. We were the practice orchestra for a conductor workshop that lasted 2 weeks. The students worked with Nagy Zsolt and Peter Eötvös on various conducting techniques and musical ideas on three difficult works: Eötvös “Zero Points”, the Schoenberg “Five Pieces for Orchestra” and Bartok‘s “Concerto for Orchestra”. Yesterday evening, each of the candidates conducted a different movement and they all did quite well. Interestingly enough they all seemed to be rather surprised about how good this orchestra is. I suppose that has something to do with the world‘s somewhat obscure knowledge about Luxembourg itself. Most people simply don‘t know much about the place at all. But I, for one, was really rather pleased to see and hear the reactions from not only the student conductors but from the masters Nagy Zsolt and Peter Eötvös themselves. The Luxembourg Philharmonic (Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg) is indeed a very strong orchestra with virtually no weak players (well, there are one or two). And if at times we seem to slack off during rehearsals, something conductors from America seem to seriously dislike, we pull out all the stops in the concerts! 

A note about the Schoenberg “Five Pieces for Orchestra”: this is a masterpiece! Schoenbergs ability to capture a feeling, mood or color, no matter how vague and intangible, is truly superb. I particularly love the second movement which is entitled “Vergangenes” (the translation on the music is “Yesteryears”). The orchestration is stunning. Schoenberg paints distant memories on several different levels, much like I have tried to do in some of my works (Six Lives of Jack McBride, Postcards from Lucca- Portrait of Puccini, Rhapsody for Nonet). The “Hauptthemen” and “Nebenthemen” sew the piece together, but they are by no means the feature elements. If you have ever sat perfectly still, someplace quiet, and for a moment tried to relive a very distant childhood memory and then blended that into, say, old photos of family reunions and pondering the destinies of school chums from whom you‘ve lost all contact, you could get an idea of what this movement sounds like. The other movements are splendid as well, masterfully composed “still lifes”. At the end of the performance last night, I was struck by one thought: I wish I could compose like that!

Good Vibrations in Switzerland!

Submitted by Kerryon 9 July, 2007 – 7:07pm. 

High up above the beautiful Swiss city of Lugano, 38 horn players wailed away morning, noon and night. At just about any given minute between 8 AM and 10 PM, one could hear Strauss and Mozart concertos, various etudes and orchestral excerpts as well as different pieces from my own hand wafting down from the Conservatorio della Svizzera Italiana. It was the 5th Lugano Horn Workshop and was hosted by David Johnson of the American Horn Quartet. Geoffery Winter, Charles Putnam and I were teachers and performers at the event, and we were joined by the artistry of Sandro Ceccarelli and Andreas Kamber. The workshop was a very international one, the participants coming from places such as Hong Kong, Moscow, Serbia, Portugal, the USA, Guam, Austria, Poland, Germany and of course, Switzerland and Italy. The age difference was remarkable as well; several participants were around 15 and 16 years old and there were also those who were more mature- over 50. The majority however were university age. 

Each morning there was a warm-up session lead by one of the teachers. Then each teacher went to his own room where students could then go from one to the other and have “group lessons”. Typically, I would have about 4 students in the room and I would work about 20 minutes with each one. There was also a great deal of ensemble playing, which was coached by the teachers. In fact, there were two recital evenings where only groups- quartets, sextets and octets- performed. The entire group, some 32 or more, performed in the Piaza San Carlo on the last day of the workshop. 

The AHQ presented a recital at Frainklin College in Lugano. By pure coincidence, this recital took place on the 4th of July. As an encore surprise for this occasion, the AHQ played Geof Winter‘s arrangement of Sousa‘s “The Stars and Stripes Forever”. The AHQ also churned out the Schumann Konzertstück several times with the Conservatory Orchestra, and I have to say, that orchestra sounded quite good! It was one of the finest renditions of that dastardly difficult bit in the first violins and flutes in the last movement that we have ever heard. Hats off! One of the highlights of the week was our performance at the Grand Hotel Villa D‘Este in Como. 

One thing however must be said about this year‘s participants: it was a party group! These guys had fun and seemed to get along swimmingly. Several evenings the party ended up on Geof and Sherry‘s balcony and seemed to last all night. 

Despite the many languages present, most everybody found some way or another to communicate. I spoke a lot if Italian, German and English all week and there were many other polyglots present who volunteered their services in simutaneous translation. All in all, a good time was had by everybody. I think that many of the patiicipants headed on to the IHS International Workshop in La Chaux-de-Fonds which is actually in full swing even as I write this blog. Some of them were continuing on to Prague and Nova Straseci after that. And you know what? All power to them. But that‘s a lot of horn for 3 weeks!

First Movement of the Remington Suite is Finished

Submitted by Kerryon 18 June, 2007 – 7:07pm. 

This coming Autumn, the horn sections of the Houston and Dallas Symphonies will combine forces for what will most likely be a spectacular CD. And they have commissioned me to compose a work for this worthy project. Their wish was to have a piece for 12 horns (and percussion) which reflects the flavor and culture of Texas. I guess that‘s why they thought of me.

After some consideration, I decided to write a three-movement work based on three different sculptures by the western artist Frederick Remington. If you are interested in what these fantastic sculptures look like, you can simply “google” his name and the name of each statue. Alternatively, you can visit the website of the Remington Museum (www.fredericremington.org). The ones I have chosen are:

1. Coming Thru the Rye
2. The End of the Trail (recent evidence has shown that this is actually by James Earle Fraser)
3. The Stampede

This morning I put on the finishing touches to “Coming Thru the Rye”. It was a blast to write and I look forward to diving into the next movement. Watch this space for news about this work!

“Far away places with strange sounding names…”

Submitted by Kerryon 3 June, 2007 – 7:57pm. 

This past week I seemed to have been “on the air” quite a bit. The Luxembourg Philharmonic concert on Tuesday evening was broadcast live throughout Europe. On the program was the Grieg Piano Concerto and Rachmaninov‘s Second Symphony. During the intermission, I received a text message from Kristina informing me that our CD which we just recently released (Virtuoso Horn Duo, see blog) was being played on Boston Public Radio. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_03224c4a88931c971611e4404c2c45df-809.jpg

On Wednesday, May 30th, Kristina and I made our way- via Cologne-Bonn Airport to Warsaw and then by train- to Bialystok, which is in Poland, about 40 kilometers from the Belarus border. We were scheduled to perform as soloists with the orchestra there, and upon our arrival, one of the first things we discovered was that not only was the Virtuoso Horn CD being broadcast around Poland, but the AHQ recording of the Schumann Konzertstück with the Sinfonia Varsovia had been on the night before. The next morning right after breakfast, Kristina, Dariusz Wisniewski (the conductor) and I did an interview for the Polish National Radio. And apparently a recording of our concert the following evening is available on the orchestras website. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_130118450809e1e1bb9c862fa8994215-812.jpg

The Bialystok Symphony Orchestra- or the Orkiestra Filharmonii Podlaskiej, as it is called in Poland- played quite beautifully. We weren‘t the only guests on the program. Two famous Polish television stars participated as well: Malgorzata Lewinska and Michal Milowicz narrated the Britten “Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra” and Paul Pattersons “Little Red Riding Hood”. Following the concert, the horn section of the orchestra invited Kristina and me to partake of some special Polish beer and vodka, thus honoring an age old tradition of horn players traveling around the world. It will one day be the death of me!We enjoyed good beer and good company after our concert, courtesy of the Bialystok horn section.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_f7fc619053ca6e55be14b6f8f9d24402-805.jpg

Nevertheless, Kristina and I will not be held at home. We love to travel and perform around the world. And if I can play my own music, all the better! This was certainly one of the more remote places I have ever played. During our train trip to Bialystok, Kristina kept singing a haunting song from her childhood: “Far away places with strange sounding names, far away over the sea; calling, calling me.”On the train to Bialystok, Poland, puzzling out the names of the towns.

