About Life in Flow:Flow in Life

Sunday, September 6, 2015

IHS LA, Number 1 Highlight!

The International Horn Symposium in Los Angeles was seven days of highlights, but for me the biggest highlight came on Friday.

Our daughter Jamie had come with us. She and three other DePaul graduates, Renee Vogen, Parker Nelson, and Alex Laskey, competed in the IHS Horn Quartet Competition, non-professional division. They found out on Tuesday of the Symposium that  they tied for first place, which was awesome! The prize was playing a short concert before one of the Symposium programs. On Thursday, they were told that they would open for the Berlin Philharmonic horn quartet the next day! Then if that wasn't exciting enough, the Berliners said they'd like to play a piece with them as part of the recital!

The piece they agreed on was "The Lion Sleeps Tonight," because the DePaul quartet, which goes by the name #Quartet, had that Berlin Phil arrangement in their repertoire. They had a brief run-through with all eight of them at Disney's BP Hall right before the recital. We waited impatiently downstairs in Disney Hall until the ushers let us up the escalator.

BP Hall is in an open area of Disney Hall, tucked in a corner but not walled in. It's a pretty space, but somewhat boomy.

The #Quartet opened with "Chicago." After the applause, an audience member asked, "So who are you?" After a brief chat with the audience, they continued with the Divertimento from Francaix's Nocturno e Divertimento. They finished with the very entertaining "If you were the only girl in the world," by Alan Civil. [Side note: I heard this quartet at the 4th IHS symposium in Bloomington, Indiana, played by Mr. Civil along with Shirley Civil, James Buffington, and, I think, either the 2nd or 4th horn players in Cleveland. Mr. Buffington improvised in the middle and Mr. Civil hammed it up. They had the audience rolling on the floor.)

Then the four of them took their bows and went to sit in the audience while the Berlin quartet performed their recital. The program was taken from their Four Corners collection and included the charming"Sous le Ciel de Paris," and the beautiful "Nessum Dorma." They not only play incredibly well, but they are very entertaining, talking between pieces in a light-hearted way. Before "Sous le Ciel de Paris" each horn player offered his or her favorite part of France:
Sarah: "Fashion!"
Stefan Dohr (patting stomach): "The food!"
Stefan Jezierski: "The wine!"
Andrej Zust: "The ladies."

They finished their program, took their bows and then invited the #Quartet up to play "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" with them. Jamie played first with Stefan Dohr and he graciously told her to take the solos. It was a lively, fun performance. Afterwards, there was much picture taking!

Jamie and Stefan Dohr!

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