Associate Professor of Music
James DeCorsey, horn, joined the faculty of the Lawrence Conservatory in 1990, and is on a terminal sabbatical for the 2018-2019 school year. A native of California, he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Stanford University, and later became the first horn player to receive a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from Yale University. Among Mr. DeCorsey's many teachers and mentors, Wendell Hoss, A. David Krehbiel, Anthony Halstead, Paul Ingraham, Arnold Jacobs, and Carmine Caruso have been particularly influential.
Professor DeCorsey has performed throughout the Americas and Europe as soloist, recitalist, orchestral player, chamber musician, and recording artist, with internationally recognized ensembles and conductors. A sampling includes the San Francisco Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Royal Opera, American Symphony, Orpheus, and Musica Sacra, under maestros Georg Solti, Seiji Ozawa, Edo de Waart, Simon Rattle, Norman del Mar, Gunther Herbig, and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos. His eclectic background also includes concert work with popular artists Frank Sinatra, Henry Mancini, Roberta Flack, and numerous Broadway shows, as well as commercial recordings for radio and television.
While living in Great Britain (1976-80), Mr. DeCorsey learned a great deal about horn design and manufacture, working closely with horn makers Robert Paxman and Richard Merewether. Through performances with noted British hornists Anthony Halstead and Michael Thompson, he gained a special appreciation for the British tradition as handed down from Dennis Brain and Alan Civil. He also cultivated an interest in the natural horn and in historical performance practice, through contact with Halstead and Horace Fitzpatrick.
Professor DeCorsey pursues an active career as teacher, clinician, adjudicator, and performer on both modern and historical horns. Since coming to Lawrence, he has been heard as principal horn with the Green Bay Symphony, Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, Green Lake Festival, on Wisconsin Public Radio, and with the Lawrence Brass, Lawrence Wind Quintet, and the Lawrence Chamber Players. His teaching interests include horn, music history, chamber music, brass techniques, and Freshman Studies.
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