You can look at other photos from this trip on this site under “Photo Gallery”, Virtuoso Horn Duo, Page 2.

Virtuoso Horn Duo in Concert

Submitted by Kerryon 5 April, 2007 – 11:51am. 

On April 17th, at 8:00 PM, Kristina Mascher and I, otherwise known as “The Virtuoso Horn Duo”, shall present a recital at the Foyer Européen in Luxembourg City. Joining us in this aritsic venture is our pianist, Mrs. Lauretta Bloomer, who resides in Amsterdam. Kristina and I travelled up to that glorious Dutch metrolpolis last weekend to begin rehearsals for the upcoming recital as well as to discuss further details about our upcoming U.S. tour which will be with my brother, Kyle, in October-November. 

The program for the concert in Luxembourg will be:

Concerto in Eb Major for Two Horns by Antonio Rosetti
Sonata for Horn and Piano by Kerry Turner (Kristina, soloist)
Ken Bits for 2 Horns by Paul Basler
Duo pour Cors Opus 13 No. 1 by Louis-Francois Dauprat
Three Character Pieces for Piano by Benjamin Britten (Lauretta, soloist)
Sonata Nr. 1 for Horn and Piano by Laurence Lowe (Kerry, soloist)
When I Fall in Love by Young
All the Things You Are by Kern

The program is both varied and lush, and it gives us an opportunity to show off extremes in virtuosity as well as dive into deep musical expression. In other words, it´s going to be a challenging event for the performers, while hopefully delighting the listeners.

Movement 2 of “Symphony” is Completed

Submitted by Kerryon 17 February, 2007 – 1:23pm. 

I had made mention some time ago, that I was and would continue to be in the process of composing a symphony. I may have posted a blog announcing the completion of the first movement, which is called “The Sword of Saint Michael”. Well, I have now finshed the second movement. It is called “The Tears of Charlemagne”. Some of you may recall that “Charlemagne” had been originally written for Carolyn Blice and the Rollins College Horn Ensemble by whom it had been commissioned. This version shall continue to exist, and indeed be sold and performed. It works quite well as a horn ensemble work. But I had always entertained the idea that it would make a splendid symphonic work. And as I brushed up the finishing touches of “The Sword of Saint Michael”, it became very clear to me that “Charlemagne” was going to be the second movement. This piece is a processional which features a giant double-fugue. The idea was born upon a visit to the Vatican in Rome a couple of years ago. We were shown a piece of the rare, marooon marble stone at the entrance to Saint Peter´s Basilica, which supposedly marks the spot where, in the year 800, Charlemagne was crowned King of the Holy Roman Empire. Legend has it that Charlemagne weapt tears of joy upon that very spot. Of course, looking back at the progression of mankind and the subsequent developement of European history since that monumental crowning, it could also be interpreted that the new emperor was perhaps shedding tears of sadness for that which was about to unfold. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_3df7943fc01e5a22263e3461e2139045-754.jpg

Sorry to wax on so philosophically. The point is, the piece was meant to be unusually profound and contain more esoteric meaning. Both the original composing of the work as well as the recent arrangement of it proved to be an emotional and spiritual business. Then, as I was putting on the last touches of this movement, the title of the third movement came into focus: “Candles in the Darkness”. The melody for this movement has already been composed, and I look forward to setting it to score very soon.I took this photograph just before I tagged on the last bars of the 2nd movement (Tears of Charlemagne) of my symphony. 

AHQ Recording Project in Maastricht

Submitted by Kerryon 22 January, 2007 – 4:05pm. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_b280ca9c4ec5036440d7fcda3cb0329b-716.jpg
http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_1e38318fd0380f65de7f157988f0dfb3-720.jpg

Members of the AHQ enjoying a lighter moment during the recording sessions in January, 2007.Saturday and Sunday, the 20th and 21st of Januray, the lads of the American Horn Quartet and I travelled to the Dutch city of Maastricht, where we recorded five works which shall be available either on CD, on iTunes or by direct download from the AHQ website (watch this site for further information about that.) My wife, Kristina and my publisher, Mr. Bud Fenker were asked to act as “producers” for this project, and André Hilkins of Red Buttons Recordings in The Netherlands was hired as the recording engineer. I had worked with all three of these marvelous people on various recording projects in the past. Their experience and easygoing personalities combined with superb team-work skills rendered them the perfect choice for the sometimes difficult-to-understand working atmosphere and general karma of the AHQ. In fact, it could not have gone smoother!
AHQ and the production team discussing the takes after a session.The program is an interesting one: Myths and Legends by Eric Ewazen, Three Movements for Horn Quartet, Barbara Allen (original version) and Rule Britannia! by yours truly, and Intuitions by our old friend, Kaz Machala. The title of the recording will most likely be “Myths and Legends”. With the exception of my work, Three Movements for Horn Quartet, which is somewhat more accessible technically than other works of mine for this genre, all of these pieces have been in the AHQ performing repertoire for quite some time. We have simply never found the right opporunity to include them on an album. 

Our allotted time was rather limited. We met in Bonn on the 18th and 19th. Geof and Charlie were in the middle of Mahler 5 rehearsals, so we were only able to play about 4 hours each day. Then we drove up to Maastricht. (Frequent visitors to this website may recognize the Harmoniezaal Peter en Paulus in Maastricht where I recorded my brass ensemble works, “The Heroes” back in 2005.) On Saturday we had only 9:30 to 4 PM to record and on Sunday we had the entire day. To our collective surprise, we actually finished early, often only playing two to three takes. This was no doubt due to the professionlism of each of the members of the AHQ and the Production Team, the AHQ´s familiarity with the repertoire as well as their dedicated individual advance practice. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_d2604ac888efce662b2c4ce77ca8408a-723.jpg

I would like to take this opporunity to make an observation about the present state of the American Horn Quartet. We have been performing and recording together for over twenty years. When we were younger, we approached some astonishingly difficult repertoire fearlessly and with loads of youthful enthusiasm. It seems to me, in hindsight, that we were running on some sort of energy field. You practiced your part, tucked your head down, and when the lead horn gave the cue, you played like hell….and it all worked! Perhaps I may be so bold as to say that we were kind of naive. Nowadays, we dive deeply into every note, every nuance and all ensemble execution. Not only do we want each and every note to be golden, but people seem to expect that kind of quality from us. And our production team in the booth demanded that of us the entire time. The AHQ has reached a level of musical maturity that I find to be remarkable. We sound better than ever before! But at the same time, it somehow seems much more difficult than it used to.Years of recording experience have turned us into pros in the studio. Geof’s recording kit includes metronome, latest tempo markings, various oils, and mute holder.

Having written that, it was a pleasure to have participated in this project. I think we have presented the horn world with high quality renditions of very fine repertoire for horn quartet. And this has always been the main goal and “raison d´etre” of the AHQ. 

There are more pics from the recording sessions in the Photo Gallery under American Horn Quartet.

Sonatina for Tuba and Piano is now Available

Submitted by Kerryon 13 January, 2007 – 10:12am. 

I have just received notice that my Sonatina for Tuba and Piano is now available for purchase. Back a couple of years ago, my brother, Kyle Turner, had taken a liking to the piece, which was originally written for cello and piano. He changed a few of the less tuba-like passages from the original and made the work quite his own. He then recorded it on a CD entitled “Expressions-The Heart of the Tuba” which was released on the MSR Classics label last year. 

