20 Questions on the 20th Featuring Robert Lauver

Pittsburgh Symphony 2nd Horn Bob Lauver

The dynamite second hornist of the Pittsburg Symphony Orchestra kindly shared his time with us.

1. Started playing horn at age: 

Eleven.

2. First private teacher? 

Rosamund Sanders Robbert (then Neill Sanders shortly after).

3. Favorite Composer?

Four-way tie with Mahler, Strauss, Shostakovich, and Prokofiev.

4. Favorite piece? 

Oddly enough, at the top of the rotation now is Rachmaninov’s ‘Isle of the Dead’.

5. Most memorable concert? 

A Mahler 1 we did with Jansons at the Proms. The memorable part of it was the dress rehearsal which they required the afternoon of the performance. We decided at the last second to sing the “auf stehen” section, got a big smile out of Jansons, and the story made it into the BBC’s commentary during the applause of the concert!

6. Most embarrassing moment on stage? 

I plead the 5th, I can’t share details lest I incriminate myself and/or others!!

7. If you could not play the horn, what other instrument would you choose? 

Drum set. 

8. Favorite excerpt? 

That looong meandery etude-like one in Mahler 9, I also think the long meandery etude-like one in 7 is neat, too. 

9. Least favorite excerpt? 

All high horn excerpts (only dogs can hear that high anyway 😜).

10. Mountains or Beach? 

Mountains (Tetons in particular).

11. Cats or Dogs?

Dogs (but we’re equal opportunity dust bunny collectors at our house).

12. F horn or C horn? 

F.

13. Treble clef or Bass clef?

Treble.

14. Would you rather play Ravel’s Piano Concerto OR Shostakovich 5? 

You’re talking about the 2nd part, right? I prefer the Ravel…done at intermission! 

15. Beer or wine? 

Teetotaler.

16. On the leg or off the leg?

Off the leg.

17. Kopprasch or Kling? 

Kling.

18. Would you rather be stranded on a desert island with a saxophone or trumpet player? 

Saxophone (and earplugs).

19. Favorite movie score?

Sea Hawk (Korngold) Philharmonia version.

20. “Stars and Stripes” or “Washington Post”? 😉

Stars and Stripes (love me a dog fight).

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