La Scena Musicale, 2012

Changes in DSO Horn Section?
The latest changes in the [Dallas Symphony Orchestra] under van Zweden were in the afore-mentioned horn section. Earlier this season it was announced that longtime principal horn Gregory Hustis would be stepping down. The DSO is currently looking for a replacement and for the Fidelio performances invited Jonathan Boen, principal horn in the Chicago Lyric Opera Orchestra, to sit in as a guest, and presumably as a possible successor to Hustis.

Whatever the explanation, the horn section has never sounded better. The playing of each of the five was virtually flawless. There were no cracked notes or kicksing, as they call it in Vienna. This was some of the most glorious horn ensemble playing I have ever heard. There was power but there was also one perfectly-tuned chord after another, and the horn sound was golden and pure.

I have no idea whether Jonathan Boen is the man to lead the DSO horn section in the future, but under his leadership, and with van Zweden’s encouragement, each member of the section responded in this performance with thorough preparation and superb execution. For the record, the players were Jonathan Boen, Haley Hoops, David Cooper, Paul Capehart and Evan Mino.

Paul Robinson