Since the release of this album, I have received several inquiries into the availability of this particular piece. The first movement combines a “minimalistic” introduction, an extremely (in my opinion) virtuoso “main theme” and a sweeping and lyrical melody. Movement two just may be one of the most bizare things I have ever written. The main theme is the famous old hymn “Amazing Grace”. But what follows is wholly (no pun intended!) unexpected. I superimposed an arabic-sounding melody on the grand old hymn, the result of which is shocking, to say the least! The strangest thing is, given the odd political and religious climate in the world nowadays, and in particular, the tendency towards extremism, these two opposing themes really work strangely well together. In the end, the inflexible dogma of the two sides render themselves really not that much different from each other! Keep in mind however, that I composed this piece back in the 90´s and had no hidden political or religious agenda. In fact, I don´t honestly have a clue what got into me.The third movement is a lively, mixed-metered and rhythmic Allegro which is sure (if I do say so myself) to bring the audience to their feet. 

Sonatina for Tuba and Piano can be purchased directly from the publisher: Phoenix Music Publications (www.phoenixmusic.nl). To obtain a copy of the original version for cello and piano, please contact yours truly (kdturner@pt.lu).

Ups and Downs in the Low Countries

Submitted by Kerryon 11 December, 2006 – 4:53pm. 

Saturday before last, December 2nd, I embarked upon a particularly creative and interesting week in the Netherlands and Flanders. My first stop was in the town of Best, Netherlands (just north of Eindhoven) where I met up with Hans Rensen. Hans is the inventor of the Hornstick and had contacted members of the AHQ in hopes that he might get some feedback on his invention. At the time, the stick wasn’t properly fitted on my horn, thus he asked me to pass by his house the next time I was in the area. During the two hours I was at his house, he worked diligently to adjust and re-fit this contraption so that it now is to my liking. Nevertheless, this sort of thing takes some getting used to, and I told Hans that I would need some time not only to practice using it, but actually perform with it. Experienced performers know that the advantages and disadvantages of equipment show themselves more acutely in a performance situation. I think Hans has done a cracking job, and I highly recommend that you check out his website: www.hornstick.nl.

The next day, December 3rd, was one of the most amazing and successful days in my composition career. I had mentioned earlier in a blog (“Rotterdam Chamber Players Record Works by Turner”) that members of the Rotterdam Philharmonic had recorded a CD on which were five of my works for winds, strings, and horns in various combinations. This was the day that the CD was officially released, and on this occasion, the players performed the entire program in front of myself, the sponsors (the board of Aerarium Sanctius, a Dutch foundation in Rotterdam,) as well as my great patron in the Netherlands, Mr. Maarten Hudig, and an enthusiastic audience in the Aula of the Museum Boeijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam. The renowned hornist, Martin van de Merwe, performed the horn part on all five works (WITHOUT INTERMISSION.) From the moment that I arrived at the museum, I felt an extraordinary enthusiasm and support from the men and women who had assembled on that cold, rainy, windy day to hear my music performed. As the concert began (with the Berceuse for the Mary Rose), it began to occur to me exactly how special this day was. To hear these magnificent players execute and interpret every note as I had written it, and put such effort into the preparation of this recording and concert, was an extremely emotional and moving experience. I thought that this is surely what every composer dreams of. I thought of so many times when I truly believed my compositions and style were not appreciated in the modern music scene. Yet this was complete proof of the opposite. The audience reacted enthusiastically with applause and exclamations! It was truly overwhelming.I might add that there have been two other occasions when an entire concert was dedicated to my music, once at the 2nd Hungarian Horn Festival in Mór in 2005 and the other time at the Nero House of Music in Osaka in the late 90’s. 

That afternoon, I met with my publisher and friend, Bud Fenker of Phoenix Music Publications, with whom I discussed a number of topics relating to the publication of some of my newer works, most notably the Sonatina for Tuba and Piano and the Tears of Charlemagne for horn octet and percussion. Following this discussion at Maarten Hudig’s beautiful home, there was a spectacular 5-course dinner served to members of the board, as well as Martin van de Merwe and his wife Maria Dingjan (who performed violin on the entire program.) 

The next morning, I made my way to the Flemish city of Antwerp, where I checked into the Holiday Inn. I had two reasons to be there. First of all, I had been asked to play 1st horn that week with the Royal Flemish Philharmonic Orchestra on a program that included Beethoven 5 and the Bartók Violin Concerto. The conductor was Jaap van Zweden. My second activity during my free hours at the Holiday Inn was the completion of the first movement of my Symphony. I shall be writing more on this topic a little later, as it requires some explanation. But for now, you may want to know that the first movement is entitled “The Sword of Michael.” The second movement seemed to jump right off of the page, and it surprised even me. It will be an orchestration and possible elaboration on my work originally for 8 horns and percussion entitled “The Tears of Charlemagne.” Throughout the many years, it has often been said of my works for horns particularly, that they would adapt themselves well to a full symphony orchestra. I can say frankly that none match that description more than “Charlemagne.” 

It is worth mentioning that while I was in Rotterdam, Kristina was in Bretagne in the town of Pontivy, where she performed with the OPL Wind Quartet (Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.) On the program was a particularly virtuoso and exciting piece of mine called “The New-Found Journal.” As it turns out, this was the French premiere performance of this piece. Alas, she had to return to Luxembourg to perform the Mass in F of J.S. Bach and was unable to join me in Flanders(horn players, if you don’t know this piece, I advise you strongly to procure a copy of it.) 

So. I have always heard about conductors who, for some unknown and unexplained reason, decide they intensely dislike the principal horn player in an orchestra from the first moment. Indeed, I have heard of horn players being ruined by such strained relations with and intimidation from the conductor. I must say I have never been in that position, up until this past week with Jaap van Zweden. As for me, I thought I was doing a pretty darn good job on two works which I know quite well, and I think I can safely say that my standards are rather high. But it seemed to me that Mr. van Zweden had something to say about EVERY note I played. That, combined with an expression of disgust on his face, bombarded my otherwise confident demeanor. In other words, he beat me to a pulp. My blood pressure went up, my head was about to explode, and I had to take Inderal for the concerts. I am happy to report, however, that following each concert, Mr. Jaap van Zweden offered the horns the first solo bow. So I must have done something right. Unfortunately, the whole experience was so negative (despite the orchestra having sounded really fantastic) that I can’t wait to forget about it and move on. So, a stern warning to horn players around the world: Jaap van Zweden is climbing the career ladder, and he’s coming to an orchestra near you! :-> 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_3c1ca01efea5c5fd99b59eb03ad470ca-698.jpg

One last note: I have claimed for some time that I have quite a large working knowledge of the Dutch language. Following a briefing by my lovely wife, who is fluent in Flemish, I decided to bite the bullet and talk as much Dutch as I could. And you know what? It wasn’t half bad.Rotterdam Chamber Players rehearsing “Rhapsody” as Maarten Hudig looks on. Photo by Maarten Laupman

OPL Wind Quartet Performs “New Found Journal”

Submitted by Kerryon 10 November, 2006 – 2:03pm. 

Over the past year, the wind quartet from the Luxembourg Philharmonic Orchestra (OPL Wind Quartet) has been performing my 8-minute, swashbuckling adventure piece entitled “The New-Found Journal”. Interestingly enough, this piece was orginally composed in 2001 for the Melton Tuba Quartet! It has proven to be somewhat too difficult for tubas however (actually 2 euphoniums, 1 f-tuba and 1 c-tuba) and thus it has been reworked to become a piece for flute, clarinet, bassoon and horn. One would however be advised to continue to watch this space. “The Casbah of Tetouan” was also orginally deemed “unplayable” in the early days. I think that nowadays it is being played somewhere in thew world at least once a week. 

