The Los Angeles Philharmonic held auditions for their vacant third horn chair during the week-and-a-half before Thanksgiving. According to multiple sources, Amy Jo Rhine was appointed to the position.
LA Phil concertgoers may recognize her face, and regular readers of All is Yar will certainly recognize her name: as mentioned in a recent post, Ms. Rhine has been frequently seen playing with the orchestra as guest Associate Principal, guest Assistant, and other spots in the section over the past year or so. No word yet on when she will officially take over the third horn chair.
For those of you thinking that guest musicians are shoe-ins for the regular gig, it’s actually not that common an occurrence. Many horn players have come and gone as non-roster musicians with the orchestra, including Julie Thayer’s multi-year stint as guest fourth horn, and none of them joined the orchestra on a full-time basis. In fact, if my memory serves, the only time in the past twenty years a regular guest musician won an audition in the LA Phil was when John Lofton took over as bass trombone, and it took him two auditions to get the job.
That said, Ms. Rhine has other connections with the orchestra. She is married to Gregory Roosa, the LA Phil’s second horn since 2012, whom she met when both were members of the Colorado Music Festival (CMF) Orchestra — an ensemble where Andrew Bain, the LA Phil’s Principal Horn, also happened to be Principal Horn from 2001 – 2012.
Now before too many eyebrows are raised over these relationships, I should point out that Ms. Rhine’s credentials are quite strong. She joined the CMF Orchestra in 1997 before Messrs. Roosa or Bain, has been the group’s Associate Principal Horn for many years, and has served as their acting Principal since Andrew Bain left. Her playing at the CMF is well-regarded, and after a performance with them as soloist in Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major this past July, a local critic had this to say:
“Sunday’s all-Mozart program centered around the delightful CMF principal horn player, Amy Jo Rhine. Her performance of the lengthiest Mozart horn concerto, K. 495, was full of gorgeous tone and technical artistry. . . . Rhine also deftly wove ‘Happy Birthday’ into her cadenza (apparently a tribute to her father that night), managing to keep it in Mozart’s style.” (Kelly Dean Hansen, Boulder Daily Camera, 07/31/2014)
She was also part of the LA Phil’s horn sections during two of their best performances so far this 2014/15 season: the Mahler 5th Symphony and the Beethoven 3rd Symphony.
Ms. Rhine has strong local connections besides her work with the LA Phil, having studied with James Decker at the USC Thornton School of Music where she earned her Master of Music degree. She also has worked with James Thatcher, legendary Hollywood studio hornist, on his album, Now Playing.
In addition to her appearances with the LA Phil and in Colorado, Ms. Rhine has been an active musician with ensembles all over the country: she is a member of the Memphis-based IRIS Orchestra since 2001, as well as the QUADRE horn quartet since 2008, and she was Principal Horn in the Louisiana Philharmonic and Wichita Symphony, among many other positions. She plays a Geyer model horn by Karl Hill.
Congratulations to Ms. Rhine and to the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
- Comings and goings at the LA Phil (Fall 2014 edition) (UPDATED: Oct 27)
- Results from LA Phil’s recent 2nd Horn audition (June 8, 2012)
Photo credit: Dmitri Von Klein, monovita.com