Professor Barry Tuckwell AC OBE b.1931

Barry Tuckwell

Professor Barry Tuckwell

On 15 May 1988 Tuckwell was one of a remarkable assembly of talent that appeared at the
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, celebrating Australia’s Bicentennial with a gala concert attended by Princess Alexandra.

He became a US citizen in 1997.

In 2007 Live Performance Australia presented him with the James Cassius Williamson Award for performing excellence.

 

On 15 May 1988 Tuckwell was one of a remarkable assembly of talent that appeared at the
Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, celebrating Australia’s Bicentennial with a gala concert attended by Princess Alexandra. Tuckwell shared the stage with Dame Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge, Sir Charles Mackerras, Douglas Gamley – and, inevitably, Dane Edna Everage.

In 1992 Tuckwell was granted permanent US residency under the then new ‘Extraordinary Ability’ immigration category. He became a US citizen in 1997.

In January 1997 he gave his farewell concerts as a horn soloist with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. After several attempts at retirement he decided to return to Melbourne, where he continues to conduct and teach.

The most recorded of all horn players, Tuckwell has been nominated for three Grammy awards. He has been president of the International and British Horn Societies, and patron of the Melbourne International Festival of Brass. As an acknowledged expert in instrument design, he has worked with makers such as Holton and Lawson. He is also a noted editor of horn music, and has written two books on the techniques of horn playing.

In April 2006, he returned to the concert platform to perform Schumann’s Konzertstück for Four Horns with Melbourne’s longest running amateur orchestra, the Zelman Symphony.

Among the many awards Barry Tuckwell has received are Officer of the Order of the British Empire (1965), the Companion of the Order of Australia (1992), Honorary Doctor of Music from the University of Sydney, Fellow of the Royal College of Music, Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, the George Peabody Medal for Outstanding Contributions to Music in America, and the Andrew White Medal from Loyola College. He is an honorary member of both the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music in London. And he earned the sobriquet ‘the god of the horn’.

In 2007 Live Performance Australia presented him with the James Cassius Williamson Award for performing excellence.

Tuckwell’s sister is Patricia Lascelles, Countess of Harewood.

Frank Van Straten, 2007

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Biographical references

Charles Buttrose: Playing for Australia, Macmillan, 1982
Robert Peterson: ‘Barry Emmanuel Tuckwell’, in The Oxford Companion to Australian Music, Oxford University Press, 1997