Anyway, “The New-Found Journal” was composed while I was working with the Royal Philharmonic of Flanders in Antwerp and reading the novel “Nethaniel´s Nutmeg” by Giles Milton. I wrote the following as a forward to the piece:

“Perusing rows of ancient leather-bound volumes in a baronial private library, a browser pauses, his hand hovering over a burnished tome. The word “Journal,” embossed in gold, gleams through heavy dust and he slides it carefully from the shelf where it has sat, untouched, for decades…perhaps centuries. Gingerly he turns to the first yellowed page- and plunges into a world of swashbuckling adventure, recorded in evocative detail by a 16th-century spice trader. His seafaring escapades and exotic encounters are left to the imagination of the listener…”

The next performance is on December 3rd in Pontivy, Bretagne in France.

Keeping in Shape in the Alps and in the Sahara

Submitted by Kerryon 18 July, 2006 – 8:48am. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_3a856169168258758eb1ebcb5b4bb86f-646.jpg

It is officially vacation time here in Luxembourg. The OPL played its final concert of the season at the Wiltz Festival up in the north of the duchy and its members have dispersed to the far corners of the globe and shall not meet again until September. My activities with the American Horn Quartet, as well as with Kristina, do indeed continue in August, and thus I must stay in reasonably good shape until my last performance on the 14th. Enter my brother Ken, who has traveled here from San Antonio and he has major “Reiselust” (travel fever). So we took off to Amsterdam for a few days, staying with our dear friends, Lauretta Bloomer and Bruce Rienstra, on their house boat, and then down to Switzerland where we rented a beautiful chalet way up in the mountains in the Graubünden area.On Friday the 21st of July, Kristina and I embarked on our honeymoon trip to Tunisia. We were several days at a beach resort hotel outside of Sousse and then we drove into the dessert to the town of Tozeur. Finally, we ended our trip at the oasis of El Faouar, which is quite literally the end of the road. We managed to procure two camels from a local boy named Naeer and his Berber side-kick, Saab and ride out a bit further (something I did several years ago) and experienced one of the most superb sunrises I have ever seen!. The temperature rose to around 107 degrees fahrenheit and, feeling a wee bit intimidated, we headed back to Tozeur and then eventually back to our beach-front hootel near Sousse. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_37ced1c9b702929077bd0cc7feeb96f3-645.jpg

On the house boat in Amsterdam, I managed to work in about 15 minutes a day practice before we set out each morning, exploring that fantastic city. Up in the Alps, we found the perfect venue for holding out long tones and playing some of our favorite slow melodies (plus the occasional excerpt from Alpine Symphony, of course). We simply walked out of the front door of the chalet, sat down on a rock and serenaded the mountains. Not the first time those mountains have echoed back the sound of a horn, I suspect.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_d1e6b631468f5ccc6f20a0eee0a978cc-648.jpg

Besides practicing in the hotel in Tunisia using our Yamaha Silent Brass mutes, we also found an oasis somewhere along the road, where we could practice a little Scheherezade, and of course my new piece for solo horn entitled “The Testament for Saladin” (see blog entitled “Ten Pieces for Solo Horn- The Volume is Complete”).

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_51a8aa0fe04be67da65fca9d343f54f5-649.jpg

Staying in shape can be quite an exotic adventure, I suppose. Let‘s just hope I don‘t pour sand out of my bell at the AHQ concert. By the way, please check out the AHQ website for details about our performances in August (Czech Republic annd Germany). And note that Kristina and I are giving a performance-masterclass at the Hornklasse Nove Strasici on the 6th of August, where we shall be playing and discussing at least four of the new pieces for solo horn.

Performing and Exploring in Estonia

Submitted by Kerryon 22 May, 2006 – 9:10am. 

After twenty-two years of orchestral employment, I thought I had played just about every major work ever written, especially the grand works composed before 1960. Yet here I sat in an airplane heading for Tallin, Estonia and in my horn case is the first horn part to Sir William Walton`s Symphony Nr. 1. The Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg under the baton of Mr. Bramwell Tovey was booked to perform the 45-minute work three times on this trip. For the uninitiated who may have the Walton Symphony on your next season`s agenda, be sure you get free for the first half of the concert! Having said that, I understand it is performed in Britain rather often. 

As is usual for me on these tours, I happily combine the musical purpose of being there in the first place with an enthusiastic exploration of both the city and its cuisine. The old town of Tallin proved to be a total delight in every way. It was of course part of the Hanseatic League for centuries (I say, of course, but actually I did not know this until I arrived) and has preserved most of the old buildings, cobblestone streets and charm that its partner Hanseatic cities possess. The restraunts and souvenir stores push the “medieval thing” pretty hard as a gimmick, but hey, it works for me! I climbed to the top of the Oliviste Church to behold a spectacular view of the city and its harbor and I visited the Russian Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches, each very different from the other (disproving a statement I over heard from an elderly german tourist who, siting on a park bench while his wife explored one of the churches said, “Sie sehen alle gleich aus.”) And after the concerts we were able to chose between Estonian, Russian, Chinese, Italian, and Indian fare, as well as something they referred to as “Caucasian Food” (Glazed Ham and Macaroni and Cheese, Tuna Casserole with those potato chips crumbled on top?) But for me the best surprise was hidden deep in the ancient and windy cobblestoned streets, somewhere a little bit off the normal tourist path. Across the street from a fascinating antique shop was a tiny place called “Texas Honky Tonk Cantina”. Naw ya gotta luv a town that hassa joint lahk thayat!

Virtuoso Horn Duo`s Premier CD completed

Submitted by Kerryon 11 April, 2006 – 9:21am. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_49a7631d5e450fd740365cb414a7d1b0-615.jpg

Last week, Kristina and I met conductor and OPL colleague, Dariusz Wisnieswski, at the Frankfurt Airport, where we flew together to Warsaw, Poland. In Warsaw, we were joined by Mr. Bud Fenker, the horn player and publisher, and together we all set out for Krakow, approximately 5 hours south by car. Already waiting for us in Krakow was sound engineer, Mr. Phil Whitaker, formerly of the BBC. His wife, Dorothy, was accompanying him. On Monday, April 3rd, the team was complete and we all made our way to the recording space, which was prepared by the administration of the Sinfonietta Cracovia, an excellent chamber orchestra that has been performing, recording and touring for a number of years now.From April 3-5,2006, the Virtuoso Horn Duo recorded a CD of works for 2 horns and chamber orchestra with the Sinfonietta Cracovia, under the direction of Dariusz Wisniewski.

The project was a CD recording of four works for two solo horns and chamber orchestra. The program:

Concerto in Eb by Joseph Haydn
Concerto Grosso “lEstro Armonico” by Antonio Vivaldi
“Twas a Dark and Stormy Night” by Kerry Turner
Concerto in Eb Nr. III (16) by Antonio Rosetti

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_4d9a116dda881726b89bd93e3f8eacac-617.jpg

This program was extremely challenging, but also wonderfully varied and interesting. Kristina and I had been practicing for it for quite some time now. We had already performed all but the Rosetti concerto. Assembling the orchestra material proved also to be rather challenging. We were able to order the Haydn and Rosetti scores and parts from Professor Hans Pizka, and the “Dark and Stormy Night” arrangement from the original version for horn and organ (piano) was completed shortly before we departed for Warsaw. Hungarian hornist, Zsoltan Varga, had done the arrangement of the famous Vivaldi concerto for 2 violins, but had not done an orchestral accompaniment. This was arranged by a colleague in Poland. The virtuosity of the program goes without saying. To call it extreme is putting it rather lightly. The range covered three and a half octaves (pedal Bb to double high F) and demanded utmost agility of both fingers and embouchure.
Here we listen to the takes from Vivaldi’s Concerto Grosso in the booth with the concertmaster of Sinfonietta Cracovia, and our sound engineer Philip Whitaker.

