Welcome to "Meet the Musician," a behind-the-scenes blog series getting to know the Houston Symphony's exceptional musicians. In this series, we take you up close and personal with the artists who sit on stage at Jones Hall every weekend. Read on to learn more about the inspirations, challenges, and musical passions that drive these remarkable artists. And, of course, you'll learn some fun facts along the way! Dive in and help us celebrate the diverse stories and experiences that make each musician an integral part of our symphonic family.
Name: Brian Mangrum
Position: Third Horn
Hometown: Montreal, Quebec
Tell us a little about yourself.
Hello! I’m thrilled to be joining the Houston Symphony as Third Horn. It’s an honor to follow in the footsteps of Nancy Goodearl in this position, and I’m excited to be a member of this tremendous horn section. Previously, I served five seasons as Principal Horn of the Columbus Symphony, and before that, I was completing my bachelor’s degree at Rice University. It’s great to be back in Houston!
How long have you been playing your instrument, and what do you love the most about it?
I started playing horn when I was twelve, and what initially attracted me was its rich, beautiful sound. I think the horn has, as a default, a noble character and I love playing with the wide variety of timbre achievable on the instrument.
How did you get started playing your instrument?
Actually, I started off at age four on violin. In the summer before sixth grade, my chamber ensemble coach at music camp was a horn player. I heard him perform at a faculty concert and the next day, I requested to try his horn. He humored me, and an hour later I’d decided to become a professional horn player.
What concert are you looking forward to performing in the most this season?
Strauss’s Salome in Concert.
What is your favorite piece of music?
Outside of classical music, what genre of music is your favorite?
These days, I’ve been listening to a lot of Bob Dylan.
What do you love the most about Houston?
Having recently moved from Ohio, I’m appreciating the hustle & bustle of the city. I love the energy, the cultural scene, and the great food of Houston.
What's a fun fact about you that you would like our patrons to know.
I am a fairly skilled home cook.
If you could choose any three people, living or deceased, to have dinner with who would they be and what would you eat/where would you have dinner?
I’d host a cook-off between Paul Prudhomme, Samin Nosrat & Julia Child.