St. Louis Symphony Associate Horn Player Joins the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra Saturday Night

By Jeremy Coumbes on November 4, 2022 at 6:01pm

The Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra will be performing its second concert of the 60th anniversary season this weekend with a very special guest.

Thomas Jostlein has been the Associate Principal Horn of the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra since 2010 and will be sitting in as the featured soloist Saturday night, November 5th, at Rammelkamp Chapel.

Music Director and Conductor of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra, Garrett Allman says Jostlein will be performing double duty during Saturday’s performance. “He is performing on two different instruments, hence we have entitled the concert Two For One. He is opening with a Mozart concerto for horn and orchestra which he will play on the natural horn, which is the instrument that Mozart wrote it for.”

When we see a french horn today we see valves and buttons to push to help in making the various pitches. The natural horn has no valves, so it’s all controlled by a combination of the lips of the performer in the mouthpiece and the hand in the bell of the horn.”

Allman says the natural horn gives off a unique but beautiful sound to hear and gives the soloist quite the challenge to perform. He says after intermission, Jostlein will perform on what is sure to be the most unique instrument of the evening and one that is rarely seen in the area, known as an alphorn.

Allman says though, most people are at least familiar with the large wooden instrument thanks to a longtime advertising campaign. “Which is known in this country probably best from the Ricola cough drop commercials. It’s a long instrument about, oh I don’t know, eight or nine feet long.

The end rests on the floor in front of the player. Again it has no valves and the pitches are controlled by what he does with his lips. There’s a bell but it’s eight feet away so he can’t put his hand in it.”

Jostlein will perform on a concerto written for the alphorn and string orchestra written by Hungarian composer Ferenc Farkas in 1977, and George Bizet’s Symphony in C from 1855.

Tickets for Saturday’s performance are available at the door or ahead of time at County Market in Jacksonville. The cost is $20.00 each for adults, however, Allman reminds that admission is always free for children as well as students of any age.

The Two for One show featuring Thomas Jostlein begins at 7:30 pm Saturday, at the Rammelkamp Chapel on the campus of Illinois College.