Dennis Brain


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Brain, Dennis,

1921–57, British horn player. Brain studied with his father, Aubrey, at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He played principal horn with first the Royal Philharmonic and then the Philharmonia orchestras. He was killed in an automobile accident. Brain's extraordinary artistry has been preserved on many orchestral and solo recordings. Works were written for him by Hindemith, Britten, and other composers.
References in periodicals archive ?
Stephen Pettitt, in his biography of Dennis Brain (published by Robert Hale, London, 1976), recounts the visit of Brain and his wife to Phil and Peggy's home:
Walter Gieseking, Dennis Brain, Cecil James, Sidney Sutcliffe, Bernard Walton.
No musician was ever more closely connected with a particular piece of music than Dennis Brain and the Mozart Horn Concertos.
Dennis Brain made many recordings as a featured soloist, and these have all been documented.
But it must be remembered that a Mozart Horn Concerto played there by Dennis Brain on the garden hose-pipe, received its first airing by bass trombonist Tommy Wrigley at Hope Street.
Written with the brilliant Peter Pears and Dennis Brain in mind, the Serenade is so Pears that any tenor undertaking it faces the double challenge of an idiosyncratic work and his irradicable memory.
Bill, along with his co-author Stephen Gamble, had written an authoritative biography of the eminent hornist entitled Dennis Brain: A Life in Music (University of North Texas, 2011), so when I planned to include a study of the close musical association and friendship between Malcolm Arnold and Dennis Brain for this journal, I approached Bill to add his considerable knowledge to what we already knew about the pair of them.
A little later he got to know Straussie, Alf's widow, and through her came to learn a great deal about Alf, knowledge he subsequently shared with Stephen Pettit, the author Dennis Brain: A Biography.
There is the legacy of Dennis Brain's almost legendary 1950s recordings, of course, but scored at least as deeply into the collective musical subconscious, is Flanders and Swann's unforgettable skit on the Rondo of K.495.
A lost episode of the historical wartime documentary, An American in England, surrounds the first encounter between the young British horn player, Dennis Brain, age twenty in military service with the Royal Air Force Orchestra, and composer Benjamin Britten, age 29.
Among the former BCMS can boast appearances by the Smetana Quartet, the Beaux Arts Trio, Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten, Rosalyn Tureck, Paul Tortelier, Dennis Brain .
'He played horn in the RAF Central Band during World War II, with Dennis Brain as first horn.