About the Professor

Daniel Katzen
Associate Professor of Music (Horn)

Daniel Katzen

Prof. Daniel Katzen began his tenure at the University of Arizona faculty in the Fall of 2008. Previously he spent 29 years as second horn of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and a faculty member of horn and brass repertoire at New England Conservatory of Music and the Boston University College of Fine Arts. Prof. Katzen also taught at California Institute of the Arts from 2000-2007, and has consulted with the orchestral program at University of California Music Department in Irvine since 2000. He also has continued to perform and record with various Los Angeles orchestras and film studios since 2000.

Early orchestral experiences include extra horn with the Munich Philharmonic (1973), the Israel Chamber Ensemble (1974), the Rochester Philharmonic (1974-76), and the Chicago Symphony Orchestras (1975-76). His previous positions were as second horn with the Phoenix Symphony (1976-78) and the Grant Park (Chicago) Symphony in 1978, and fourth horn with the San Diego Symphony Orchestras (1978-79).

Prof. Katzen's education includes a diploma "With Honors" from the Preparatory Department of the Eastman School of Music, a Bachelors Degree "With Distinction" from the Indiana University School of Music and a Masters degree from Northwestern University. His principal teachers were Milan Yancich, Morris Secon, Michael Hoeltzel, Philip Farkas, Peter Damm, Dale Clevenger and Fred Fox.

Studies and performances have taken Prof. Katzen to 25 U.S. states and 22 foreign countries on five continents to perform more than 5000 concerts. In March of 2008, he was featured in his premiere solo recital at the U. of A. as well as his farewell appearance at New England Conservatory's Jordan Hall. He continues to perform with various U.S. Orchestras, including the Boston Symphony.

Daniel Katzen reflects: "My philosophy of teaching is that you cannot force education onto people; they must find it themselves. My job is to help steer students in constructive directions that make it more likely they will learn what's important."

In addition to the horn, Prof. Katzen has studied piano, theory, bass, harp, harpsichord, recorder, Renaissance music, Balkan music and dance, Israeli and Hebraic music and chant, and seven languages. "Panoply leads to worldliness" is a favorite saying.


Denise Root-Pierce:
"As a public research university serving the diverse citizens of
Arizona and beyond, the mission of the University of Arizona is to
provide a comprehensive, high-quality education that engages our
students in discovery through research and broad-based scholarship. We
aim to empower our graduates to be leaders in solving complex societal
problems. Whether in teaching, research, outreach or student
engagement, access and quality are the defining attributes of the
University of Arizona’s mission."

"Likewise, a brass player must use firm air on a lower pitch which precedes a large leap and then play the higher pitch more lightly, allowing it to simply pop out. When the upper note is approached with heaviness, the result is often a significant change in sound quality due to the note being over-blown."

The Credit Illusion
by David Brooks:

" Over the past few years, I’ve built a successful business. I’ve worked hard, and I’m proud of what I’ve done. But now President Obama tells me that social and political forces helped build that. Mitt Romney went to Israel and said cultural forces explain the differences in the wealth of nations. I’m confused. How much of my success is me, and how much of my success comes from forces outside of me?

Confused in Columbus.

As you go through life, you should pass through different phases in thinking about how much credit you deserve. You should start your life with the illusion that you are completely in control of what you do. You should finish life with the recognition that, all in all, you got better than you deserved. In your 20s, for example, you shouldregard yourself as an Ayn Randian Superman who is the architect of the wonder that is you. This is the last time in your life that you will find yourself truly fascinating, so you might as well take advantage of it. You should imagine that you have the power to totally transform yourself, to go from the pathetic characters on “Girls” to the awesome and confident persona of someone like Jay-Z.

This sense of possibility will unleash feverish energies that will propel you forward. You’ll be one of those people who joined every club in high school, started a side business while in college and spent the years after graduation bravely doing entrepreneurial social work across the developing world.

This may not make you sympathetic when it comes to other people’s failures (as everybody’s Twitter feed can attest), but it will give you liftoff velocity in the race of life.

In your 30s and 40s, you will begin to think like a political scientist. You’ll have a lower estimation of your own power and a greater estimation of the power of the institutions you happen to be in.

