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Horn Sonata: No Horns Barred (2017)

Composed February - April 2017


In three movements:

I. Restrained

II. Relaxed: Canzonetta

III. Unleashed

Original version premiered May 5, 2021

David Griffin, horn; Mio Nakamura, piano

Version for trombone and piano premiered February 3, 2019

Will Lang, trombone; Anne Rainwater, piano

14 minutes

This sonata was composed for my good friend David Cooper, now principal horn of the Chicago Symphony, as a parting gift when he became principal of the Berlin Philharmonic in 2017. I had studied Dave's playing a lot when he was principal of the Dallas Symphony and I sought to capture his virtuosic musicianship in this piece. It was later arranged for trombone on request for another virtuoso player and friend of mine, Will Lang.


The first movement, Restrained, is laid back, cool and doesn't take itself too serious. It wants to burst out with energy from its introverted shell but holds itself back multiple times. The second movement is a canzonetta, or a soft song with a bluesy feel to it. The general mood is relaxed, hence the name of this movement. Finally, the beast is let out of the cage in the last movement, Unleashed. Here, the virtuosity of the player and the pianist is on full display at a truly no holds barred level.

for performance inquiries:

Original Version
Version for trombone and piano
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