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Tony Halstead

 was born in Manchester, attending Chetham’s School and subsequently the Royal Manchester College of Music (now the Royal Northern College of Music). His horn teacher at the RMCM  was Sydney Coulston, a distinguished contemporary of Dennis Brain, who played Principal horn in the Hallé and the BBC Northern Orchestras. Tony also studied composition with Thomas Pitfield, organ with Ronald Frost and piano with Iso Elinson, Donald Greed and Donald Clarke.

  After leaving college, Tony took several ‘refresher’  lessons with Julian Baker, Horace Fitzpatrick, and Myron Bloom. Subsequently, he studied the harpsichord with George Malcolm and conducting with Michael Rose, Sir Charles Mackerras and Gene Forrell.

 He was briefly 4th horn with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra 56 years ago. Then Principal, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Co-Principal, London Symphony Orchestra;  Principal, LSO; Principal, English Chamber Orchestra; The Academy of Ancient Music; The English Concert; The Hanover Band; English Baroque Soloists; London Classical Players and Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. He has played guest Principal horn with the Philharmonia, London Philharmonic, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Academy of St Martin in the Fields, Boyd Neel Orchestra, and Moscow Virtuosi. 

 Tony made his first solo CD in 1986, recording Weber’s Concertino on the valveless hand horn, with The Hanover Band, for the Nimbus Record Company.  Other solo CDs include the Concertos by Joseph and Michael Haydn, and two separate recordings, six years apart, of the Mozart Concertos, with The Hanover Band under Roy Goodman and The Academy of Ancient Music under Christopher Hogwood. On the modern horn, he has recorded for 'Nimbus'  the Britten Serenade with the American tenor, Jerry Hadley, and the English String Orchestra under William Boughton.

 Tony now pursues a varied career as a conductor and director/harpsichordist, as well as being an occasional horn soloist, chamber music player and a teacher of international repute. In addition to making regular visits as a guest professor and examiner at many of the UK’s conservatories, he enjoys private teaching and chamber-music coaching.