Originally I believed our recording time to be limited: three days of five hours a day, and that included rehearsals. But in fact, we actually completed the recording a session early! 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_5ab62843386519392b5202c45706eb75-618.jpg

Dariusz Wisniewski had collaborated with me and the AHQ once before on our CD production with the Sinfonia Varsovia (Schumann, Telemann, Handel, Haydn) on the Naxos label back in 2003. He worked very efficiently and knowledgably. Phil Whitaker achieved a spectacular sound quality with his equipment and know-how. I rather think we sounded better on his head phones than we did in real life! Bud Fenker was the producer, pooling his experience as a horn player himself together with a recording project we did together back last summer (see my blog from July 24th, 2005, “ Flexible Brass Recording Project” ). The Sinfonietta Cracovia is a young and enthusiastic ensemble that had just recorded a CD for the Polish composer, Penderecki. And I think it is worth mentioning that this was Kristina`s first “solo” CD recording. Her professionalism, experience and talent proved to be invaluable during the sessions.
In an afternoon break, we found a cozy cafe in the center of Krakow called “Camelot.” L-R: Kristina Mascher, conductor Dariusz Wisniewski, producer Bud Fenker, and Kerry Turner.

There was only one setback. After recording the Haydn for about an hour, Mr. Whitaker informed us that something with his cables and sockets had gone terribly wrong and we had been getting an odd, albeit subtle electronic noise that he finally decided was not acceptable. After having solved the problem, and quite quickly I might add, we were obliged to re-record the entire exposition of the first movement. And given our limited time and the inherent nature of the recording experience, this was very trying on our collective nerves!

Nevertheless, the entire project came off beautifully! This CD will most probably be released before Christmas on the Musicians Showcase Recording label (MSRCD).

“The Toil of Chase and Trail”

Submitted by Kerryon 25 March, 2006 – 8:54pm. 

Beginning on February 6th, I embarked upon a stretch of seven weeks non-stop playing, which tested me (both mentally and physically) to the limit. I suppose these weeks would have been something I could only dream of experiencing back when I was just a wee lad. But I have to say, there has been a few moments when I thought I was going to break down and weep from exhaustion (yea, go ahead and make fun. It`s okay). 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_c7ba8b17d9c7b9b0ed663c48352d3627-612.jpg

February 6th, the Luxembourg Philharmonic began rehearsals for Mahler`s 2nd Symphony. After three days of rehearsal, we performed this magnificent work three times, twice in Luxembourg and once in Antwerp (Kristina was joining the mighty OPL horn section on 6th, by the way). Immediately following this horn fest, we began rehearsals on Le Sacre du Printemps (The Rite of Spring) by Stravinsky. Once again there were three concerts, with the last one on Sunday, February 19th in the Philharmonie in Cologne. Directly after the performance, I drove to Bonn where Geof, Charlie and David were waiting for me at the famous Greek restaurant across from the Opera House. We discussed the up coming tour and started rehearsals for it the following morning. On Wednesday, the 22nd the four of us flew to Minneapolis to begin a very rewarding, but also quite heavy tour of the U.S. Several recitals, a number of Schumann Konzertstücks, masterclasses and lots of traveling brought us eventually to Atlanta where we played the final concert of this tour. Despite the sometimes grueling schedule (at one point we had three concerts and a masterclass within a 30-hour period!), we had an immensely good time and met a lot of new people and met up with a lot of old friends.

Immediately upon my arrival in Frankfurt (there was a huge snow storm that delayed my departure), I rushed to the rehearsal hall and crashed down in my seat to begin rehearsals for the Carl Davis “Live Cinema” production of “Iron Horse”. I am extremely grateful to my colleagues in the OPL for covering my position as I arrived a day and a half late to the rehearsals! Anyone who has played a Carl Davis score knows how one`s chops feel at the end of the week. Kristina, by the way, was working with the Hannover Radio Orchestra during the U.S. tour and she had been recording Shostakovitsch`s 4th Symphony in Bonn during the Carl Davis week. 

Finally I had a day off. March 12th. The next morning I made my way to the Philharmonie in Luxembourg to begin rehearsals on Ravel`s Daphnis and Chloe (the complete ballet). The Schoenberg Violin Concerto with Hilary Hahn was also on the program. After two concerts in Luxembourg, we were once again on the road to play the concert at the Palais des Beaux Arts in Brussels on the 19th. Between OPL rehearsals, Kristina and I were busy organizing for and rehearsing an Intermedii concert for the Lenten season. We will be singing the Bach Cantata “Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit” along with the Tallis Lamentations of Jeremiah and two songs from the Rachmaninoff Vespers on the 12th of April and participating singers and instrumentalists alike have been awaiting our attention to this most worth while project. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_32c9cddc90bd0dd87be42e25d2c5085c-611.jpg

Kristina with the Mighty Horns of the OPL during taping of the Planets. L-R: Patrick Coljon, Marc Bouchard, Miklos Nagy, Luc Van Marcke, Mark Olson, Kristina Mascher, Kerry Turner.Tuesday the 22nd the OPL began work on that spectacular work, the Planets by Gustav Holst. These were suppose to be family and childrens` concerts, which would include a film on a giant screen above the orchestra members`heads, The orchestra was smartly clad in colored shirts- blue for the strings, orange for the woodwinds, the brass were in green, the percussion were wearing maroon and the keyboard players were in red. Kristina was assisting Miklos Nagy who was attempting to save his lips for a concerto performance in Trier on Sunday. What we did not know is that the whole project was to be recorded on DVD and CD. We spent six hours every day on this undertaking and our chops were thoroughly worn out by the time we played the last performance on Saturday afternoon, the 25th. 

Now, I am well aware that there are a good amount of horn players who keep up this sort of schedule on a regular basis. And I do indeed tip my hat to them, their dedication, artistry and endurance. But as for me…..I`m whooped! 

Starting Tuesday the 28th, Kristina and I willl be practicing very hard indeed for our up coming CD recording with the Sinfonietta Cracovia in Poland, which is scheduled for Monday the 3rd through the 5th of April. The program for this endeavor is: Haydn Double Concerto in Eb, Rosetti Concert Nr. 3 in Eb for 2 Horns, Vivaldi Concerto Grosso “L`Estro Armonico” and my own “Twas a Dark and Stormy Night” newly reworked for 2 horns and string orchestra (plus some newly added material). And then there`s that Intermedii gig with the charmingly beautiful Bach Cantata which seems to be demanding my attention more and more.

A magical visit to Cape Town

Submitted by Kristinaon 5 February, 2006 – 11:00pm. 

While Kerry has already written much about our tour to Cape Town and surrounding areas, I would like to elaborate on some of the more interesting activities and sights we encountered while there. This may be of particular interest to those of you who are considering attending the 38th annual Symposium of the I.H.S. this July. 

In addition to the AHQ concerts and our wedding at the Fairy Glen Game Reserve, our hosts Steve Horwood and Elizabeth Danckwerts saw to it that Kerry, Geof, Charlie, David, and I had the opportunity to explore the general area. When we first arrived, Steve and his fiancée Katherine drove us up to the slopes of Table Mountain, from which we had an unparalleled view of much of the city and the waterfront. We ate local specialties at the famous Mama Africa restaurant – Kerry ate springbok steak and I was surprised by the succulence of crocodile kebabs (okay, they taste like chicken, but not entirely!) A night drive after dinner afforded us views of the moonlight spreading over the water like a fine veil, while unfamiliar constellations shone overhead. 

