Philadelphia Orchestra Names Principal Horn, in Another Milestone for Women

Classic Arts News   Philadelphia Orchestra Names Principal Horn, in Another Milestone for Women
Jennifer Montone, 29, has been appointed principal horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra, the orchestra announced.

She comes to Philadelphia from the Saint Louis Symphony, which she joined as principal horn in 2003. She was formerly associate principal horn of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra.

Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Montone began playing the horn at age 10. She received a bachelor's degree from Juilliard, where she studied with Julie Landsman, a principal horn at the Metropolitan Opera. Montone has performed with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, with whom she was awarded the position of third horn while still studying at Juilliard. She is a faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Montone is the first woman principal horn in one of the major "Big Five" orchestras in nearly six decades. Montone joins principal tuba player Carol Jantsch, another recent appointment to the Philadelphia Orchestra and the only female tuba player in a major American orchestra.

Landsman, Montone's teacher, told the paper, "When I joined the Met orchestra 20 years ago, I was the first woman in the brass section. Since that time three of my female students have won [auditions]... and we now have four women in the brass section. So my hat's off to [Philadelphia Orchestra music director] Christoph Eschenbach—go for it. He's not going to be sorry."

Speaking about the scarcity of women in brass sections, Montone told the paper, "It probably just has to do with this slow turnover rate with orchestras in general. People successfully hold posts for a very long time."

Montone's contract and start date are still being negotiated.

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