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Tony Halstead

was born in Manchester, attending Chetham’s School and subsequently the Royal Manchester College of Music, where he studied piano, horn, organ, and composition. His horn teacher at the RMCM  was Sydney Coulston, a distinguished contemporary of Dennis Brain, who played Principal horn in the Hallé and the BBC Northern Orchestras. Tony studied composition with Thomas Pitfield, organ with Ronald Frost and piano with Donald Clarke, Iso Elinson, and Donald Greed.

 After leaving college, Tony took several ‘refresher’ horn lessons with Julian Baker, Horace Fitzpatrick, and Myron Bloom. Subsequently, he studied the harpsichord with George Malcolm and conducting with Gene Forrell, Michael Rose, and Sir Charles Mackerras.

He played 4th horn with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra (1966); Co-Principal horn,  London Symphony Orchestra (1970-1972);  Principal horn, LSO (1972-1973;  Principal horn:  English Chamber Orchestra (1972-1986), BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra (1966-1970), The Academy of Ancient Music (1984- 2008), The English Concert (1974-2007), The Hanover Band (1985-1990),  English Baroque Soloists (1978-1992), London Classical Players (1985-1988), and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment (1987-1992).

Tony made his first solo CD in 1986, recording Weber’s Concertino on the natural horn, with The Hanover Band, for the Nimbus Record Company.  Other solo CDs include the Concertos by Joseph and Michael Haydn, and two separate recordings, six years apart, of the Mozart Concertos, with The Hanover Band and The Academy of Ancient Music. On the modern horn, he has recorded the Britten Serenade with the American tenor, Jerry Hadley.

Tony now pursues a varied career as a conductor and director/harpsichordist, as well as being a renowned horn soloist and teacher of international repute. In addition to making regular visits as a guest professor and examiner at many of the UK’s conservatories, he enjoys private teaching and chamber-music coaching.