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It is with very heavy hearts that we announce the passing of former Principal Horn, Howard T. Howard.
In 1962, Howard won the Principal Horn position at the Met, which he played for 46 years, working with the major conductors of the day, Erich Leinsdorf, Carl Böhm, Fritz Reiner, Georg Solti, Herbert von Karajan and James Levine, and renowned opera singers like Luciano Pavarotti. He loved to travel and was delighted when every spring the Met toured the East Coast and occasionally Paris, Japan, Austria and Germany.
Here are some tributes from past and present members of the MET Orchestra horn section:
With the passing of my beloved teacher and colleague, Howard T Howard, I am filled with a grateful heart for all that he taught me.
How lucky was I that Howard was brought into my high school to teach the horns!
All of this started for me at age 14 in Ardsley, NY.
Our weekly lessons filled me with positive feedback and hope and dreams!
I wanted to be just like my teacher and become first horn of The Metropolitan Opera orchestra.
My nights were spent in standing room at the MET, picturing the day when I could join this amazing orchestra. With my opera glasses fixed on the horn section, I imagined myself sitting amongst them!
Our weekly lessons, combined with standing room in the Family Circle, became the corner stone of my life. Howard, there are not enough words to express my gratitude.
Your influence continues to inspire how I teach my students. Your philosophy of “teaching the student to teach themselves” continues to be a wonderful approach to education. I am forever grateful.
Former Principal Horn of the MET Orchestra
University of Southern California faculty
The Juilliard School faculty
On a personal note, when I began my career at the Met at age 22 – Howard showed me the ropes with kindness, and he always had an enthusiastic and upbeat manner about him. Somehow, no matter what we were performing or rehearsing, whether it was Fidelio with the exposed high horn solos, Strauss’ Capriccio or the Ring cycle, Howard never missed an entrance or a note – which is something of an achievement for a horn player. I will remember him and his gentle leadership very fondly.
Barbara Jöstlein Currie, Horn, MET Orchestra