AIMS Wind Academy

Eric Terwilliger

French Horn

Former Principal of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra

Former Professor of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München

AIMS Academy 07-14/08/2020

(Foto Ingrid Theis)

  • Individual master classes for French horn
  • Audition training
  • French horn and natural horn lessons with AIMS professor Javier Bonet (optional)
  • Opportunities to perform on stage as a soloist or in chamber groups
  • Chance to enter the AIMS Concerto-Competition
  • Selected students will experience the Festival Orchestra with maestro Riccardo Frizza

Eric Terwilliger was born in Indiana, USA in 1954. His musical talent was recognized at an early age. By the time he was six years old he played the trumpet, piano and guitar.

He began performing as a trumpet soloist when he was 10 and started playing jazz, blues and popular music on the guitar when he was 12. At the age of fifteen he switched from trumpet to horn.

From 1972-75 he attended the Indiana University School of Music where he studied horn with Philip Farkas and Ethel Merker. During this time, he also continued to play pop music and played with The Carpenters and Barry White in Chicago in 1974.

In April 1975 Eric Terwilliger decided to focus on classical music and moved to Europe to study with Michael Höltzel im Detmold and the Mozarteum in Salzburg. His career as an orchestral musician began in September 1975 with a position as principal horn in Staats­theater Kassel, Germany.

In 1976 he won the silver medal in the Geneva Inter­na­tional Music Compe­tition and the first prize in the Inter­na­tional Compe­tition for horn in Liége, Belgium on 1981.

Eric Terwilliger became principal horn in the Munich Philharmonic in 1976 where he remained until 2007. He can be heard with this orchestra on the recordings of Sergiu Celibidache on EMI, Gunter Wand on Hännsler and Christian Thielemann on Deutsche Grammophone. The Symphony orchestra of the Bavarian Radio invited him to change his position in 2006. He is principal horn in this orchestra from 2007 to this day. Recordings with prominent conductors such as Mariss Jansons, Simon Rattle, Ricardo Muti, Andris Nelsons and Yannick Nezet-Seguin have been released on the BR label.

Eric Terwilliger began playing guest principal horn with the Berlin Philharmonic in 1986. He has performed with this orchestra in Europe, Asia and North America. Numerous concerts on the Digital Concert Hall of The Berlin Philharmonic bear witness to his prowess as one of the leading horn players of his generation.

Eric Terwilliger is the only horn player to have performed in Carnegie Hall in New York and the Musik­verein in Vienna with the Vienna Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Munich Philharmonic and the Symphony Orchestra of the Bavarian Radio under the batons of Claudio Abbado, Sergiu Celibidache, Sir Simon Rattle, Lorin Maazel, James Levine and Mariss Jansons.

The career of Eric Terwilliger as a chamber musician began in 1976 with the Münchner Philharmonische Solisten. He played over one hundred perfor­mances of the Schubert Octet and Beethoven Septet and performed exten­sively in Europe and Asia with this ensemble. In 1991 Gerhard Hetzel, the concert master of the Vienna Philharmonic invited him to become a member of the Vienna Chamber Ensemble. He performed regularly in the Salzburg, Luzerne and Ravenna festivals, toured Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand and played on numerous recordings with this group until 2009.

Eric Terwilliger became a professor for horn at the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, Germany in 1995. In 1998 he changed his teaching position to the Richard Strauss Conservatory of Munich, Germany and in 2007 accepted a position as professor for horn at the Hochschule for Musik und Theater in Munich. He has done numerous master­classes for horn in Europe, Asia, north and South America. As a guest professor he has taught at many different institutions worldwide including the Salzburg Mozarteum, Conservatoire de Paris, University of Cambridge, Toho Gakuen School of Music in Tokyo and the Juilliard School in New York.