Breaking: Cleveland has new principal horn

We hear that Nathaniel Silberschlag, assistant principal horn of Washington National Opera for the past year, has won the #1 seat in the Cleveland Orchestra.

The news has been made public by his teacher, Julie Landsman.

It’s one of the world’s top 10 horn positions.

Nathaniel comes from a family of 17 professional musicians. Both his parents played in the Jerusalem Symphony.

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  • Wow. Congrats to young Mr. Silberschlag! (And if memory serves, he is *young* — not even graduated from Julliard undergrad yet.)

  • Add Silberschlag to Philadelphia’s principal horn Jennifer Montone – both Landsman’s pupils. Yay, Julie!!

  • My goodness!! I can’t believe that!! That’s wonderful news!!! Big congrats to him!! Many times I’ve been wondering and trying to guess that when the waiting will be end and now it happened!

  • If I recall, the last two principals in Cleveland joined at relatively young ages and were promoted from within the horn section. The spot has been open since 2015, and it is a bit surprising that it has taken so long to fill or that Cleveland couldn’t have attracted a more experienced player from another orchestra. Yet the principal horn contributes to a unique Cleveland sound. So apparently they waited to find the right person.

    • The importance of the Principal horn in this orchestra is in part highlighted by the fact that the endowment chair is named for George Szell. Admirers of the CO can only hope Mr. Silberschlag continues the tradition of excellence started by Mr. Bloom.

  • Their taking a huge risk appointing a relatively unestablished person with no experience as a Principal Horn in a highly stressful position. Being Assistant Horn in that group is VERY different than being in the Cleveland Orchestra. Good luck!

      • Actually, Gunther became Principal Horn of the Cincinnati Symphony at age 16 prior to his appointment at the Met.

      • My Uncle Arthur was sent as principal horn in Cleveland at 16 in 1922 by Stokowski, who wanted him as first horn in Philly but thought he should “have some experience” before assuming that position. He returned as co-principal in about 1928 at 22 before becoming principal. He was always to busy playing to attend music school. His younger brothers Jack and Harry did go to Curtis (1933-35) before joining him in the NBC Symphony under Toscanini in 1938.

  • I have known Nathaniel since he was a child of about 9. [redacted: abuse] It will be interesting to see how this plays out.

  • I have known his family for years and I can say this doesn’t surprise me one bit. They are all fantastic musicians and Nathaniel is no exception. He will do very well there and I am excited to see where his career takes him. He is going to be a major influencer in the French Horn community.

  • Two Kings

    As of August 2019, 21 year old Nathaniel Silberschlag, new principal on an N series 8D.

    Proved himself In front of the Cleveland orchestra tonight(10/4): Mahler 5 in Carnegie.

    Refined, tasteful, varied articulation, marvelous artistry and musicianship. Not Bloom, not his teacher Landsman, but himself.

    Long live the King


    With former first horn Richard King now on fourth.

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