Robert Ward, hornist, has been a part of the Bay Area classical music scene since he joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1980 as Associate Principal Horn and played in the inaugural concert for Davies Symphony Hall. Since September 2007 he has held the position of Principal Horn, and has performed across the United States, Europe and Asia with the San Francisco Symphony while on tour. He can be heard on many of the San Francisco Symphony's CDs, most recently playing solo horn in Mahler's 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, and 9th Symphonies, released on SFS Media, as well as the San Francisco Symphony's Emmy-winning television production of "Sweeney Todd."
He has appeared at the Grand Teton Music Festival, the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, the Colorado Music Festival, and while at the Berkshire Music Center at Tanglewood, gave the world premiere of Avram David's "Sonata for Solo Horn," a performance which the New York Times called "formidable." Also at Tanglewood he was given the C.D. Jackson Master Award and the Harry Shapiro Award for outstanding brass player.
A founding member of the symphonic brass group, The Bay Brass, Mr. Ward also has engaged in a number of recording activities outside the orchestra, making music with such diverse performers as Paul McCandless, Spencer Brewer, Ed Bogas, Raquel Bitton, Lisa Vroman, and the heavy metal rock group Metallica. He can also be heard on several movie soundtracks, most notably "Spy Kids," "Mars Attacks." "Inspector Gadget," and "Ricochet."
He also composes and arranges music - his Quartet for Horns was given its premiere at the International Horn Society Conference in Eugene, Oregon in 1996, and his "Sound of the Sea" and "And All the Sea Sang" for chorus and solo horn have been performed with the San Francisco Choral Artists. A committed teacher, he is on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the University of California at Berkeley, and has in the past taught at Dalhousie University, Acadia University and San Francisco State University.
A native of Schenectady, NY, he received his Bachelor of Music degree from the Oberlin College Conservatory of Music in 1977, studying with Robert Fries, and has held two professional positions prior to his current post. He was a member of the Atlantic Symphony of Halifax, Nova Scotia (now known as Symphony Nova Scotia), and also played for one year with the Denver Symphony (now the Colorado Symphony).