Mark Tennyson Houghton was awarded the position of 3rd horn with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in June 2014. Previously, he held posts as principal horn of the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra, the Phoenix Symphony and the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Dallas Morning News critic Scott Cantrell wrote of Houghton: “He had a tone of burnished elegance and amazing expressive range, and he delivered some protracted decrescendos that took the breath away.”
Mr. Houghton was born in Long Beach, California, and raised in Keller, Texas. After some basic piano training, he began playing horn at age 12. His parents, Dennis and Karen Houghton, were his first instructors. Studies yielded a Bachelor of Music degree and performer’s certificate from the Eastman School of Music with W. Peter Kurau. Other notable teachers and mentors include Gregory Hustis and William VerMeulen.
In addition to his previous full-time principal horn positions, Houghton has performed as principal horn with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, and the Dallas Wind Symphony (Dallas Winds). He has appeared with the Mimir Chamber Music Festival, Arizona Musicfest, Basically Beethoven Festival, and The Hall Ensemble, and has been a featured soloist with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra and the Phoenix Symphony, among others. Houghton was a prizewinner in the American Horn Competition and the International Horn Society’s John Hawkins Memorial Solo Competition. Appearances as guest artist or clinician include multiple International Horn Society symposia, the Eastman School of Music, the University of North Texas, the Texas Music Educators Association convention, and many more. Houghton was recently appointed as an adjunct faculty member at Duquesne University and will also serve as Part-time Lecturer in Horn at West Virginia University for 2016-2017.
As part-owner of Houghton Horns, Mark is highly involved in artistic ambassadorship, strategic planning, and quality control for the business.