William Purvis, French horn
William Purvis made his debut as soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony at the age of 18, performing the Strauss Second Horn Concerto; today he pursues a multifaceted career as French horn soloist, chamber musician, and conductor. He is a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, Speculum Musicae, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, performing frequently as soloist with both orchestras. Mr. Purvis appears frequently with such organizations as Tanglewood, Aston Magna, the Salzburg Festivbal, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. A frequent performer on "early horns," he has performed and recorded with the original instrument sextet Mozzefgiato and with the Amadeus Winds. Closely identified with the music of our time, Mr. Purvis has had numerous compositions written for him, and has premiered works by such composers as Lieberson, Silver, Babbitt, Carter, Maxwell Davies and Stockhausen. As a conductor Mr. Purvis has recorded works by Carter, Wolpe, Crumb, Hyla, and others. In addition to Stony Brook, Mr. Purvis has taught at Columbia University, the Juilliard School, and the Hochschule fuer Musik in Karlsruhe, Germany.
A native of Western Pennsylvania, William pursues a multi-faceted career both in the United States and abroad as French horn soloist, recitalist, chamber musician, and as conductor. Mr. Purvis is a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and appears frequently as soloist with both orchestras. His numerous festival appearances include Tanglewood, Caramoor, Norfolk, Salzburg, Schleswig-Holstein, Perelada, Huhmo, Kitakyushu, and Hong Kong. He appears frequently with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, and has appeared with the Tokyo, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Fine Arts and Orion String Quartets, In Fall of 1996 he has appeared on tour in Europe and in Carnegie Hall as principal horn of the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in performances of all the Beethoven Symphonies with Nicholas Harnoncourt.
Closely identified with the music of our time, Mr. Purvis has had numerous compositions written for him, and has participated in numerous premieres. In March of 1998 he will perform with Orpheus as soloist in a new concerto composed for him by Peter Lieberson in Carnegie Hall and a tour of the East Coast. As a frequent conductor of the leading chamber ensemble Speculum Musicae, Purvis had performed and recorded many premieres of new compositions. He has conducted Speculum Musicae at Bath Festival for BBC Television, and his recent recordings as conductor include works of Elliot Carter, Stefan Wolpe Hans Abramsen, Geroge Crumb, Stephen Jaffee and Lee Hyla. Other recent guest conducting appearances include the Stony Brook Symphony Orchestra, the St. Luke's Chamber Ensemble and Washington Square Concerts. Other upcoming commissions include Trios for Horn and Chamber Orchestra by Katia Tchemberdji (to be performed at the Midwest Horn Conference, April, 1997) and Bayan Northcott (to be performed in New York with Speculum Musicae in the 1997 - 1998 season.
As hornist, Mr. Purvis has a large number of solo, chamber music and orchestral recordings to his credit, including more than forty recordings with Orpheus for Deutsche Grammaphon, more than forty recordings with the Orchestra of St. Luke's for Telarc and Music Masters, and the New York Woodwind Quintet for Nonesuch, New World Records, Bridge, and Musical Heritage Society. Of his recording of Mozart Concerti #2 and #3 with Orpheus on Deutsche Grammaphon, the Fanfare Magazine reviewer write: "brilliance, solidity, flexibility of line, and generally gorgeous horn playing." Other Chamber music recordings include the Horn Trios of Brahms and Ligeti on Bridge, the Horn Trios of Charles Wuorinen on Koch, and Peter Lieberson's King Gesar with Yo Yo Ma, Peter Serkin and Emmanuel Ax on SONY (which was also recorded for CBC and PBS television in June, 1996.)
A frequent performer on "early" horns, Purvis has recorded with Mozze Fiato, an original instrument wind sextet (SONY) and the Amadeus Winds (Decca), and has toured Japan and Germany with Mozze Fiato.
William Purvis received his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from Haverford College, and is currently on the Faculties of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, Columbia University, the Juilliard School (where he is Coordinator of the New York Woodwind Quintet Chamber Music Seminar), the Norfolk Festival and the Tanglewood Institute.