Classical Tahoe horn quartet for Robert Schumann's Konzertstück in F major for 4 horns and orchestra. Performance on July 22, 2023.

Mark Almond, horn

Mark Almond joined the San Francisco Opera Orchestra as Co-Principal French Horn in 2016. Mark grew up in Bolton, England and was taught primarily by Christopher Wormald, his local high school music teacher. After becoming principal horn of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain and the European Union Youth Orchestra he studied medicine at Cambridge and Oxford Universities. During this time he performed in the televised finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition and the Shell London Symphony Orchestra Scholarship, winning the Silver medal. He has also been a finalist in the Paxman International Horn and Philip Jones International Brass competitions.

Whilst at medical school he made his professional debut with the London Symphony Orchestra (aged 19) and was later appointed 3rd Horn with the Philharmonia Orchestra of London. He has since played guest principal with the Philharmonia, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, London Chamber Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra and BBC National Orchestra of Wales. Highlights have included playing guest principal horn with the Philharmonia in Bruckner’s Fourth Symphony at Carnegie Hall under Christoph von Dohnanyi.

Mark is active as a soloist and chamber musician and has performed the Franz Strauss Concerto with the London Symphony Orchestra, Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4 with the Hallé Orchestra and Richard Strauss’ Concerto No.2 with Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.  He can be heard on numerous movie soundtracks, including ‘Avengers: Age of Ultron’, ‘Antman’, ‘Chicago’, ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince’ amongst others.  In addition to playing the horn Mark is an experienced pulmonologist and general internal medicine physician and has recently been awarded a PhD in immunology and virology from Imperial College, London.

Jennifer Montone, horn

Jennifer Montone joined The Philadelphia Orchestra as principal horn in 2006, and is currently on the faculties of The Curtis Institute of Music and The Juilliard School. She was formerly the principal horn of the Saint Louis Symphony, associate principal horn of the Dallas Symphony, third horn of the New Jersey Symphony. and performer/faculty at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Named the Paxman Young Horn Player of the Year in London in 1996, she has since won many solo competitions and awards, including an Avery Fisher Career Grant in 2006 and a 2013 Grammy Award for her recording of Penderecki’s Horn Concerto entitledWinterreise. She has performed with the Berlin Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Cleveland Orchestra, WDR Cologne, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.  She performs regularly at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Classical Tahoe, La Jolla SummerFest, Strings Festival, and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and is a regular visiting coach at the New World Symphony.  A native of northern Virginia, Ms. Montone was in the National Symphony Fellowship Program, where she studied with Edwin Thayer, was a fellow of the Tanglewood Music Center, and attended the Marlboro Music Festival. She is a graduate of The Juilliard School as a student of Julie Landsman.

Erik Ralske, horn

Erik Ralske was appointed by Maestro James Levine as Principal Horn of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra beginning with the 2010-2011 season. On July 6, 2010 he was featured in a front-page article in the New York Times for having won both the Met Opera position and the Los Angeles Philharmonic Principal Horn position in the same week!

Prior to joining the Met, he was a member of the New York Philharmonic for 17 seasons–11 years as Third Horn and 6 years as Acting Associate Principal Horn. During his tenure with the New York Philharmonic, Mr. Ralske was a soloist with the orchestra over a dozen times in New York, as well as on tour in Europe and South America with former Music Directors Kurt Masur and Lorin Maazel. Other previous orchestra positions include Associate Principal Horn with the Houston Symphony Orchestra and Principal Horn with the Vancouver and Florida Symphony Orchestras.

Mr. Ralske has always been in demand for solo and master class appearances, not only throughout North America, but also in Asia, Europe and South America. In recent years, he has played solo recitals in New York, Los Angeles, Kansas, Tokyo (at the invitation of the Japan Horn Society), Taipei, and Kaoshiung. During the same period, he led master classes at Juilliard, Showa University (Tokyo), Columbus State University, Dohai University (Taipei), University of Western Michigan, and University of Kansas. Mr. Ralske has been a featured artist at renowned summer music festivals in Aspen, La Jolla, Bridgehampton, Vancouver, Seattle and Lake Tahoe. This summer in Lake Tahoe, he will join one of the star tenors of the Met Opera, Matthew Polenzani, in a performance of Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and String Orchestra.

Erik Ralske has long been active in the recording industry, having performed on many movie soundtracks–from “Platoon” (1986), to many recent releases, such as “Moonrise Kingdom” (2012). His 2011 live performance of Siegfried’s Horn Call is available on iTunes as a Met Opera “Ring” Tone.

Currently, he is on the faculty of the Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, and Mannes College of Music. He received both his Bachelor of Music and Master of Music degrees from the Juilliard School. His primary teachers were Ranier DeIntinis, John Cerminaro and Myron Bloom.

Stewart Rose, horn

Praised by The New Yorker for his “forceful yet elegant virtuosity” French hornist Stewart Rose is one of the preeminent horn players of his generation. He is currently performing as a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra horn section and in recent seasons was acting principal with New York City Ballet Orchestra and prior to that, acting associate principal with the New York Philharmonic for two years. He has been guest principal with Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and Saito Kinen Orchestra. He has appeared at the Marlboro, Tanglewood, Mostly Mozart, Spoleto, Edinburgh, Chesapeake Music, and Bridgehampton festivals and is a frequent guest with Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A native New Yorker, he began playing with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in the 1980s and has been principal horn with Orchestra of St. Luke’s since its inception. He also
served as principal horn with New York City Opera at Lincoln Center for 25
years. Mr. Rose’s first solo recording, From the Forest, a collection of early
classical works for horn and orchestra by Haydn, Telemann, Leopold Mozart, and Christoph Forster with St. Luke’s Chamber Ensemble, was released on St. Luke’s Collection to great critical acclaim. The New York Times noted Stewart Rose for his “remarkable virtuosity, agility and fluency, and his ability to retain the horn’s cheery rusticity.”