Robert Ward has been a part of the Bay Area classical music scene since he joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1980 as Associate Principal Horn and played in the inaugural concert for Davies Symphony Hall. Since September 2007 he has held the position of Principal Horn, and has performed across the United States, Europe and Asia with the San Francisco Symphony while on tour. He can be heard on many of the San Francisco Symphony's CDs, most notably playing solo horn in the San Francisco Symphony's complete Mahler cycle, released on SFS Media, as well as the San Francisco Symphony's Emmy-winning television production of "Sweeney Todd.”
A native of Schenectady, NY, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1977, studying with Robert Fries, and has held two professional positions prior to his current post. He was a member of the Atlantic Symphony of Halifax, Nova Scotia (now known as Symphony Nova Scotia), and also played for one year with the Denver Symphony (now the Colorado Symphony).
“Stopped horn is one of the coloristic effects that we have in our “horn toolbox” that separates us from the other instruments in the brass family. The ability to change tone color instantly has been exploited by countless composers, especially the late Romantics, Impressionists and the more recent. The link to natural horn technique is self-evident. But there are very few exercises devoted to developing this skill.
This collection of 30 Etudes for Stopped Horn presents a variety of challenges for the medium to advanced player. I have included different styles from simple melodies to unmeasured quasi-cadenza, to swing and 12-tone, high and low register passages, and a variety of notations that are commonly used”. - - R.W.
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