Tony Halstead was born in Manchester, attending Chetham’s School and the Royal Manchester College of Music, where he studied piano, horn, organ and composition. His teacher at College was Sydney Coulston, Principal horn in the Hallé and the BBC Northern Orchestras 1945-1967. Tony took several ‘refresher’ horn lessons with Horace Fitzpatrick and Myron Bloom during the 1970s. He subsequently studied the harpsichord with George Malcolm and conducting with Michael Rose and Sir Charles Mackerras. As a horn player he was Principal with the London Symphony Orchestra, English Chamber Orchestra, Academy of Ancient Music, English Concert, Hanover Band and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has made CD recordings of the Mozart, Haydn and Weber concertos, and the Britten Serenade. Tony currently enjoys a varied career as a conductor and director/harpsichordist, as well as a horn teacher of international repute, having been a professor at the Guildhall School of Music 1971-1999. His very first ‘public voice airing’ was in 1957, on BBC TV’s ‘Hilda Baker Show’, followed by several years as a teenage Unitarian lay preacher in the early 1960s. His ‘vocal nadir’ was a miserable year as a class music supply teacher in several Manchester schools, where at least one saving grace was the necessary development of a strident ‘fortissimo‘, to be used sparingly when dealing with unruliness.
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