Carolyn Hove
1958 –  Class of 2012  Musician
Carolyn Hove is solo English horn for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra, a position she has held since 1988.  Born in Oak Park, Illinois, on February 8, 1958, Carolyn was raised in Elgin, Illinois.  She actually began her professional career while only a sophomore in high school, when she won a competition and got to perform the Haydn Oboe Concerto in C Major with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra (ESO).

She’s come a long way since then.  According to Jim Svejda, KUSC Radio, 2011, “Carolyn Hove, solo English horn of the Los Angeles Philharmonic is probably the greatest English hornist in the world today.”

 “My parents were instrumental in music in Elgin,” Carolyn noted, “and understood the importance of strong arts programs at an early age.”  Her father, George, was a middle school band director and went on to be director of music for the Elgin school district.  Her mother, Jean, was a music teacher and co-founder, with Douglas Steensland, of the ESO, where she played violin and viola. (Douglas Steensland was a 2006 Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame inductee.)

Carolyn also credits Grover Schiltz, solo English horn player with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) from 1964 to 2005, and a charter inductee to the Fox Valley Arts Hall of Fame in 2002, for inspiring her to tackle this difficult instrument.  “Grover…was my teacher, mentor, colleague and dear friend…without his guidance and support, it would have been impossible for me to achieve my dream of becoming a member of a top major symphony orchestra,” Carolyn stated the evening of her own induction in 2012.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree from Oberlin College Conservatory of Music, Carolyn returned to the Chicago area and took the position of principal oboe for the ESO until 1986.  During the 1980s, she performed with many groups in the Chicago area, including Music of the Baroque, Chicago Opera Theatre, the CSO, the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra, the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Joffrey Ballet, and the Contemporary Chamber Players of the University of Chicago, in addition to others.

Carolyn served on the faculty at Elmhurst College and Northern Illinois University before leaving the area in 1986 to play with the San Antonio Symphony.  After that came Los Angeles.  She was invited back to Elgin in 1987 to perform Mozart’s Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra in C Major as a guest artist with the ESO.

Crystal Records released her three solo CDs: 20th Century Music for English Horn and Oboe (1996), Ascending to Superlatives (2000), and Eclecticism (2011).  All three CDs received rave reviews, including this assessment for the most recent recording:  “From start to finish, the program is imaginative and impressive; but most important, her playing is exemplary and enjoyable.  Few come close to the sound, tone, control, and technique that she has on the English horn.” (Schwartz)

Carolyn has arranged pieces by Beethoven and Ravel for English horn and piano, lectured at leading music schools throughout the U.S. such as the University of Texas, Ithaca College and the Music Academy of the West; in Canada at The Banff Centre; and in Europe, including the Royal Academy of Music in London and the Royal Northern College of Music.  She has performed original works written for her by contemporary composers and recorded with Sir Andre Previn and Esa-Pekka Salonen.  She has also recorded on iTunes.

In 1993, she performed the U.S. premiere of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s Second Meeting for oboe and piano.  In 1995, she performed another U.S. premiere of Salonen’s work, Mimo II for oboe and orchestra.  In 1999, she performed to critical acclaim, the world premiere of William Krafts’s Encounters XI: The Demisse of Suriyodhaya for English horn and percussion, which was followed by a repeat performance in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center in New York City.  In 2003, she performed the world premiere of William Kraft’s Concerto for English horn and orchestra, a work commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and written expressly for Ms. Hove.

Carolyn has appeared as a soloist in numerous venues, including a recital for the Dame Myra Hess Concert Series in Chicago.  She has conducted English horn master classes annually since 2005 at Brigham Young University in Utah, Ball State University in Indiana, and Columbus State University in Georgia.  She has served on the adjunct faculty at California State University and Northern Illinois University.

Featured in international music publications and seminars around the world, Carolyn is much in demand as the leading expert in her field.  Testament to that expertise has been her service on the Executive Committee of the International Double Reed Society.

At home today in Altadena, California, Carolyn Hove continues to be a tireless advocate to bring the English horn to a position of prominence as a solo instrument.

Learn more about Carolyn Hove and her music at www.carolynhovemusic.com
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 Principal English horn for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orc