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Denise Tryon: Behind the Scenes

February 01, 2016

Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.

Where were you born? In St Paul, Minnesota.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? Bach’s Cello Suites (yes, on horn … string players, please don’t hate me).

What’s your most treasured possession? My original Rauch horn (I now own two).

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? José Pistola’s.

Tell us about your instrument: I have three double horns: two Rauches and one Medlin. My older Rauch was made in 1998, the newer one in 2003. My Medlin was just finished for me in 2015. All three are handmade instruments in the Geyer wrap [a particular design layout].   

What’s in your instrument case? Three pencils, a practice mute (in case I’m ever somewhere I need to practice but need to be quiet!), and a back-up mouthpiece.

If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I’d ask Bach if the modern horn existed in his time, would he have written more for it?

When did you join the Orchestra? In 2009.

Do you play any other instruments? I took piano lessons for 10 years.

What’s your favorite type of food? Tacos!

What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? Daniel Coyle’s The Talent Code—hard copy.

Do you speak any other languages? Sadly no, although I can say two tongue twisters in Japanese!

Do you have any hobbies? Tennis, although I don’t actually play … yet! I love to watch and go to the US Open every other year.

Do you have a favorite movie? I’m not a huge movie person. I do enjoy smart, funny television shows: Seinfeld, Parks and Recreation, The Office.

What’s the last recording you purchased? CD or download? My own album, SO•LOW. :)

What’s on your iPod? Mostly non-classical artists: Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, Dinah Washington, Cat Stevens, Cyndi Lauper, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau singing Schubert Lieder, Dolly Parton, Etta James, Prince (I am from Minnesota, so it’s a requirement), just to name a few.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? When I came for my trial week in 2009.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Cologne’s Philharmonic Hall—they have beer waiting for you as you leave the stage!

Photo by Cybelle Codish