On one very full sightseeing day, we were taken along the coastal road, down the east side to the Cape of Good Hope and back up the west coastal area. We packed up drinks, snacks, and sunscreen (though not nearly enough of that last item!) and drove towards False Bay past scenic vistas around the Muizenberg. The quaint historical fishing village called Simon’s Town gave us the perfect opportunity to pop into a marvelous antique shop, where Kerry bought a copy of “Kipling’s South Africa.” On one of these first stops, we could see Seal Island in the distance, whose surrounding waters we were informed are also home to the greatest concentration of great white sharks in the world. Shark cage diving seems to be a popular pastime in those parts, though I must admit having something of a distaste for the idea….Much more to my taste was the next stop at Boulders Beach, home to a colony of spunky little African penguins. Somehow, these funny birds have managed to survive and thrive in temperatures unknown to their Antarctic cousins. When we were there, many of the penguins were sitting on eggs and panting in the heat, while their mates took turns swimming and fishing. They were not shy in the least of the humans who stood on the boardwalks gawking at them and snapping pictures. I could have spent hours watching their wobbling gait and comic flops into the water, but alas, more points of interest beckoned! 

Next, we drove down to the southwestern tip of Africa, the Cape of Good Hope, now protected as a game reserve. The view from the lighthouse on top of the hill is truly breathtaking! You can either walk up or take the gondola (walk it if you can to catch the views on the way up.) There is some debate as to whether this is actually the point where the Atlantic and Indian oceans meet, but in any case it is incredibly beautiful up there. I understand that one of the symposium excursions will bring participants to the Cape. We imagined how a horn (or several) would sound echoing over the cliffs on either side of the path.

After this, we were treated to a ride along the cliffs leading towards Hout Bay. The color of the water was spectacular, yet so was the hue of our sunburned skin by this time of the early afternoon! Pale Northerners would be well advised to bring a hat to Cape Town! On one section of the cliff, we looked out the car window and saw a baboon walking beside us, not something you would see every day driving through Luxembourg…its family was visible in the trees above the road. We stopped for a late seafood lunch in Nordhoek, where many of us sampled snoek, the local fishy specialty. 

Before the first AHQ concert at the Cape Town City Hall, Kerry and I haggled for wares at Greenmarket Square. Over the course of our two-week residence, we found ourselves with more paintings, sculpted Xhosa heads, and wood carvings than we could fit in our luggage! Either plan on bringing an extra suitcase, or be ready to mail a box home, because the open-air and covered arts and crafts markets will tempt you to bring home a piece of Africa. 

The concert itself in the City Hall was attended by a very enthusiastic audience, and there was a wondeful reception afterwards where we met horn players from all over the country. The reception was also notable for the wine – South African vintages rank among the very best we have ever tasted, particularly the indigenous Pinotage. The following week, Elizabeth and her friend Pete introduced us to a selection of wineries in the Constantia area of Cape Town. After some wine-tasting, we brought back a bottle of Vin de Constance to open on some future anniversary or other special occasion. Some of the wineries also double as concert venues, and it is my hope that they may participate in some way in the horn symposium. Another winery we visited on the way to our second concert at the Arabella Country Estate was called Spier (near Stellenbosch.) Spier is also the home of a cheetah rehabilitation center. A few jokes were made about a cheetah rehab center being located at a wine farm… We had the chance to hold eagles and pet owls, as well as to look around the wonderful grounds of the wine farm. A large covered area plays host to special events and performances, and an extensive gift shop gives visitors the chance to buy recordings of African music or find exotic jewelry and decorations. 

Our 2nd concert at Arabella gave us the chance to stay near Hermanus, an area renowned for whale watching in the winter months of June, July, and August. At our bed and breakfast, we went for an early morning walk around the tidal pools. Kelp was everywhere in the water – of particular interest to us as horn players because Steve owns a horn made from kelp! After dinner at Steve’s with the quartet one evening, we passed the kelp horn around and each had the chance to play a little something. I have been assured that this horn (or at least others like it) will be on display at the symposium – a slightly more exotic take on Dennis Brain’s garden hose! 

From the Hermanus area, we drove over the mountain passes towards Fairy Glen. You can read all about the wedding elsewhere in the blogs section.

After we left Fairy Glen, Kerry and I went straight to the Mount Nelson Hotel, while Charlie, David, and Geof prepared for their flights back to Europe. The Mount Nelson has the reputation for being one of the finest hotels in Africa. We enjoyed almost obscenely good service, dips in the pool, a gourmet meal in the hotel’s Cape Colony restaurant, aromatherapy massages, and a luxurious room with a magnificent view. While lounging at the poolside in the summer heat, it was hard to imagine the icy chill back home! 

Steve and Katherine took us to the Victoria and Alfred (V&A for short) Waterfront, certainly one of the most exciting spots in Cape Town. Aside from acquiring even more souvenirs at the covered craft market and sharing an Indian meal, the views of the harbor at sunset were unforgettable. We came back on another day to visit the huge Aquarium, providing me with yet one more chance to see live penguins! 

During our second week, we were the guest lecturers and performers at the University of Cape Town Summer School for Prof. Sean Kierman’s seminar entitled “The Horn of Plenty,” which traced the development of the horn from its origins as a hunting instrument to its form and function in the 21st century. We performed a quartet on natural horns with Sean and his wife Pamela, who is the brass professor at Stellenbosch University. Pamela also accompanied us on piano for the Haydn Double Concerto. On the last day, Kerry gave a talk on compositional techniques for the horn, while I demonstrated excerpts, solo passages, and special effects. We also performed a couple of Kerry’s concert pieces for solo horn (not yet published – watch this space!) as well as 2 of his Duos for Horns. The participants in the seminar expressed great interest in the horn and in attending events this July during the Symposium.

On our last evening, we attempted to take the cable car up Table Mountain, but were unable to do so, thanks to a power outage. Instead we took our picnic over the hill and watched the brilliant sunset over the ocean, making up stories about the ships in the harbor with two lovely children in our company. 

It was difficult for us to say goodbye to this strange and wildly beautiful land that had been our home for a couple of weeks. We look forward to returning in July and are relatively sure that we will return even after that!

News From the Bottom of Africa

Submitted by Kerryon 17 January, 2006 – 6:28pm. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_a678c70074fb68246d52f3bfc1cf36f2-574.jpg

Greetings to all from the beautiful South African city of Cape Town. This being my day off during our stay down here, I rather thought I would write up a report of sorts, detailing some of the adventurous activities I have enjoyed since my arrival. Kristina and I flew down on a night flight on the 8th of January and were met at the airport by our hosts, Mr. Steven Horwood and his fiancée, Miss Katherine Smith. The chaps from the AHQ arrived later that evening and we had our first rehearsal on the following morning. Our first concert was presented on the 11th at the Cape Town City Hall, which houses a beautiful, old style auditorium. The concert was quite a success and there was a reception following the event at which we had the opportunity to meet several professional horn players here in South Africa. Kristina joined us on “Casbah of Tetouan” which served as the finale to the program which included the Telemann Concerto for 4 Violins (horns), Dauprat Quatour Nr. 1, my Quartet 3, two pieces by Bach, and the West Side Story Suite.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_1430fc3892ba9d7bfedf6c73a69ea76d-588.jpg

On the 12th, we were driven all over The Cape, where we enjoyed spectacular scenery (views of False Bay and Hout Bay) and wonderful food and South African wine.Some of the activities included a visit to the quaint fishing village of Simonstown, the African penguin colony at Boulder, a hike up to the Cape of Good Hope. We also encountered a family of baboons along the road and a puff adder. 

