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Whilst growing up on the family farm out near Orange in New South Wales, Robert began studying the horn with Campbell Barnes. High school was followed by a Bachelor of Music degree in horn performance and Honours year at The University of Newcastle studying with Geoffrey O’Reilly, then a Masters of Music from Baylor University in Waco, Texas with Jeffrey Powers. He continues to perform regularly in solo, chamber and orchestral settings whilst working on the PhD in Hobart at the University of Tasmania.
Research: Historical Developments in Writing for Low Horn
Playing in the lower register forms a vital part of every horn player’s skill set, however the fact that it is no longer considered a specialised skill has led to it becoming a neglected facet in both the practice and teaching of many students. There are significant benefits to low register work on the horn, as well as many challenges. The rapid arpeggiated passages and wide register leaps typical of traditional ‘cor basse’ writing from the eighteenth century remain difficult today, even with the addition of valves and the invention of the double horn. Through researching the history and development of the horn, this project will add valuable teaching resources and solo repertoire options for the modern ‘cor basse’ player to the relatively small number of accepted materials currently in use, with the hope that they will attract more frequent performance and a more widespread appreciation of the skills required in the lower register.
Supervisors: Dr Anne-Marie Forbes and Dr Heather Monkhouse
Authorised by the Head of School, Tasmanian College of the Arts
5 February, 2013