Meet TSO Principal Horn Nelson Yovera

by Tucson Symphony
Meet TSO Principal Horn Nelson Yovera

What age did you start playing music?

I was only 7 years old when I had my first contact with music.

What was your first instrument?

My mother chose the violin for me but after a week I discovered the French horn, and it was love at first sight.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue music professionally?

I don’t think there was ever a debate in my head as to whether this would be my career or not. It was very clear from my childhood that I wanted to dedicate my life to the French horn!

What/who are your musical inspirations?

My inspirations are countless! My teachers David Cooper and David Griffin have become clear references for me. I cannot fail to mention the maestro Gustavo Dudamel and the trumpet player Pacho Flores… I have been lucky to have great figures of musical inspiration!

What was the audition process like for you?

This one was especially difficult for me. The level required was very high and, as always, there were excellent candidates. It was quite a challenge for me!

What advice would you give to young musicians who are starting the audition process?

There is no way to learn how to win an audition other than by going to it. Each audition is a learning experience, so don’t see it as a disappointment. I am sure that each one will be better and better, and if not, you will be able to discover what you are doing wrong and fix it along the way. Just keep doing as many auditions as you can!

What concert are you most looking forward to this season and why?

Without a doubt, the concerts that include Beethoven 4th symphony, Ginastera Variations, The Planets, Ravel Piano Concerto, Dvořák 8th symphony. These pieces are very exciting for me because of all the demands on the horn!

What do you love about the French Horn?

Our role in the orchestra is very broad. We are the perfect transition between woodwind and brass. Also being a great soloist within the orchestra. We have very important moments throughout orchestral musical literature. Mozart wrote especially high but light passages for the horns, just as Tchaikovsky wrote beautiful cantabile lines and Wagner for distance calls that require a lot of muscle. The versatility of the horn within the orchestra is unmatched!