On the 13th we continued over the mountain pass to Hermanus, which is one of the best whale watching locations in the world. We had lunch at Spier Wine Farm/Cheetah Rehabilitation Center. That evening we were escorted onto the stage at the magnificent Arabella Country Club, where we performed the same program as on the 11th. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_6ac0c54e848dfee11e1240d3ed3091e0-576.jpg

January 14th our tiny group proceeded inland to the Fairy Glen Game Reserve. It was here, at 5 o’clock in the afternoon that Kristina and I were joined in holy matrimony. Upon boarding a safari jeep, we drove higher into the hills, past a trio of lions, to a tiny stone chapel. The lads packed out their horns and opened the ceremony with an arrangement of the Bach Goldberg Variations (only the theme).Charlie, Geof, and David provided music for our ceremony.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_909aa20d759993fd4099599f3e2cfac6-586.jpg

Kristina and I spent our honeymoon at the famous Mount Nelson Hotel of Cape Town, reputedly the most luxurious hotel in all Africa. That evening my dear friends, David, Charles and Geof flew back to cold, dark and wet Germany, Kristina and I have been asked to present a couple of lectures at Cape Town University as part of its Summer School.During their residence in Cape Town, Kerry and Kristina delivered lectures and performances at the UCT Summer School, as guests of horn professor Sean Kierman.We shall be performing a piece on natural horns as well as the Haydn Double Concerto and my own Duos. The aim of our visit here has been to inspire interest in the horn and the upcoming IHS Symposium at the end of July. I will be writing rather a lot on this topic shortly, so please stay tuned!

Two large works in progress

Submitted by Kerryon 18 December, 2005 – 10:59pm. 

In 1993, I composed a piece for symphony orchestra called Karankawa. This 8-minute tone poem is a depiction of the encounter between the French settlers under LaSalle and the Native Americans who inhabited Matagorda Bay in Texas – the Karankawas. The piece incorporates an authentic American Indian song, a 17th-centry French-sounding folk song, as well as typical Turner-esque melodies and harmonies. During the month of October 2005 while recovering from a hernia operation, I traveled to Mr. Geof Winter’s house, where the two of us collaborated on a re-orchestration for symphonic band. I truly believe this piece is one of my finer works, and it might have found its proper setting with the symphonic band. 

Another interesting bit of news: I have finally begun work on my 1st symphony, inspired by elements from the Holy Grail legends. I’m not in a position to reveal much information about the piece, but I assure you it’s going to be a hornfest!!

Symphony of Carols for 8 horns

Submitted by Kerryon 28 September, 2005 – 9:45am. 

Perhaps it would be well advised at this time of year to make mention of a rather recent work of mine entitled “Syphony of Carols” which is for 8 horns (or horn choir, as the case may be). The three movement work was commissioned by my colleague of the American Horn Quartet, Mr. David Johnson, for his etseemed class at the Music School in Winterthur in Switzerland. They premiered it last December with a great deal of success. As is matter-of-course with all things “christmassy”, it was promptly forgotten by Boxing Day. 

This work however, is a particular favorite of mine! I put a lot of effort into it and am proud of its compositional content and its immediate appeal with audiences. The first movement is a medley and starts off with an energetic arrangement of “Deck the Halls”. Following a bridge section, the 8 horns are divided into a double choir for “Away in a Manger” (the British melody), “Angels from the Realms of Glory” and “Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella”. The movement closes with the whistful classic “What Child is This”. For the second movement, quartet 2 leaves the stage to play antiphonaly from a distance, as the melancholy carol “In the Deep Mid-Winter” is answered by “Coventry Carol”. This dramatic effect seems to call to the distant past, reminding the players and the listeners alike of the historic depth of the Christmas tradition. Movement 3 begins with horns 5, 6 and 7 sounding a small motive from “Adeste Fideles” on alphorns (this may also be played on natural horns or even modern horns as well). After a victorious fanfare worthy of a Cecil B. DeMille classic, the 8 horns join together on this festive carol. After a giant baroque style fugue, the festive “Adeste Fideles” eventually reaches “Brucknerian” proportions and the work comes to an end. 

It would be incorrect of me not to mention here that this work could prove to be somewhat challenging for certain horn clubs. It is not a collection of cute arrangements of Christmas carols, but was meant to be a serious work based on some of the greatest melodies ever written in the Western hemisphere. 

You may order this work from Paddi`s Prints at ahq@vr-web.de.

Virtuoso Horn Duo at The Hungarian Horn Festival

Submitted by Kerryon 1 September, 2005 – 9:39am. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_97d43457365c1096c93c65f7dc216a4e-476.jpg

The 2nd Hungarian Horn Festival in Mor, Hungary took place this past week, August 25th through the 27th. The event was organized by Mr. Zsoltan Varga and Mr. Miklos Nagy, two of the most prominent hornists from that country. Mor is a village south of Budapest and is a well-known wine region. The opening concert was at Central Catholic Church in Mor.Kristina and I performed the Concerto for Two Violins and Cello by Vivaldi “L`Estro Armonico” Op. 3 Nr. 11. Other works on the program were the Symphony in C Major for Horns by J. M. Molter, Fugue in f minor by Bach arranged for horn quartet and Purcell`s Incidental Music. These three pieces were played with great panache by the Hungarian Horn Quartet. Miklos Nagy graced us with his marvelous interpretation of the Concerto in D Major by G. Knechtel. And Gabor Acsay performed the Kroll Laudatio. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_093f1712887f43e1598530b9ce411aee-475.jpg

The following morning I gave a talk on my compositions and then coached my Concerto for Low Horn.Miklos Nagy gave a lecture on “The Benefits of Hard Work” including his rather daunting warm up. That evening there was a concert which was more or less dedicated to my works. The program was the following:

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_0e5eeec6f78c9d378def481038eac38d-474.jpg

J. Haydn Concerto for Two Horns in Eb
K. Turner Concerto for Low Horn
K. Turner Four Duos
K. Turner Fanfare for Barcs
K. Turner Quartet Nr. 2 “Americana”
K. Turner Take 9 Antiphonal Fanfare
K. Turner Farewell to Red CastleThe VHD performed and gave master classes at the 2nd Hungarian Festival in Mor in August 2005. The weekend featured Kerry Turner´s compositions. Here is a program from the first two performances.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_0ac8e0d2affe7dcecdba52498e936529-482.jpg

On Saturday, the 27th, Kristina Mascher gave a very interesting lecture and demonstration on the repertoire for violin, horn and piano. She provided excerpts for the participants to follow and played the corresponding music on the CD player. Following that she worked with several of the students. That afternoon, Mr. Zsolt Nagy gave a lecture demonstration on “The Horn in Jazz”. And as a grand finale to the festival, all the participants joined together for an outdoor concert at the castle.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_368fce6ddcd3f7193ba98fb9f5bf1c92-486.jpg

After the concert each evening, we all took our places at the wine tasting table in one of the famous wine cellars, each evening a different cellar.The atmosphere at this festival was one of friendship, kinship and mutual respect. Kristina and I were extremely well taken care of the entire time, and the Hungarians once again proved their magical tradition of producing super horn players.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_9c6a4a5bd3bf38cb9c23fdd3a4868cf2-488.jpg

During our stay in Budapest, we had the opportunity to visit the workshop of one of Hungary’s most popular horn repairmen, Mr. Istvan Andrik of the shop called “And & And.” Istvan worked well after hours on both of our horns so that we could return home with pristine instruments, ready to start our orchestral seasons.

