21st International Brass Festival Italian Brass Week

Dale Clevenger
Ab Koster
Luca Benucci
Giovanni Hoffer
from 19th until 26th July, 2020
Type of lesson

The Horn campus has the following stipulations:

Students enrolled will have lesson opportunities with the following teachers and their respective available times as follows for the duration of Italian Brass Week:

  • 2 lessons of 40 minutes with Luca Benucci 
  • 2 lessons of 40 minutes with Dale Clevenger
  • 2 lessons of 40 minutes with Ab Koster 
  • 1 lesson of 40 minutes with Giovanni Hoffer

The daily schedule will be as follows:

9:00-12:00: Individual Lessons

12:30-13:15: Conferences

Lunch Break

15:00-18:00:Individual lessons

18:00-19:00: Orchestral Excerpts class

19:30-21:30: Dinner

21:30: Evening Concerts

23:30 (or directly after the Evening Concerts): Jam sessions with jazz soloists of the festival at the Pub

The group masterclasses and the concerts are included in the cost of tuition. It's not required to audition to participate in these.

At the end of the Masterclasses, you will be awarded with a Diploma from the Italian Brass Week

Max members
200€ Registration and 300€ Tuition
Horn Camups
Trumpet Campus
Trombone Campus
Tuba Campus
International Award

Dale Clevenger

19-26 July 2020

Horn Professor and Conductor

He started playing trumpet at age 11 and switched to horn at age 13. Clevenger's father was President of the Chattanooga Opera Association, and he was exposed to live orchestral music at an early age. He attended Chattanooga High School, aka "City High" when the band program was under the leadership of Richard Casavant, a scholar of marching band history. Clevenger received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, in 1962. Clevenger considers Arnold Jacobs and Adolph Herseth, former principal brass instrumentalists of the CSO, to be his mentors.

Clevenger has performed with many ensembles worldwide, including the Berlin Philharmonic (under Daniel Barenboim). He has taken part in many music festivals including the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Florida Music Festival, Sarasota, Marrowstone Music Festival, Bellingham, Washington, and Affinis Music Festival, Japan.

He won a Grammy Award for "The Antiphonal Music of Gabrieli," which he recorded with members of the Chicago Symphony brass section, as well as the brass sections of the Philadelphia Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra His recording of Mozart's horn concertos was named Record of the Year in Hungary on the European label Hungaraton. He also was a featured soloist in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra's Grammy-winning Strauss Wind Concertos album, on which he plays Strauss's first horn concerto, as well as Andante for horn and piano in C major with Daniel Barenboim accompanying on piano.

In 2003, Clevenger premiered John William's Concerto for Horn and Orchestra, a work written for him.

In addition to performing, Clevenger is an experienced conductor. He was the Music Director of the Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra from 1981 to 1995. He has expanded his conducting career with numerous orchestras in North and Central America, Europe, Asia, and Australia, recently leading the Orquestra Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon with Daniel Barenboim as soloist.

Dale Clevenger is President of the Italian Brass Week and teaches at Roosevelt University and at Indiana University.

Ab Koster

From 19th until 26th July 2020

Horn soloist and professor

Ab Koster was born in The Hague, Holland as the son of a Dutch hornist. He completed his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in his hometown with the honor of "Prix d'Exellence". He then continued his studies at the Folkwang University in Essen with Hermann Baumann, who named him one of the "leading hornist of his generation".

Starting in 1977, Ab Koster held the position of principal horn in the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Germany until 1990. In order to accept the many invitations as a soloist and chamber musician, he left the orchestra in 1990. He exhibits his excellent soloistic mastery not only on the modern valved horn but also on the historical natural horn. The many years of collaberation with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Gustav Leonhardt, and Frans Brüggen ("Orchestra of the 18. Century") as well as many solo performances, records, radio and TV recordings in various countries earned him an outstanding international reputation.

Concert tours have led him to almost all countries in Northern, Western, and Eastern Europe as well as in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, and Taiwan.

For years, Ab Koster belongs to the small circle of soloists who are sought after world-wide, on the natural horn as well as on the valved horn. In addition to this, he holds a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg. His interpretation of the concertos by Mozart and Strauss are particularly celebrated all over the world.

Ab Koster press reviews

Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung:„Mann könnte zum Fan der Horn-Musik werden, wenn man dem niederländischen Virtuosen lauscht. Ab Koster dient als Vorbild für perfekte Intonation, für Delikatesse im Detail, für virtuosen Glanz und schattierte Klänge, dass eigentlich alle Schüler dieses Instruments ihn als Pflicht erleben sollten.“

Von einem signierten Bild:„To my dear friend, Ab Koster, in sincere admiration for one of the world's truly great horn players. Cordially, Phil Farkas“

Recklinghauser Nachrichten:„Schon die große fanfarengleiche Solopassage Ab Kosters zu Beginn des „Konzerts für Horn und Orchester Nr.2“ von Richard Strauss verriet den Hornisten par excellence. Als Mozart- und Strauss-Interpret gehört er inzwischen zur weltweit gefragten Elite der Hornisten“

Brisbane Metropolitan Australia:„Seldom is the horn heard with such ease and assurance as when Koster pours out his rich brew, covering the full range of the instrument including uncommonly growling bass notes.”

