Edgar Dorman - French Horn

Edgar Dorman took up the horn aged 14, inspired by Alan Civil’s recordings of Mozart's four horn concertos and Benjamin Britten's Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. It was through the Bedfordshire Youth Orchestra that Ed met his teacher, the late Mick Baines who played in the BBC Symphony Orchestra horn section led by Alan Civil in the 1970s and 1980s.

Ed recalls that Mick was extraordinarily generous with his time and was endlessly encouraging. His sometimes harsh criticism of faults intechnique were always balanced by his praise and appreciation of good “authentic” horn sound, imprinting a sense of the musical and emotional value to a performance if that remains at the centre. Mick eventually instilled sufficient confidence in his student to keep Ed playing for life.

After playing his way through Cambridge University as a medical student (and continuing in London), Ed somehow qualified in 1984. Work took him and his wife Caroline north, where he was principal horn in the Nottingham Symphony Orchestra for some years. During the 1990s, research work in East Africa gave Ed the opportunity to play in the Nairobi Symphony Orchestra, and it was on returning to London that he joined the Camden Chamber Orchestra (as we then were) in 1998.

Ed has been our principal horn ever since, and is widely regarded as one of the finest non-professional players in London. He is also principal horn in the European Doctors’ Orchestra. Ed continues to hold down a day (and night) job as a consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist at the Homerton Hospital, which only gets in the way of horn playing occasionally.

We were delighted to feature Ed as our soloist for Strauss' Horn Concerto No.1 in our November 2021 concert. He dedicated this performance to the memory of his teacher and to his long-suffering wife (and sometime ‘horn widow’) Caroline Shulman.