Hermann, RalpH


Concerto for Horn (1957)


The first full concerto originally written for solo horn with concert band was a collaborative project with James Chambers and the American Bandmasters Association (ABA). It was premiered on March 9, 1957 at the ABA Convention, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with the U.S. Air Force Band and Mr. Chambers as soloist.

All or part of the work may have been previewed as a “Sonata” on a program of the 1955 American School Band Directors Association Convention. No evidence of a sonata exists, but both Mr. Chambers and Mr. Hermann are listed in the program on a performance.

The first edition, for band or orchestra, was published by Educational Music Service in 1958. The second edition reduced the score significantly, from a total length of twelve minutes down to eight. In the process, the band parts were edited and left out the cut sections while the score and solo part continued to include all the material. This confusion must be cleared up by reviewing the publisher’s notes and making the noted cuts in the score and solo part. The solo with piano accompaniment may be performed in its entirety. Publication rights were transferred to Podium Music in 1962, which was subsequently bought out by Jenson Publications and Hal Leonard. Company officials have no knowledge of the work in their inventory, and it is considered out of print.

The original manuscript resides in the Nutt Archives of VanderCook College in Chicago, Illinois, showing the full instrumentation of the original length version.


DURATION: 8’ Solo with Band, 12’ Solo with Piano



The third movement was recorded on the Grand Award Record Corporation label, an album titled “James Chambers Plays the French Horn.” The accompanying pianist is not named. No other commercial recording is known to exist.


Ralph Hermann was born on February 9, 1914 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He was a skilled pianist, playing with Milwaukee area orchestras as a soloist and with many dance bands, while in high school. He went on to tour with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra. He then served in General Bradley’s 12th Army Orchestra in Germany as a pianist and arranger. His post-military career included local and national positions with NBC and ABC. Beyond his formal training at Northwestern University, Mr. Hermann is known to have studied in New York with Vittorio Giannini. His award-winning compositions include over 60 works for wind band, as well as film scores, radio music, and jazz charts. Mr. Hermann died on July 24, 1994 in Manhasset, New York.


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