Integrated Search Menu

John Ericson

Faculty, TEMPE Campus, Mailcode 0405

One of the most visible hornists today, John Ericson has wide-ranging experience as an orchestral player, soloist, and teacher. Co-founder of the online magazine and resource Horn Matters , Ericson began his professional career with serving for six seasons as Third Horn in the Nashville Symphony. From there, he turned to full time teaching; first at the Crane School of Music (SUNY Potsdam) where he launched one of the first large horn websites Horn Articles Online. Since 2001, he has served on the faculty at Arizona State University. He has also performed as an extra on horn and Wagner tuba with groups including the Indianapolis Symphony, the Phoenix Symphony, and the Rochester Philharmonic.

His three solo CDs on the Summit label received critical acclaim: The Horn Call hailed Les Adeiux for "Fantastic playing.... The level of musicality, nuance and artistry is not to be missed" and called Canto a "Terrific collaboration between horn and piano." In addition, Ericson has made recordings with The Potsdam Brass Quintet and The Nashville Symphony, performed on the Grammy Award nominated Fourth World of Native American flutist R. Carlos Nakai, and was a frequent recording artist in the studios in Nashville.

Besides teaching at Arizona State University, in recent years Ericson has served on the summer faculties of the Interlochen Center for the Arts and the Brevard Music Center, where he has worked with hundreds of talented horn students from around the world. His publications are a reflection of his teaching. With his additional strong interest in all instruments of the middle brass, Ericson has print and online publications on topics as diverse as the mellophone and the Wagner tuba.

A recognized authority on the history of the horn in the 19th century, Ericson is a recipient of the Harold Meek Memorial Award and the Punto Award from the International Horn Society. He has performed and presented sessions at seven international horn symposiums and numerous regional events. 

  • D.M. Music (Brass Pedagogy); minors: Music History and Brass Instrument Design and Construction, Indiana University 1995. Major Professor: Michael Hatfield.
  • M.M. Music (Performance) and the Performers Certificate, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester 1986. Major Professor: Verne Reynolds.
  • B.M. Performance (with Honors), Emporia State University 1984. Major Professor: Melbern Nixon.
Research Interests: 

His initial research interests solidified through writing his dissertation (DM, Indiana) on the topic "The Development of Valved Horn Technique in Early Nineteenth-Century Germany: A Survey of Performers and Works Before 1850 With Respect to the use of Crooks, Right-Hand Technique, Transposition, and Valves."

This specialized examination of the history, repertiore, and pedagogy of the horn, combined with his minor in brass instrument design and construction, provided a solid "big picture" view of all things French horn and led initially to a number of articles in journals including The Horn Call and The Historic Brass Society Journal. He was awarded the 2000 Harold Meek Memorial Award by the International Horn Society for the article “Crooks and the 19th-Century Horn, ” publihsed in The Horn Call 30, no. 1 (November, 1999), 49-58. 

Besides numerous performances, conference presentations, and recordings, Ericson has in recent years expanded the pedagogy of the horn through his innovative publications on topics as diverse as the natural horn, the triple horn, and the mellophone.



  • 2016: "Dennis Brain's Horns." The Horn Call 46, No. 2 (February), 31-34.
  • 2015. "A 1982 Horn Right Hand Position Survey: Tips, Notes, and More." The Horn Call 45, No. 3 (May), 50-55.

RECORDINGS (selected): 

  • Rescued!, John Ericson, horn, Yi-Wan Liao, piano. Summit Records
  • Table for Three, John Ericson, horn, Douglas Yeo, bass trombone, and Deanna Swoboda, tuba. Summit Records. 
  • Canto: Lyric Works for Horn and Piano, John Ericson, horn and Eckart Sellheim, piano, Summit Records. 
  • Les Adieux: Music of Franz Strauss for Horn and Piano, John Ericson, horn and Gail Novak, piano, Summit Records. 


  • Introducing the Horn, second edition
  • A Mello Catechism, second edition
  • Playing the Natural Horn Today
  • Playing Descant and Triple Horns
  • Playing the Wagner Tuba


  • 10 Trios for Horn, Trombone, and Tuba by Anton Reicha, arr. Ericson
  • 12 Modern Preparatory Etudes for Horn--Ericson
  • 21 Bordogni Vocalises, edited by Gumbert and Ericson in six versions (Standard Treble Clef, Low Treble Clef, Standard Bass Clef, Low Bass Clef, Extra Low Bass Clef, and Ultra Low Bass Clef)
  • 35 Melodic Etudes--Schantl and Meifred, in three versions (Standard French horn, High French horn, and Low French horn)
  • 38 Intonation Duets for Horns--Gumpert and Kling
  • The Bordogni-Ericson "Low Horn Boot Camp"
  • Horn Scales and Technique Exercises--Gallay, Kling, and Meifred
  • Ultimate Horn Technique--Ericson
Research Activity: 

In recent years there have been two distinct areas of focus. 

One area has been looking to older, often forgotten, pedagogical and musical sources for the French horn and revising them to fill gaps and improve on the efficiency of teaching a difficult instrument.

The other recent area of activity relates to promoting a physiologically accurate approach to horn playing, incorporating elements in particular from the recent (and ongoing) MRI horn studies.

Both of these relate to a larger focus on expanding the content and quality of what may be be found on the French horn online. This would include not only the development of the Horn Matters website (an online magazine and Open Educational Resource) but also the development of innovative E-publications and a video podcast series. The overall goals being to encourage, inspire, inform, and challenge horn players, and to promote the best musical instrument ever, the French horn.

Honors / Awards: 

2018, Punto Award, International Horn Society

2000, Harold Meek Memorial Award, International Horn Society


2004-present. Board of Advisors, Meir Rimon Commissioning Assistance Fund, International Horn Society. Member, 2004-2006, currently serve as Chair. 

2007-2013. Advisory Council, International Horn Society. Elected by membership; served two full terms.

2001-2007. Website Editor (Managing Editor), The IHS Online (