About Bernhard Scully
International horn soloist, Bernhard Scully, is currently the Associate Professor of Horn at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a member of the University of Illinois Global STEAM and is Artistic Director of the non-profit 501(c)(3) Cormont Music. He spends most of his summer in the White Mountains of New Hampshire as both the Artistic Director of the Kendall Betts Horn Camp and as the horn player of the North Country Chamber Players. His solo career has spanned across many genres from classical, to jazz and beyond, including being the former long-time horn player of the Canadian Brass and former principal horn of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Among his many awards are top honors at numerous competitions, most notably being the first classical brass player to win a McKnight Fellowship for Performing Musicians.
His most recent honor was being made a member of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural Consumer Environmental Sciences (ACES) “Global Academy”. His Global Academy Project is a partnership with a faculty colleague, Ann-Perry Witmer from the UI School of Engineering. The project combines music and engineering in a long-range cross-disciplinary de-colonial research study focusing on the relationship between the cultural and technological epistemologies of rural/indigenous regions around the world. The long-term aspiration of the project is to establish meaningful and deep relationships with the people in each region (currently Aymara communities in Andean Bolivia, and Mende communities in Sierre Leone), learning about their place-based music, culture, and technological practices. On the musical end, this cross-cultural interdisciplinary exchange allows the horn to enter into areas it has likely never been a part, expanding it’s musical scope by integrating into diverse cultural contexts. The project will culminate in a book authored by the various project collaborators.
As the Horn player of Canadian Brass, Bernhard annually toured the world over, is featured on many CD’s and videos, and performed in front of orchestras that included the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Vancouver Symphony, National Arts Centre Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony. The Canadian Brass have been featured guest artists at prestigious music events and festivals including, Music Academy of the West, Oregon Bach Festival, Banff Centre For the Arts, Texas Music Educators Convention, Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, Chautauqua Festival, Schleswig-Holstein Festival, NAMM Convention, and numerous others.
As Principal Horn of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, Bernhard was often featured as a soloist, performing notable works by Mozart, Strauss, and Britten. He toured with the SPCO both nationally and internationally, most notably performing at Carnegie Hall. His concerts with the SPCO were broadcast weekly on National Public Radio. He is also featured on the SPCO’s 50th Anniversary Chamber Orchestra Festival recording. Since his departure to pursue a solo and teaching career, Bernhard has returned to play guest principal horn under the acclaimed director, Pinchas Zuchermann. He has collaborated with many great North American Orchestras including the Chicago Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra as guest principal horn, Pittsburgh Symphony as guest principal horn, and as principal horn of the Violon du Roy in Quebec City.
As a soloist Bernhard is featured on numerous recordings. His solo album, “Dialogue en Francais: French Masterpieces for Horn and Piano” was featured on Minnesota Public Radio. His recording “The G. Schirmer Horn Collection Volumes One, Two, and Three“ (Hal Leonard Publishing) includes much of the standard repertoire for horn and piano. The Instrumentalist describes these three volumes: “Scully offers musical, intuitive performances that provide a fine example for hornists of all levels. These carefully thought out publications are a good investment for future growth and belong in every horn teacher and players library.” Bernhard can be heard as a featured performer on numerous Canadian Brass CD’s. His latest CD, “Windows in Time” that features the premiere recording of Gunther Schuller’s “Quintet for Horn and Strings (2009)” in collaboration with the acclaimed Jupiter String Quartet. The album also includes W.A. Mozart’s “Quintet for Horn and Strings, K. 407”. Gunther Schuller produced this recording himself, and this was one of the last projects he took part in before his unfortunate passing in 2015.
As a pedagogue Bernhard has given lectures and master classes around the world and is a regular featured artist at international music conventions and festivals. He has been on the faculties at the Chautauqua Festival, Rafael Mendez Brass Institute as a member of the Summit Brass, Music Academy of the West, Brevard Music Festival, Eastman School of Music, in residence at the University of Toronto with the Canadian Brass, Madeline Island Music Camp as a member of the Prairie Winds, The North Country Chamber Players, and the Illinois Summer Youth Music Horn Week. His students now occupy positions all over the globe as performers, educators, and scholars.
His degrees are from Northwestern University (with honors), and the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he attended on a Paul Collins Distinguished Graduate Fellowship. In 2010 the University of Wisconsin awarded him a Distinguished Alumni Award for excellence in artistry. His teachers include Herman Baumann, Kendall Betts, Douglas Hill, Roland Pandolfi, Frøydis Ree Werkre, and Gail Williams. He resides with his wife, Sarah, who is a music therapist and photographer; their three daughters, Ellie, Abby, Maddie; their Springer Spaniel, Gustav Mahler; and their two cats, Kenny and Lucy.
Being a performer-teacher in music is my calling. I have been immersed in the world of music all my life and have loved every minute of it. I love teaching and feel a deep sense of commitment to share my love of music with others. My primary objective is to help my students accomplish and better understand their goals, to realize their potential as artists as much as possible. My blended technical and musical approach is inspired by the teaching of Arnold Jacobs, and encapsulated in the concept of Song and Wind. A growth mindset is encouraged throughout the learning process with the intent on allowing the students to be able to clearly define their own concepts of success. With an efficient approach to technique and diligent practice on the student’s part, this process can lead to great enjoyment in performing and confidence in whatever career path is right for each individual student. I encourage my students to embrace their inner creativity and bring this forth in as many ways as possible.
The U of I horn studio is a positive, supportive, and enriching environment. We encourage each other to strive for the highest standards in all areas and embrace diversity in all its forms. Some competition is inherent in every school setting, but is minimized and is never the focus at Illinois. The hope is to create a safe and nurturing learning environment for everyone. This allows each student the freedom to find a learning pace that is suitable for them and their needs.
BM, Northwestern University; MM, University of Wisconsin-Madison