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Internationally Acclaimed Hornists to Present at Music Conference

Internationally Acclaimed Hornists to Present at Music Conference

Three internationally renowned hornists will perform at the Mid-South Horn Workshop, scheduled from Friday through Sunday, Feb. 26-28, at the University of Oklahoma.

The School of Music-coordinated workshop carries the theme, "Iconic Women of the Horn," and features artists Gail Williams, Julie Landsman and Haley Hoops. The workshop includes recitals, competitions, master classes and lectures by the headline artists, and a cast of contributing artists from colleges and universities across a four state region. 

The workshop concerts are open to the public at no charge.

Workshop host and OU professor of music Eldon Matlick said the event celebrates the achievements of women hornists, as educators and high-profile artists who now regularly hold seats in professional orchestras.

“The three headline musicians for this event are a dream team of horn artists who are at the pinnacle of their careers.” Matlick said. “Decades ago, professional women hornists were a rarity.  Through pioneers such as Helan Kotas Hirsch and Ethyl Merker, women have taken to the horn and now hold at least 50 percent of the chairs in professional orchestras all over the world.”

“I’ve hosted over 25 internationally acclaimed hornists over the years while at OU and have been striving to get more women artists,” he continued. “This year it seemed the stars lined up and OU is fortunate to get three phenomenal artists of the highest caliber.”

An internationally recognized hornist and brass pedagogue, Williams is a horn professor at Northwestern University. She has presented concerts, master classes, recitals, and lectures throughout North America as well as in Europe and Asia. After 20 years with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, she is in demand as a soloist, chamber musician and recording artist.

Williams currently is Principal Horn of the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra and has recently performed on a number of prestigious chamber music series. She is one of the founding members of The Chicago Chamber Musicians Ensemble as well as the Summit Brass. She can be heard on solo recordings and chamber music CD’s available through Summit Records.

Formerly principal horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, a position she held for 25 years, Landsman is a distinguished performing artist and educator who served as a faculty member at The Juilliard School since 1989 and teaches frequently as a guest at the Curtis Institute. A native of Brooklyn, New York, Landsman achieved her dream of becoming principal hornist of the MET in 1985 and held that position until 2010.

She also spread her talent to other ensembles within the city, as a current member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and has performed and recorded with the New York Philharmonic, Houston Symphony, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra.

Landsman has recorded for RCA, Deutsche Gramophone, CRI, Nonesuch and Vanguard labels, and is most famous for her performance of Wagner’s “Ring” cycle as solo horn with the MET Opera under the direction of James Levine. Landsman has performed as a chamber musician at many festivals and concert series throughout the United States. Her international presence includes master classes in Norway, Sweden and Israel. She recently received the “Pioneer Award” from the International Women’s Brass Conference and was a featured artist at the International Horn Society Conference in 2015. This summer she will perform and teach at the Music Academy of the West and the Aspen Music Festival.

Since 1999, Hoops served as the Second Hornist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra since 1999.  She has performed with major orchestras across the country, including the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Richmond Symphony, The Grant Park Festival Orchestra, the Fort Wayne Philharmonic and the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra.  

In 2013, she was the first prizewinner on the prestigious International Horn Competition of America. In addition to her duties with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Hoops serves on the music faculty at Southern Methodist University and is a frequent guest clinician at major universities.

The 2016 Mid-South Horn Workshop is sponsored by the Norman Arts Council through the Hotel and Motel Property Tax Fund.  Additional support comes through the International Horn Society and Conn-Selmer Music Instrument Co., and, by the OU School of Music.

For a schedule of events and more information, visit the official workshop website.