Jack Bryant (Horn ’23) on the Latest Episode of WHYY's "On Stage at Curtis"

“Curtis has been such a great experience for me. I’ve developed so much as a musician and as a horn player and learned so much about orchestral repertoire and how I can improve. All those experiences will hopefully serve me well as I start to play in professional orchestras.” —Jack Bryant

Season 18 of WHYY’s acclaimed On Stage at Curtis series continues with a portrait of alumnus Jack Bryant (’23). The horn player from Atlanta, Georgia, entered Curtis in 2019 and studied with Jeffrey Lang and Jennifer Montone before graduating last spring. Before entering Curtis, he was contracted with the Atlanta Opera and performed with the New World Symphony and Symphony in C. The Curtis graduate now serves as a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, playing in the 27-time GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble’s horn section.

In the episode, Mr. Bryant discusses how he grew up in a musical family. His mother is a professional flutist, his father served as a high school band director, now teaching at a college, and his sister is a pianist. From a young age, it was recommended that he play the horn, and once he picked up the instrument, he never set it down again.

Click HERE to watch the On Stage at Curtis episode, or click the video below. Featured performances include Luigi Cherubini’s Sonata No. 2 in F major and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 2 in E-flat major.

Beyond his musical upbringing, Mr. Bryant discusses the pros and cons of playing the horn. He loves all aspects of traveling with orchestras on tour, visiting new cities, and performing, but notes that horn players have to be careful about their lips. He says it is challenging to play in the morning without a good night’s rest, and eating anything too spicy and biting your tongue or lip by accident can prevent you from performing.

Inspired by legendary horn player Barry Tuckwell, Mr. Bryant grew up listening to his recordings and expressed his admiration for the musician’s technique and how he played with such stylish bravado and confidence. He discusses the different designs of the natural and valve horns, their storied history, and how soloists of the era between 1775 and 1850 were some of the most famous instrumentalists of their time. Mr. Bryant also talks about his distinctive Geyer-style double horn, itself a historical instrument produced by Carl Geyer—a German instrument maker who immigrated to the U.S. in 1904 and designed the configuration of the tubing that has become the standard design—in the mid-1950s.

Portrait photos of Mr. Bryant courtesy of Nichole MCH Photography and Micah Gleason Photography. Performance image of Jack Bryan and Marcus Shaw performing with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra by David DeBalko.

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