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_09c7534aad6137dbe33fa0019c6c4d30-485.jpg

I understand that the Hungarian Horn Festival in Mor will take place every two years. I do most heartily encourage horn players from around the world to keep their eyes open for news of the next one!

Sound Preparation Far in Advance Paid Off

Submitted by Kerryon 1 September, 2005 – 9:14am. 

http://www.kerryturner.com/images/thumbs/thumb_5dfcaf7df734a81f05942f42da6ca2a8-479.jpg

Well once again, I have another bit of proof that sound preparation way in advance for an important event is always good advice. Kristina and I decided to spend three weeks in New York (in the heart of Chelsea actually) with my two boys. Our apartment was tiny by any standards, and the possibility to practice there was somewhat limited. Anticipating this problem, we ran our program over and over, already starting this past May for the concerts to be played at the 2nd Hungarian Horn Festival in Mor, Hungary, which took place August 25-27. On the first concert we performed a new work in our repertoire: Vivaldi`s Concerto for Two Violins and Cello “L`Estro Armonico” Op. 3 No. 11, which was arranged by and sent to us by the organizer of the festival, Mr. Zsoltan Varga. Difficult piece, but well worth the effort. We plan to include it on our upcoming CD recording. The next evening we were scheduled to play the Haydn Concerto for Two Horns and my set of four Duos on the first half of the program, and then join the other guest artists on Take 9 Fanfare and Farewell to Red Castle at the end of the program. Unfortunately, one of the players fell ill that day and couldn`t perform. Since I “kind of know it”, I agreed to play 2nd horn on Quartet Nr. 2 “Americana”. Needless to say, I was ready for the scheduled visit to the wine cellar following the concert. Both concerts were very successful. There was a good crowd and a good time was had by all. We finished up the festival by performing our own rendition of “All The Things You Are” with the students accompanying us. With all the flying and hotels and limited practice posibilities at our New York apartment, I was quite surprised how well we both played and, above all, how much strength we seemed to have. I give credit to our disciplined practice before we left Luxembourg back in July. We were both hitting the horns hard, and it put us in great shape. We were also able to work out all technical and musical details of the programs. In New York, we made ourselves sit down and play “something-anything” for at least 20 minuutes, often with our mutes in and with terrible jet lag. But it appears the effort has indeed paid off.

Update of events since April

Submitted by Kerryon 15 June, 2005 – 1:41pm. 

April 2 : We attended the dress rehearsal of the combined forces of the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonics of Mahler’s 6th Symphony, which was organized on the occasion of Simon Rattle’s 50th birthday.

April 3 : The Viruoso Horn Duo performed a concert at the Kreuzkirche in Chemnitz. It was organized by Herr Franz Streuber of the Robert Schumann Philharmonie Chemnitz.

April 4: We traveled to Oederan, in Germany to Ricco Kühn’s workshop to have Kristina’s horn adjusted to her exact needs.

April 5 : I auditioned for the principal horn position of the Hessischer Rundfunk Orchestra (Frankfurt Radio). I’m not sure why I decided to take the audition, but it was an interesting experience. I played quite well. But I was informed afterwards (before I even told them my canditate number, by the way) that my vibrato would not fit in their section. Another horn section member there said they recodnized my playing straight away, which I thought was pretty cool! The comment about the vibrato was fair enough. I have incidently begun to cut down on the vibrato a tad.

April 14: There was an OPL concert here in Luxembourg.
April 15: There was a repeat of the OPL concert.

April 16: The AHQ performed a short concert at the Lautenbach Wohngemeinschaft, which is a commune for handicapped kids (and older kids as well). These residents were some of the most loveable and responsive people I have ever met. They all wanted to hug us after the concert! It was so sweet!

April 17: The AHQ performed a full concert to a wonderfully responsive and sold out crowd in Überlingen, Germany. We also did masterclasses and taught lessons there at the Regional Music School. 

April 23 and 24: Kristina and I sang two concert with Intermdii down in Chevergny in Burgundy.

April 28: Also Sprach Zarathustra with the OPL. One of my very favorite works of music! James Galway played Mozart and Mancini on the first half.

April 29: Kristina and flew to Richmond, Virgina.

April 30 : The Viruoso Horn Duo performed and gave a masterclass at the Methodist in Newport News, Virgina. We were joined at the end of the day by members of the Airforce and Army bands and Thomas Jostlein on a performance of Take 9 Fanfare, Barbara Allen and Farewell to Red Castle. 

May 1 : We attended a stunning performance of my new work for Cello, Horn and Piano entitled “The Scorpion in the Sand”. It was performed by Thomas Jostlein, Karsten Schmidt and James Wilson of the Richmond Chamber Music Society. I also gave a preconcert talk about the work. 

May 3 : Kristina and I gave masterclasses at Commonwealth University in Richmond.

May 5 : Kristina and I were joined by Mr. Thomas Jostlein on a performance of the Concerto in D for Three Horns with the Richmond Symphony.

May 6 : Flight back to Luxembourg.

May 13: Performance of Hänsel and Gretel and the Bartok Concerto for Orchestra with Immanuel Krivine in Luzern, Switzerland. Kristina was working with the NDR Hannover Orchestra during this time.

May 15: I completed the last bars of my new work for 8 horns and percussion called “The Tears of Charlemagne”. It is a commissioned work by Carlolyn Blice. 

June 4: The AHQ performed a concert in the Abteikirche in Otterberg, Germany (near Kaiserslautern). Kristina was working with the Liege Philharmonic during this time. 

June 10-12: The AHQ performed several concerts and gave masterclasses in Poligny and Chevigny St.-Sauver near Dijon, France. The events were organized by Monsieur Pierre Clement-Gruet and was called “Cap sur le Cor”.

June 15-16: OPL performances of Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherezade. Kristina will be working all week with the NDR Hannover Orchestra.

I am sorry I am not able to fill in more details. As you can see, I have been very busy! I have also been having computer troubles and we all know what that’s like.

February News

Submitted by Kerryon 13 February, 2005 – 8:14pm. 

Last night was the premiere of Scorpion in the Sand. I still think this is one of my best pieces ever. I sent off three works to Bud Fenker, my publisher at Phoenix Music, which I hope will be published and available within the next year: The New-Found Journal (flute, clarinet, bassoon, horn), Take 9 Fanfare (version for double brass quintet), and Sonatina for Cello and Piano (including a version for tuba and piano.) The latter was recently recorded on CD by my brother Kyle in New York.

I am itching to begin work on my next project, which is a horn choir piece with percussion called The Tears of Charlemagne. My plan is to check myself into the Orval Monastery in Belgium to achieve the silence and divine inspiration that I need! 

Kristina, enjoying the second month of her one-year sabbatical from the Flemish Radio Orchestra, has recently begun her training as a Reiki master, and will be accompanying me to Orval to spend a few days in meditation while I’m composing.

While on tour with the OPL, I met up with Radek Baborak in Berlin. Radek expressed an interest in commissioning me for a piece for horn and string quartet. This could be my next project.

Jack McBride in Germany

Submitted by Kerryon 13 November, 2004 – 11:45pm. 

Tomorrow will be the last in a series of 5 performances of Six Lives of Jack McBride for tenor, horn, violin and piano that I have been performing (as singer in the title role)in Germany and Switzerland over the last half year. The concerts have been organized by composer Frank Zabel of Luedenscheidt. Most of the venues have been small, but the halls have been full and the audiences have been very enthusiastic! Tomorrow’s is in Meinerzhagen at 19:30. 

The Immanuel Trio of Amsterdam has plans to program it next season. I am always willing to travel anywhere to sing this favorite work of mine. So if anyone wished to give it a shot, please contact me.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s