Hello and welcome to my website. My name’s Richard and I’m a horn player, teacher and writer. I’m currently Principal Horn of the National Symphony Orchestra, UK, and often find myself in various concert halls and recording studios in London.
The bulk of my current work, however, consists of being an educator by day and West End musician by night, where I’ve worked on over 30 productions, including a twelve-year run in Phantom of the Opera. My education work ranges from teaching beginner junior school children to guest lecturing at the Royal Academy of Music on their LRAM teaching course.
I’m the editor of the British Horn Society’s magazine, The Horn Player, and contribute to other publications, including Music Teacher magazine. When theatres shut in March 2020 I found myself with free evenings for the first time in 20 years. This gave me the opportunity to start my debut book, Don’t Fear the Horn, published in March 2023.
DON'T FEAR THE HORN
Don’t Fear the Horn: A comprehensive guide to the French horn for all brass players and teachers
'Wow, what a terrific book! I have long thought something like this would be a godsend to non specialist teachers; I even thought of having a go myself. So glad I didn’t; it wouldn’t have been half as good as this. Bravo!'
Michael Thompson, Aubrey Brain Chair of Horn, Royal Academy of Music; former Principal Horn Philharmonia Orchestra; Principal Horn Emeritus London Sinfonietta
'What a wonderful initiative – us horn players have hidden behind our reputation of being a ‘difficult’ instrument for way too long, and now Richard goes ahead and reveals so many of our secrets in such a clear and logical way, totally dispelling this myth!
I’m certain that such an eloquent and authoritative manual will be a real asset for any general brass players grappling with the thorny issue of teaching the horn and I would also certainly recommend it to all horn specialists as it contains so many gems for us as well.'
Anneke Scott, international historical-horn player
'Don’t Fear the Horn is an exceptionally informative and helpful book: it de-mystifies the complicated evolution and performing conventions of the instrument, and in wonderfully clear and succinct language. Highly recommended!'
Amos Miller, Head of Brass, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire; Principal Trombone, Royal Ballet Sinfonia
'It can’t be that hard’, I once said to the Head of Music on being asked to include the French horn in my teaching day. It didn’t take long for me to realise that there were fundamental nuggets of knowledge missing from my teaching expertise and a wariness of the unknown.
Don’t Fear the Horn succeeds in plugging these gaps, offering an armoury of explanations from transposition tips to holding the instrument and the position of the right hand. Topics such as which horn to start on and a child’s progression through different instruments are addressed clearly and are easy to understand.
I wish I’d had a book like this to help me when I started teaching. Thanks Richard.'
John Hutchins, Director of Junior Academy and Director of LRAM, Royal Academy of Music