Obituary: Jay Wadenpfuhl, 60, longtime BSO horn player and NEC faculty member

Posted on: June 25, 2010

“Jay Wadenpfuhl, a member of the Boston Symphony Orchestra horn section for 29 years, died Saturday after a long illness,” writes Jeremy Eichler in Thursday’s (6/24) Boston Globe. “He was 60 and died in Cambridge Hospital, according to his wife, Michelle Perry of Boston. Mr. Wadenpfuhl played third horn in the BSO and taught at New England Conservatory and Boston University.” Wadenpfuhl was on the New England Conservatory faculty for 23 years. “ ‘He was a brilliant horn player,’ said Richard Sebring, the BSO’s associate principal horn. ‘[He] knew no bounds in heroic passages, while playing with exquisite beauty in the softer lyrical solos, exposing his sensitive, delicate soul.’ … Mr. Wadenpfuhl grew up in a musical family in Kirbyville, Texas. His father was a band director, his mother a piano teacher and choir director. By age 15, Mr. Wadenpfuhl was already performing with professional ensembles. He went on to study horn at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and played in the US Army Band, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra, and the National Symphony Orchestra before joining the BSO in 1981.… The composer William Thomas McKinley wrote the ‘Huntington’ Horn Concerto for Mr. Wadenpfuhl, who gave the premiere in 1989 with the Boston Pops under John Williams. ‘He was just fantastic,’ said Mr. McKinley. ‘He was one of the great horn players, in Boston, and worldwide.’ ”

Posted June 25, 2010