World-renowned soloist. Virtuoso orchestral and chamber musician. Horn teaching guru. These are all descriptions of William VerMeulen, arguably among the most celebrated hornists in the world.
Regarded as one of the most influential horn teachers of all time, Mr. VerMeulen is Professor of Horn at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University, and Visiting Professor of Horn at the Eastman School of Music. His students perform in numerous major orchestras throughout the world, including the New York Philharmonic, Boston Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Canadian Brass, Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta, Detroit, Seattle, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Montreal, St. Louis, Toronto, Detroit, Dallas and Houston Symphonies. Over 600 positions and offers of employment have been awarded to his students.
He also previously served as Brass Artist-in-Residence at the Glenn Gould School of the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto, Canada, as faculty at the New World Symphony - Miami, and as Instructor of Horn at Interlochen Center for the Arts. In 1985 he was invited to the White House to receive a “Distinguished Teacher of America Certificate of Excellence” from President Ronald Reagan and the White House commission on Presidential Scholars. He received his training from Dale Clevenger at Northwestern University and at the Interlochen Arts Academy and is Founder and President of VerMeulen Music, L.L.C., which offers music and products for horn players worldwide here at http://www.williamvermeulen.com.
Mr. VerMeulen is not only regarded as an incredibly accomplished pedagogue but also as a preeminent performer. Hailed as “one of today’s superstars of the international brass scene," William VerMeulen has risen to become America’s leading horn soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He has been Principal Horn of the Houston Symphony since 1990 and has performed as a guest Principal Horn of the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, Pittsburgh Symphony and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Prior to Houston, he was employed with the orchestras of Columbus, Honolulu, and Kansas City.
Mr. VerMeulen has been an Artist of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and participates as a performer and on faculty with the finest music festivals and chamber music presenters among which include: Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Aspen, Music@Menlo, Banff, DaCamera, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Rockport, Joshua Bell and Friends, Tanglewood, Sarasota, Interlochen Arts Festival, National Orchestral Institute, Grand Tetons Orchestral Training Seminar, National Repertory Orchestra, Steamboat Springs, Seattle, Santa Fe, Orcas Island, New World Symphony, Domaine Forget, Chamber Music Northwest, and the Sun Valley Music Festival, the latter for which he currently serves as Principal Horn.
He is a popular artist at International Horn Society Symposiums, where he has been a member of the Advisory Council. He also serves as a board member of the International Horn Competition of America. Along with the dozens of orchestral recordings in his discography are numerous solo and chamber recordings, including the complete Mozart Horn Concerti with Christoph Eschenbach and the Houston Symphony, the Bruce Broughton Horn Concerto recorded with the London Symphony, Texas Horns featuring the Dallas and Houston horn sections and “The Christmas Horn” featuring playing from Mr. VerMeulen combined with his students from Rice University and conducting by Dale Clevenger. He has recorded much of the chamber music repertoire including Brahms Trio Op. 40, Mozart Quintet K. 407, Beethoven Septet, Ravel Tombeau de Couperin for wind quintet, Schubert Octet, Spohr Nonet, Ligeti Bagatelles, Schoenberg Wind Quintet and the Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 1.
A champion of new music, Mr. VerMeulen has had numerous pieces written for him including concerti by esteemed American composers Bruce Broughton, Samuel Adler, Pierre Jalbert and Anthony DiLorenzo and the horn cantata “Canticum Sacrum” by Robert Bradshaw. He also performed the North American Premiere of 'Collages" by James Horner. He recorded the Canto XI by Samuel Adler for a CD called “First Chairs”. Among his awards and honors, Mr. VerMeulen received first prize at the 1980 International Horn Society Soloist Competition and the Shapiro Award for Most Outstanding Brass Player at the Tanglewood Festival.
Mr. VerMeulen is married to Houston Opera and Ballet violinist Sylvia VerMeulen and they have two children named Michael and Nicole. In his free time, he enjoys having good friends over to share in his passion for fine cooking and wine.