Essex Symphony Orchestra Reg. Charity No. 1000732

Site last updated on 15 May 2020

Spotlight on …

Haydn Oakey, Principal Horn, ESO

I think it’s fair to say that my reason for taking up the horn at school was that there simply weren’t enough trumpets to go round! However, it didn’t take me long to realise its special qualities and to be very happy about how things had turned out. At that time, the horn and I were fairly evenly matched in size, but it’s a bit more manageable now.

When I began, I hadn’t realised that the horn has a lot of historical baggage, meaning you can’t just play the notes but often have to transpose them up or down (seemingly at the whim of the composer!).  The range of notes you can get without even pressing a valve key means you have to hear a note in your head first and then pucker up and try to get your lips produce it.  Forty-five years later I still enjoy the challenges of doing this within the Essex Symphony Orchestra.

Spotlight on ...Haydn Oakey