You’ll still have faith in your own skills, but it will be more the skills of navigation, not creation. You’ll adapt to the rules and peculiarities of your environment. You’ll keep up with what the essayist Joseph Epstein calls “the current snobberies.” You’ll understand that the crucial question isn’t what you want, but what the market wants. For a brief period, you won’t mind breakfast meetings.

Then in your 50s and 60s, you will become a sociologist, understanding that relationships are more powerful than individuals. The higher up a person gets, the more time that person devotes to scheduling and personnel. As a manager, you will find yourself in the coaching phase of life, enjoying the dreams of your underlings. Ambition, like promiscuity, is most pleasant when experienced vicariously.

You’ll find yourself thinking back to your own mentors, newly aware of how much they shaped your path. Even though the emotions of middle-aged people are kind of ridiculous, you’ll get sentimental about the relationships you benefited from and the ones you are building. Steve Jobs said his greatest accomplishment was building a company, not a product.

Then in your 70s and 80s, you’ll be like an ancient historian. Your mind will bob over the decades and then back over the centuries, and you’ll realize how deeply you were formed by the ancient traditions of your people — being Mormon or Jewish or black or Hispanic. You’ll appreciate how much power the dead have over the living, since this will one day be your only power. You’ll be struck by the astonishing importance of luck — the fact that you took this bus and not another, met this person and not another.

In short, as maturity develops and the perspectives widen, the smaller the power of the individual appears, and the greater the power of those forces flowing through the individual.

But you, Mr. Confused in Columbus, are right to preserve your pride in your accomplishments. Great companies, charities and nations were built by groups of individuals who each vastly overestimated their own autonomy. As an ambitious executive, it’s important that you believe that you will deserve credit for everything you achieve. As a human being, it’s important for you to know that’s nonsense."

Kenneth Woods, conductor:
"Let me come back to the metaphor of an Olympic competition. To compare winning an audition for a section violin to winning the 100 meters is apt in all the wrong ways. Looking for the violinist who can sprint up and down the fiddle faster than anyone else may be an interesting exercise, but what you want in an orchestra is someone
• Who can win gold for sprinting up and down the fiddle at exactly the same speed as the other 15 players in the section, in the same part of the bow, at the same dynamic.
• Who can hear and match what their colleagues are doing.
• Who can balance their contribution to the volume of their section with the dynamic levels of the other sections of the orchestra.
• Who can anticipate what their colleagues are going to do.
• Who can sight read new works with energy and insight.
• Who can follow a conductor.
• Who can follow a soloist.
• Who can inspire the people around them. "

Marylou Speaker Churchill, BSO violinist:
"Is playing orchestra a joy or a job? It's wise to make it a joyful job, but remember that no job really employs you completely. Working for money is never the real reason for doing any job. You must love what you do, and then you will find happiness and joy in your work. In actuality you are always being employed to express all the best qualities you are capable of, such as intelligence, wisdom, beauty, balance, grace, sensitivity, awareness, love...If you are miserable, it's your own fault. Make excellence, beauty, and truth your goals, and you will rise to that level."

Janos Starker, cello soloist:
"On every night, if you are a professional, you must be able to give at least 85 percent, no matter how you feel."

"Breathe and blow!!"

Morris Secon, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra Principal Horn, 1962-1980:
"Never make an unbeautiful sound."

Fred Fox, LA studio horn player:
"Eternal vigilance!"

"Having a problem-ANY problem-playing? Breathe and support better."

Unknown soldier:
"Difficult is good."

Heather Headley, pop singer:
"If you don't reach that last person in the last row, you haven't done your job."

Gregg Hanson, Director of Bands at the University of Arizona Fred Fox School of Music
"Having bad intonation is like having bad body odor. The reason you have it is because you dodn't know you have it. If you knew you had it, you'd fix it."

Leonard Bernstein
"There is no serious music or unserious music, just good music and bad music."



Breaking News

    Daniel Katzen's new Bach Suites on the Horn CD is now available! See our store!

Keep your breath support muscles in shape with these ab workouts from 2012 Graduate Nicole Truxes.

The UABKHS Recently traveled to Germany and worked with Berlin Philharmonic musicians! Read about it here: Berlin Reflections.

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