Shrewsbury Welcomes Professional Horn Quartet for Schumann's Concertstuck
1st Horn – Richard Lewis
Richard took up the Horn in his home town of Swansea at the age of 14. He studied at Cardiff University with Jim Beck and Trinity College London with Stephen Stirling and Roger Montgomery where he won the Gladys Puttock, Phillip Jones and Grace Wylie prizes.
Since then Richard has enjoyed a varied career as a freelance horn player and teacher. On the modern horn he is a regular guest principal of London Mozart Players, principal of the Armonico Consort and players and also plays with Viva and English Touring Opera. On the natural and baroque horns Richard has recorded for Deutsche Gramaphone with the Gabrieli Consort and Players, BIS for Haydn Sinfonietta Wien and for the BBC in their Discovering Music series of programmes.
As a soloist this is Richard’s ninth performance of the Konzertstuck and his eighth on First horn. Other recent solo performances include Strauss’s 1st and 2nd Concertos, the Gliere concerto, Mozart concertos 2,3 & 4 and last month his first professional engagement as a hosepipe soloist in a concert dedicated to Hoffnung. Next year projects include Richard’s first performance of Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings.
2nd Horn – Jesse Durkan
Born in London in 1976, Jesse Durkan began his musical studies with the piano when he was five years old. He took up the tenor horn when the local music service started free group brass classes at his primary school, and then settled on the French horn at the age of ten at secondary school.
He studied at Trinity College of Music from 1996 to 1998 and also at the Royal College of Music from 2000-2001. He was co-principal horn of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Galicia in Spain from 2003-2004, with whom he twice participated in the Rossini International Opera Festival in Pesaro, Italy.
As a freelance musician, Jesse has worked with various orchestras including the Royal Opera House Orchestra, Ulster Orchestra, Philharmonia, BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Orquesta Sinfonica de Tenerife, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, English National Ballet and London Mozart Players. Most recently he has been principal Horn of the Orquesta Sinfonica de Yucatan in Mexico for the past five years, returning to the UK this past summer to resume a freelance career.
Jesse also studied composition at college, receiving the Chappell Prize for Composition. His own concerto for four horns and orchestra, entitled “Concerquarto”, was performed with the Dorking Philharmonic Orchestra in 2003.
He has recently taken up a new hobby of kickboxing, and is a Real Ale enthusiast.
3rd Horn – Martin Grainger
Martin was born in Stourbridge, and began playing the horn at the age of 8. He continued his studies with Robert Ashworth at the University of York, and later with Julian Baker at the Royal College of Music, where he was awarded the Sir Arthur Somervell and Manns Prize for brass playing.
Since leaving college, Martin has forged a successful and varied career as a freelance horn player and teacher, working amongst others with the London Mozart Players, BBC Concert Orchestra, Royal Opera House, and English National Ballet.
Martin has also performed extensively as chamber musician and soloist, recent concerts including Strauss' 2nd Concerto with Forest Philharmonic, and the Mozart Serenade for 13 Winds with London Mozart Players."
4th Horn – Joe Walters
Joe studied music at King's College, Cambridge during which time he took a sabbatical year in Calcutta learning the tabla with Abhokit Banerjee.
With his Indie hat on Joe was a member of the band Stereolab for five years and went on to form his own folk-pop duo Tea With Jeanie alongside soprano wife Lucy Crowe. This year Joe produced a feature documentary film The Sound of Mumbai which further deepens his twelve year love affair with India.