Essex Symphony Orchestra Reg. Charity No. 1000732

Site last updated on 01 Oct 2018

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Spotlight on …

Spotlight on Ian Granger - Horn

My first ‘wow’ musical moment came after attending a BBC Prom with my father to hear Alan Civil playing Mozart's 4th Horn Concerto with Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Otto Klemperer. I told my dad I wanted to play one of those ‘shiny curly things’ and so I was bought a French Horn. Once I’d started to play I began to find out about other star horn players. My Horn Hero became Barry Tuckwell – I loved his no nonsense approach to the thing.

I had lessons at school and at the Redbridge Music School. After playing for only a year I played Mozart's 3rd Horn Concerto at our school Christmas concert, followed by induction into the Music School Intermediate Orchestra. My rise to fame was meteoric (!) and I soon progressed to the Senior Orchestra and the Redbridge Youth Orchestra, which met twice a year. The Easter course at Aldeburgh in Suffolk was a total immersion in music and  finished with a concert performance at Snape Maltings – pretty inspiring stuff for we musical teenagers. Many of my friends became professional musicians - LSO, Royal Liverpool Phil, Scottish Opera and The Royal Opera House. The Redbridge Music School certainly was an inspiring place to be for a young French Horn player and served as a wonderful foundation to my musical life. I made the decision not to pursue a career in music per se but remained a player, some years later attending Guildhall School of Music as a part time mature student. Lessons at GSMD with Tony Halstead helped to consolidate my good habits - and hopefully reduced some of the bad ones!

I’ve been in the Essex Symphony Orchestra for nearly 14 years. I also play in the London Lawyer's Symphony Orchestra. I have wide musical tastes although horns seem to feature in most pieces. My favourite composers would have to be Richard Strauss, Wagner, Bruckner and Mahler – all the late romantics. I have a passion for classical music and am a real ‘anorak’ collector of my favourite works; I enjoy comparing versions of each (I have over 2,500 CDs!). I’ve enjoyed attending many classical music concerts, including in Berlin – something of a pilgrimage for someone with as many yellow topped LPs (Deutsche Grammophon) as I have. Recently I’ve branched out and listened to some jazz Proms (Lincoln Centre Jazz Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis) and have also been to Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club staying awake until 2 am – such is the power and pull of music. Ever since my father took me to the Promenade concerts all those years ago music has been a very important part of my life and I really couldn’t imagine living without it.