BBC mourns a principal horn

BBC mourns a principal horn


norman lebrecht

January 06, 2021

Tony Catterick of the British Horn Society has informed us of the death of Derek Taylor on January 1, at the age of 85.

Derek had a most distinguished career as a Principal Horn in Dublin, Scotland and finally 30 years in the BBC Symphony until 1994. He was Senior Professor of Horn at the Royal Northern College of Music and Senior Professor of Horn at The Royal Academy of Music, London. A man of great warmth, humour and strength of character, alongside his glorious talent at playing the horn. A much missed man and friend to many. Adored by his many successful pupils, fellow horn players and his devoted family.



  • Tim jones says:

    A true legend. Wonderful man and player who set the standard for British horn playing along with his fellow principal horn of the BBC symphony Alan Civil. RIP

    • Tony Catterick says:

      Hi Tim, this reply coming from you, who is such a fine horn player as Principal Horn in the London Symphony Orchestra for such a long time too, that is a wonderfully generous and beautiful compliment to another ‘great’ from an earlier generation! A great classical player who had been taught by Aubrey Brain.
      Derek was an amazing player/teacher and human being.

    • Rustier spoon says:

      So many good “Derek” stories…!

    • Barry Guerrero says:

      Wow! If Mr. Catterick was on par with Alan Civil, then he must have been one heck of a player.

      • Tony Catterick says:

        Mr.Guerrero, I was writing about Derek Taylor NOT myself! NB please.

        • Barry Guerrero says:

          I don’t know what an “NB” is, but let’s agree on this much: ANYBODY who is on par with Alan Civil must be one heck of a horn player. Sorry for any discomfort I may have caused.

  • Tony Britten says:

    When I was lucky enough to have Derek play on one of my sessions, I looked forward to it because a) he was a superlative horn player and b) because he was a delightful man. A sad loss, but a wonderful musical legacy.

  • Joe Anderer says:

    So sorry to hear of his passing- I hope to last as long as he did, and eventually accomplish as much as he certainly achieved!

  • Mark Vines says:

    Derek was my teacher, and I can’t begin to describe what an inspiration and a huge impact he has had on my life and career. The number of his former students still in the profession now is a testament to his genius. Warmth is a perfect description of him, and I will always remember him as one of the most generous people I knew, as well as one of the funniest! He is already missed by all of us who had the privelege to know him.

  • Chi-chi Nwanoku says:

    RIP and thank you for your music Derek Taylor, and continue to RIP Alan Civil : I remember you both so well