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Philip Myers

Philip Myers joined the New York Philharmonic as Principal Horn in January 1980. He made his solo debut during his first month with the Orchestra in the premiere of William Schuman’s Three Colloquies for French Horn and Orchestra, and he has appeared as a Philharmonic soloist on numerous occasions. In October 2012 he performed Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, conducted by Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, and in November 2013 he performed Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings, led by then Music Director Alan Gilbert. Other highlights include Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns, with Lorin Maazel in February 2007 and Kurt Masur in May 2001; Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings led by André Previn in October 2001; and Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat major for Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, and Bassoon in March 2010, led by Alan Gilbert. 

Mr. Myers began his orchestral career in 1971 with a three-year term as principal horn of the Atlantic Symphony in Halifax, Nova Scotia. He was third horn with the Pittsburgh Symphony from 1974 until 1977. As principal horn of the Minnesota Orchestra for a season and a half, he made his solo debut with that ensemble in 1979, performing Richard Strauss’s Horn Concerto No. 1 with Sir Neville Marriner conducting. A native of Elkhart, Indiana, Philip Myers holds two degrees from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh. He plays Engelbert Schmid French horns.

“The best thing about being a musician is the variety of life. Every year is different — in playing the instrument, touring. The job makes it interesting.”

Q&A with Philip Myers
Philip Myers, Principal Horn
The Ruth F. and Alan J. Broder Chair

THE FACTS: Born in Elkhart, Indiana. Bachelor’s degrees in music performance and music education, Carnegie Melon University. Prior to the Philharmonic: Atlantic Symphony (principal horn), Pittsburgh Symphony (third horn), Minnesota Orchestra (principal horn). At the Philharmonic: Joined in 1980 as Principal Horn. Solo debut with the Orchestra: January 1980, World Premiere of William Schuman’s Three Colloquies for French Horn and Orchestra under Zubin Mehta.

MOST RECENT RECORDING: Take 9, an album of horn octets with members of the Philharmonic horn section and the American Horn Quartet (Musicians Showcase)

EARLIEST MUSICAL MEMORY: My father was a band director, and I always listened to the band. I played the piano from age eight until 22, and started the horn at nine. Initially I wanted to play the trombone — I had one at home. Then at school I saw on the list for instrument options “French horn.” It sounded sophisticated and classy — classier than the trombone. The first piece I fell in love with was the Nocturne from Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

HOW MANY INSTRUMENTS DO YOU HAVE? Three or four. At one point I was up to 17 or 18.

WHO WAS YOUR MOST IMPORTANT MUSICAL INFLUENCE? Myron Bloom, who was the first horn player in The Cleveland Orchestra

WERE YOU INVOLVED IN ANY EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES IN HIGH SCHOOL? I was on my high school and college tennis teams. Tennis was my chief hobby. I lost only one singles match in high school and college.

WHAT IS THE BEST THING ABOUT BEING A MUSICIAN? The variety of the life. Every year is different — in playing the instrument, touring. The job makes it interesting.

MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS WITH THE ORCHESTRA: Playing Schumann’s Konzertstück in New York and three times in Europe with Kurt Masur


IF YOU COULD PLAY ANOTHER INSTRUMENT, WHAT WOULD IT BE? The MIDI saxophone, played through synthesizers. I’ve ordered an electronic trumpet, also played on MIDI.

DO YOU PERFORM IN OTHER GROUPS? I enjoy playing chamber music.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO OUTSIDE OF WORK? Tennis. And I love arranging the layout of music, printing out my own parts so that I can see the form of a piece.

WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER RIGHT NOW? My favorite group, the Doobie Brothers

As of June 2006
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