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Peter Damm (Horn)

Born: July 27, 1937 - Meiningen, Thuringia, Germany

The German horn player, Peter Damm, began his musical education at the age of 11 with violin lessons. First attempts on a horn followed in 1951 with Franz Nauber in Meiningen. After a short period as a forestry apprentice, he studied horn with Professor Karl Biehlig at the Hochschule für Musik (Conservatoire) in Weimar from December 1951 to 1957.

His first steps in an orchestra Peter Damm made in Bad Berka in October 1953 and at a performance of Engelbert Humperdinck's Hänsel und Gretel on Christmas 1953 in Meiningen. On July 5, 1955 he made his debut as a soloist with W.A. Mozart's Concerto KV 447. In 1957, he began his artistic career as solo hornist at the orchestra of Gera, Thuringia (Orchester der Bühnen der Stadt Gera). In 1959, Peter Damm was engaged as solo hornist of the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, in which he worked as principal horn with Franz Konwitschny, Vaclav Neumann and others until 1969. From 1969 to 2002, he occupied the position of solo hornist at the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden. On his retiring, the orchestra made him an honorary member.

Concert tours as soloist and chamber musician brought Peter Damm to almost every European country as well as to the Americas and Japan. His extensive repertoire of solo works, chamber music and concertos ranges from 18th century works to contemporary music. Thus, he also played in numerous first performances of contemporary works. His work is documented in numerous recordings, including radio productions. He has been described as "legendary" - he is known for both his exceptional abilities as a player, and for his editions of many of the standard works in the horn repertoire, published by Breitkopf. In particular, his recordings of Strauss with the Dresden Staatskapelle are still in demand.

For many years, Peter Damm has been teaching at the Hochschule für Musik "Carl Maria von Weber" in Dresden. He has also taught international master-classes, seminars and workshops in Europe, Japan and North America. Since 1986, he has been president of the International Competition for Wind Instruments in Markneukirchen. He is an honorary member of the International Horn Society and of the Horngesellschaft Bayern. After 56 years, Peter Damm put his horn to a rest in 2007 after the International Horn Symposium's opening concert in La-Chaux-de-Fonds. His motto: "Finish your career as long as people still regret it..."

In 1967, Peter Damm received the title "Kammermusiker", and in 1971 the title of "Kammervirtuose" (both "Kammermusiker" and "Kammervirtuose" are titles conferred on outstanding musicians). For his artistic achievements, he has been honoured with several awards: International Competition Moscow 1957, Silver Medal; International Music Competition of the ARD München 1960, Second Prize; International Competition Prague Spring 1962, First Prize; Art Award of the GDR 1972; National Award of the GDR 1979; Fritz-Busch-Award 1995; Art Award of the City of Dresden 1998.

Source: Peter Damm Website (Last revised: August 30, 2008; © Kühnert & Karich); Wikipedia Website (May 2015); Photo 01: Peter Damm and "Karlchen" (September 1991; © Adolf Clemens); Photo 02: Jan van den Eijnden
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2015)

Peter Damm: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Peter Damm (Official Website) [German/English]
Peter Damm (IHS Online - International Horn Society)

Peter Damm (Wikipedia)

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