NRZ, Essen Deutschland Naturhornfestival:„Ab Koster freilich, dem niederländischen Super-Hornisten, der sein Instrument schlicht wie eine verlängerte Gesangsröhre handhabt, konnte niemand das Wasser reichen. Vergessen macht er die gewaltigenTücken des Naturhorns: Perfekt sein Ansatz, makellos seine Technik, gerundet sein Ton.“

Le Monde Paris:„D’Ab Koster nous serions tenté de dire qu’il es tun modèle, un chef de file auquel on se référera longtemps. Ce corniste joue avec une infinie variété de couleurs, ses phrasés sont souples, sa sonorité charmeuse, son legato est parfait. Débarrassé de tout problème d’intendance, il chante comme un baryton soucieux de produire de beaux sons.”

Oakland Tribune, USA:“Koster plays the difficult horn parts with a freedom of expression and technical ease that make you lick your lips while tapping your toe.”

Le Figaro Paris:“Ab Koster nous offrit un magnifique Quatrième Concerto de Mozart, précis, tender et habilement volubile.”


Luca Benucci

19-26 July 2020

Principal Horn, Orchestra Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Luca Benucci’s vast performing and didactic career spans over 25 years and has left an indelible mark on the international music scene. Championing all genres of music under the batons of the most notable Orchestral Directors of our time, developing unique and varied Jazz, Chamber and Solo programs collaborating closely with Jazz and Classical Virtuosi and Pop/Rock stars alike, and by innovating new pedagogical approaches to performance and practice methodology, Mr. Benucci has positively influenced and enriched the lives of numerous professionals, amateurs, students, and audience members throughout the world.

Mr. Benucci has been invited to play as Guest Principal Horn in many prestigious Orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Berliner Philharmoniker, Staatskapelle Solisten Berlin, Super World Orchestra, Israel Philharmonic, Teatro alla Scala di Milano, Orchestra Sinfonica di Barcelona, and the Radio Orchestra Svizzera Italiana. He still holds the full-time position of principal horn in the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra since 1995, under direction of Zubin Mehta.

When he isn’t working in the Orchestra, many of his other projects are done in collaboration with artists and musicians in chamber groups such as the Nuovo Quintetto Italiano, Italian Brass Ensemble, and the Brass Dimension Ensemble.

In addition to his musical work, Mr. Benucci founded and acts as artistic director of the Italian Brass Week, an annual international brass symposium and festival now in its 17th season, and the Italian Brass Academy in order to provide easily accessible world-class education to students from both Italy and around the globe. He has also established musical organisations and groups such as the Italian Chamber Orchestra, Mimesis Formazione, Maggio Formazione, Sardinia Brass Festival, Santa Fiora in Musica, Note di Viaggio, and Meet the Soloists - a project that brings Principal players and Soloists from the Maggio Musicale together for intimate and informal concerts and lectures.

As a highly sought after instructor, Mr. Benucci has held masterclasses in the most acclaimed Universities and Conservatories in the world, including Boston University, Roosevelt University, Juilliard School of Music, Curtis Institute of Music, Boston Conservatory, Indiana University, Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music, Ankara University, Ionian University of Corfu, Maastricht Conservatory, Barcelona Conservatory, Tel-Aviv and Jaffa Universities, Musashino Music College of Tokyo, and the Shanghai Conservatory. He has also been invited as a guest teacher to international Brass Festivals in Hiroshima, Yamagata, Costa Rica, and Spain.

In his spare time, Luca is an avid chef and gastronome and loves to spend time with his two sons, Giacomo and Niccolò.

Mr. Benucci play with STOMVI, YAMAHA, HOLTON, MOENNIG instruments.





Biografia Benucci  (DOCX, 146 Kb) Biografia Benucci (DOCX, 146 Kb)

Giovanni Hoffer

23-26 July 2020

International Jazz soloist

Giovanni Hoffer was born in Lecco (Italy) in 1972.
In 1991 he took his French horn diploma at Milan’s Conservatoire “G.Verdi” under the guidance of Master Michele Berrino.
He began his career playing with the main italian orchestras, including the Scala Philharmonica, the “G.Verdi”  Symphonic Milan, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino Orchestra, the R.A.I. Orchestra in Milan, the Italian Swiss Confederation Orchestra. He also played in many international tours (Japan, Australia, South America), working with world famous directors like Riccardo Muti, Lorin Maazel, George Pretre, Eliahu Inbal and many more.

A Jazz and Pop Music lover from the start, he took part in some television programmes on Mediaset channels working with Master Peppe Vessicchio. He also played in different pop music recordings working with artists like Antonella Ruggero, Francesco Renga and Niccolò Fabi.

He has beem living in Bologna since 1999, and has been working with the “Teatro Comunale di Bologna” Foundation since then. Master Teo Ciaravella also invited him to take part in the Dams Jazz Orchestra and he started collaborating both as musician and composer.

At the beginning of 2006, after the encounter with Lele Veronesi, he started the Hofferquattro project. Here, with the faith and dedication of Lele Veronesi (drums), Maurizio de Gasperi (piano rhodes) and Andrea Taravelli (electric bass) experimented the French horn’s potentials, tackling some standard jazz and mainly some compositions by Giovanni Hoffer himself.

At present he is also playing in some Live Dj Set collaborations, improvising jazz phrasing with lounge, chill out and Jazz house productions, a unique experience also thanks to original unobtainable musical compositions and to performances using a sea shell as a musical instrument.