Oregon Symphony


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Musician Moment

John Cox

Principal Horn

At this very moment …

we would find John helping Associate Principal Horn Joe Berger remodel his kitchen. John has always enjoyed working with his hands. “It’s just something I’m good at. I do all my own car repair, too.”

On the CD player …

John admits he doesn’t listen to CDs much because he spent so many years listening as a student. “I like to keep my ears clean and clear of musical influences. I’m being bombarded by music so much it’s hard to pick and choose.” However, when pressed, John confesses to enjoying “Tenacious D” with Jack Black (from the movie “School of Rock”). “The album is hilarious and the music is really good.”

In the kitchen …

John and his wife Bonnie share the cooking duties in their home. When it’s John’s turn he enjoys making Italian food, especially chicken cacciatore, lasagnas and eggplant parmesan.

On the music stand …

John is working on the Mozart Horn Concerto No. 4, which he’ll perform with the Symphony on March 13, 14 and 15. “Horn players are extremely lucky to have the four concertos by Mozart. It’s the only wind instrument he wrote that many concertos for.” John also continues to practice technical exercises for the horn, including the Kopprasch studies, Maxime-Alphonse études and Arben’s trumpet studies for horn. “Playing the horn is mostly about musicianship and target practice. For horn players, the target is about four times further away than other brass instruments, because the French horn is so long,” he explains.

And on the nightstand …

John’s literary tastes range from the escapist to the purely practical. Right now he’s reading “The Pern Series” by Anne McCaffrey, “Great Presidential Wit” by Bob Dole (Dole says of it, “I wish I was in the book”), “Guide to Grant Proposal Writing” and various car repair magazines.

Before you left …

you’d have to meet John’s 8-year-old Dalmatian, Polka-Dot, who still acts like a puppy and would make sure you paid her the proper amount of attention. “She’d be all over you; she’s a very affection-needy dog.”

Posted 2004
John Cox

Principal Horn John Cox joined the Symphony in the fall of 1982 and became Principal Horn in 1984. He also appears with Chamber Music Northwest, the Mainly Mozart Festival in San Diego, is Principal Horn of the Cascade Music Festival in Bend and in December 2002 was invited to perform the Brandenburg Concertos with the Chamber Music Society at Lincoln Center in New York. Cox has released two solo CDs with the Centaur Label, one of which was hailed by critics as “one of the best chamber music releases of 1992.” In addition to his busy performance schedule, Cox is a horn instructor at the University of Portland..

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