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FCS Horns Perform Schumann’s Konzertstück

On Saturday, January 27, 2024, Festival City Symphony will feature horn players Brandon Yahn, Nancy Cline, Kathryn Krubsack, and Sue Walker in a performance of Robert Schumann’s Konzertstuck, op. 86, a concerto for four horns and orchestra.  The concert begins at 2:00pm and admission is free with suggested donation.  Reserve your tickets online, or walk up to the box office on the day of the concert.  Learn more about the music being performed by attending the pre-concert Unlocking the Score presentation that begins onstage at 1:30pm.

Read below to learn more about the horn players and music!

Brandon Yahn is the Principal Horn (2015) and Operations Director (2018) of Festival City Symphony.  A graduate with high honors from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, he holds degrees in Music Education and Horn Performance.  He has performed with the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, Kettle Moraine Symphony, Mankato Symphony Orchestra, Oshkosh Symphony Orchestra, Wisconsin Philharmonic, and Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, as well as numerous chamber ensembles.  As an arts administrator, he oversees FCS’s day-to-day operations.  Brandon is the Director of Bands at Silverbrook Intermediate School in West Bend, WI, and is in his thirteenth year of teaching, having previously taught at West Bend High School and Badger Middle School.  Outside of school, he maintains a large private lesson studio and is a frequent festival adjudicator.  In 2019, Brandon was inducted into the School District of Menomonee Falls Fine Arts Wall of Fame.

Nancy Cline studied horn performance at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee under Barry Benjamin and continued her studies with Douglas Hill, Paul Trevelt, and Bill Cowart.  Nancy has held the position of Second Horn with Festival City Symphony for over 15 years.  Additionally, she has performed with the Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Wisconsin Wind Orchestra, Bel Canto Chorus Orchestra, Fox Valley Symphony, Oshkosh Symphony, Kenosha Symphony, and many national touring shows.  She also formerly held the Fourth Horn position with the Wisconsin Philharmonic for over 42 years.  As an educator, Nancy maintains an active private lesson studio and is a Master Adjudicator with the Wisconsin School Music Association.  In her free time, she enjoys cooking, wine, and traveling with her husband.

Kathryn Krubsack is the Third Horn and Personnel Manager of Festival City Symphony.  In addition, she is the Principal Horn of the Wisconsin Wind Orchestra and the Kenosha Symphony, and performs with other area symphonies, national touring shows, local music productions, chamber ensembles, and in several churches.  Kathryn is the horn instructor at Concordia University Wisconsin and Wisconsin Lutheran College.  She studied music education, horn, and trumpet at St. Olaf College (BA), UW-Milwaukee (MM), UW-Madison, and UW-Fox Valley.  She is a clinician for brass and jazz festivals, adjudicator for solo and ensemble contests, horn and trumpet teacher at summer camps, and member of the Milwaukee Musicians Union.  She has taught in other college, high school, and middle school band programs, and currently maintains a roster of private horn and brass students in the greater Milwaukee area.

Sue Walker is the Assistant Principal Horn of Festival City Symphony.  While attending the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, she studied privately with Kendall Betts (Minnesota Orchestra) and Tom Gilkey (St. Paul Chamber Orchestra) earning her Bachelor of Music (Horn) and Music Education Degree.  As a public school educator, she taught in the Mukwonago and Hartford Jt 1 school districts.  In addition to performing with FCS, Sue is Principal Horn of the Kettle Moraine Symphony, Second Horn of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra, has performed with the Bel Canto Chorus, Chippewa Valley Symphony, Milwaukee Choristers, Milwaukee Children’s Choir, and Wisconsin Philharmonic, as well as various other ensembles throughout Southeastern Wisconsin.  In addition to freelancing, Sue is an office administrator at her church and is also a manager of her husband’s trombone manufacturing business, M&W Custom Trombones.

Program Notes by Roger Ruggeri © 2024

Robert Schumann
b. June 8, 1810; Zwickau
d. July 29, 1856; near Bonn

Konzertstück for Four Horns and Orchestra, in F Major, Opus 86

Schumann enjoyed a particularly productive last year in Dresden (1849), before taking up his ill-fated conducting post in Duesseldorf. Momentarily freed from the illness which plagued so much of his life, Schumann composed about thirty works, including the present Konzertstück; he later referred to this period as “My most fruitful year.”

A fully-fledged concerto for four (valved) horns and orchestra, the Konzertstück may have been inspired by the virtuosity of Lewy, principal horn of the Dresden Royal Orchestra. The work was very successfully introduced, under Schumann’s direction, at an orchestral pension concert in Leipzig’s Gewandhaus on February 25, 1850.

While making virtuoso demands upon the soloists, the work integrates the solo quartet and orchestra in an artistically rewarding manner. Remarking upon its “veritable chemistry of singing phrases and skillful design,” Alfred Nieman found that the first movement “clearly illustrates Brahms’s debt to Schumann.” Of the second movement Romance, Nieman found it “notable for the broad sensuous melody of its middle section, which turns up again in the finale in…thematic transformation. There are impressionistic images in the finale not far removed from A Midsummer Night’s Dream, woven together with effortless spontaneity. Nothing stands between the sheer wit of this happy movement and the listener, who cannot but be stimulated by its vivacity. In the closing section there is a wicked cadential flourish which Schumann marks Mit Bravour. And so it sounds!”