Sarah Willis talks to Stefan Dohr on In Conversation


By Christopher McLeod

Interviewer Sarah Willis sits down to chat with the principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic: Stefan Dohr. She learns that Horns are good for more than keeping hands warm.

Stefan Dohr is the king of horn. The principal horn of the Berlin Philharmonic sits down in conversation for an interview through the digital concert hall with Sarah Willis. Willis, who is also a member of the same horn section provides an interesting, and often probing look into the man, player, and musician who is Stefan Dohr.

Early on, Willis makes a reference to Dohr being the Michael Jackson of the horn (“King of Pop, King of Horn.”). The jesting of Willis towards Dohr shows a familiarity between the two. At moments the interview is almost like a friendly conversation.

But, we are given a deep insight into the twenty-year-old Dohr. Before the fame and principal horn job, there was a young man who was close to being written off by his then horn teacher. Dohr elaborates on his constant quest to improve technique and playing ability.

For a man held so highly in regard by many in the classical music world, there is a softer, yet funnier side. Informatively we learn that the liquid that horn players empty out of their instruments is in fact, condensation and not spit. “I would dry out if I were to spit two liters during a concert.”

More importantly, we see a glimpse into the world of a musician. We are treated to two colleagues, who are masters of their craft. There is more to playing the Toshio Hosokawa horn concerto than meets the eye. And that challenge, is music to the ears.

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