Russell Rybicki

Northwestern MM’16 

I was lucky enough to study and work with Jon during my formative years as a musician. I could not have predicted how meaningful his unparalleled combination of crystal clear instruction, world class musicianship, his genuine kindness, and his endless knowledge of how to make the horn sing would be to me. I could not be more grateful for his commitment to having me as a student – once I graduated, I have always been welcomed back if I need him to hear me. All of his ideas are catered to suit each student, and each lesson felt like a miniature adventure of how to make my musicianship as simple and efficient as possible. His ability to not only demonstrate his efficient, effortless, vocal-like, resonant, colorful, easy sound in any context, but also to concisely articulate in words how he has developed that approach, is something I’m confident is rare to find anywhere in the world. He radiates such a positive energy, and I feel I’ve shared just as many laughs and smiles with him as insightful anecdotes- especially his peanut butter and strawberry sandwiches, a revelation! His ease of playing the horn complements his approachable and welcoming demeanor in life. I will never forget how simple he made everything sound, and as long as I follow that efficient process he helped to guide me toward, and believe and trust in that process, I know I will get where I need to go. Jonathan Boen is one of the best pedagogues and musicians on the horn in the world, and I am so grateful to have been under his guidance.