AMERICAN HORN QUARTET
Established in 1982 by four Americans who perform in well known European orchestras, the American Horn Quartet enjoys an ever increasing popularity in the brass chamber music world. Its members have won numerous prizes as soloists at international competitions in Europe and North America. In addition, the quartet has won First Prizes at the Phillip Jones International Brass Chamber Music Competition in Barcs, Hungary (1989), the NOTAMUS International Chamber Music Competition in Brussels (1991) and the Seventh Tokyo International Chamber Music Competition (1992). In its 23-year history the American Horn Quartet has performed extensively throughout Europe, Scandinavia, Japan, Hong Kong, China, Australia, Canada and the United States. Their performances have been the highlight at numerous chamber music festivals and brass workshops around the world. The National Endowment of the Arts has recognized and supported the accomplishments of the Quartet by making them 1994 chamber music grant recipients. Unique in the field of chamber music performance, the American Horn Quartet offers an intriguing repertoire which includes not only traditional works for horn, but imaginative arrangements of works of diverse genres as well as prize-winning original compositions by members of the Quartet itself. The result is a refreshing new realisation of the possibilities of horn performance. The ensemble continues to record concerts for live radio and television broadcast and has produced eight compact discs which have received enthusiastic reviews. The American Record Guide recently described the AHQ as 'the finest brass chamber ensemble in the world'.
A native of Texas, Kerry Turner studied horn and composition at Baylor University and graduated from the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Upon receiving a Fulbright Scholarship Award he moved to Europe to study the horn with Hermann Baumann. Since then he has held the position of principal horn of the Gürzenich Orchestra of Cologne and associate principal and third horn of the Luxemburg Philharmonic. Shortly after joining the American Horn Quartet he was awarded the Third Prize and Bronze Medal at the 1987 Prague Spring International Horn Competition. Since then he has been heard as soloist with orchestras such as the Orchestra of Radio-Tele-Luxembourg, Saarbrucken Radio Orchestra, South-West German Philharmonie, Munich Bach Orchestra and Ensemble Modern of Frankfurt, in addition to appearances as a recitalist and chamber musician throughout the world. Kerry Turner is also an accomplished composer. He has been awarded top prizes by the International Horn Society and has been commissioned by several leading organizations. His works have been enthusiastically received in several of the great cultural centres of the world, including New York, London, Brussels, Munich, Paris, Tokyo and Chicago.
Charles Putnam is currently a member of the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn, Germany. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 1956, and attended the University of Florida (studying with Reid Poole) and Florida State University (studying horn with William Capps) where he received a Bachelor of Music Education degree. After completing his degree, he was engaged by the Florida Orchestra in Tampa as assistant first horn. Soon after, he won the principal horn position in the Israel Sinfonietta Chamber orchestra in Beer Sheva, Israel. This experience in the Middle East was followed by the offer for a position as second horn in Florence, Italy, with the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. After completing his second season in Florence, he left for Germany where he first joined the Gelsenkirchen Philharmonic, after which, in 1986, he won his current position as second horn with the Orchestra of the Beethovenhalle Bonn. As well as his orchestra work and intensive involvement with the American Horn Quartet, he is also active with the natural horn. He has toured internationally and recorded frequently with many European baroque orchestras, most notably, Musica Antiqua Koln.
David Johnson, Licentiate of the Royal Academy of Music in London, is currently teaching horn at the Music Conservatories in Wintherthur and Lugano, in Switzerland. From 1989 to 2003, he was the principal horn of the Berne Symphony Orchestra. He has held principal horn positions with the Boston Opera, Hanover Opera, Radio Symphony Orchestra Basle, and the Philharmonia Hungarica, and has been honoured with several prizes at various international solo and chamber music competitions, including winner of the Geneva International Competition for Horn in 1985.
Geoffrey Winter is principal horn of the Orchestra of the Beethoven Orchestra Bonn. He has won solo prizes at the International Horn Competition in Markneukirchen (1988) and at the ARD Music Competition in Munich (1988). He began playing the horn at the age of seven, and studied with such leading players as Vince Derosa, James Decker and Christopher Leuba. After holding the position of principal horn in the Municipal Symphonic Orchestra of Caracas, Venezuela, he moved to Europe after being engaged as third horn with the Philharmonia Hungarica in Marl, West Germany. His previous experience also includes many years in brass chamber music ensembles such as the Philharmonic Brass Quintet (Dusseldorf) and the Zephyr Brass Quintet.