The Kennedy Center

Edwin C. Thayer


Edwin C. Thayer, hornist, whose more familiar name is Ted, is a native of Weymouth, Massachusetts, where he began his musical career on piano at an early age. He studied horn with Willem Valkenier and James Stagliano of the Boston Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Thayer received a bachelor of music degree cum laude and a master of music degree with performance honors from the University of Illinois, where he studied horn with Thomas Holden. While earning these degrees, Mr. Thayer attended Tanglewood Music Center for two seasons, performed with the Springfield Ohio Symphony, and taught and performed for three seasons at the Brevard North Carolina Music Festival.

After a three-year stint in the United States Army Band at Fort Myer, Virginia from 1958 to 1961, Mr. Thayer became the principal hornist of the Richmond Symphony Orchestra and Richmond Sinfonietta; he also performed in the Richmond Woodwind Quintet and was an associate professor of music at Virginia Commonwealth University as well as serving as principal horn in the Norfolk, Virginia Symphony. Since joining the National Symphony Orchestra as principal horn in 1972, he has appeared as soloist with the National Symphony and represented the Orchestra at a World Philharmonic Concert in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 1986. From 1988 to 1999 he was a member of the NSO Brass Principals Quintet and continued as a member of the NSO Wind Principals Quintet through the 2000 season. He is the hornist of the 20th Century Consort and has been the hornist at the Highlands, North Carolina summer music festival from 1995 to 2000. Beginning with the 2000-2001 season, he became the fourth horn of the National Symphony Orchestra and was awarded the title of Principal Horn Emeritus! Mr. Thayer has maintained his piano skills and can occasionally be seen at the keyboard with the National Symphony Orchestra. He is on the faculties of George Mason and Catholic Universities. Mr. Thayer has given solo recitals at international horn workshops and is sought after for masterclasses throughout the United States.

February 2003
Edwin Thayer