Phil Dawes


How long have you been a member of the BPO?
Since 2003, so that’s 8 years. We were playing Bruckner’s 6th symphony. The end of the first movement is really satisfying for horn players.

What inspired you to take up your instrument?
My dad encouraged me. He said there was a shortage of horn players and that there would always be good playing opportunities. He subsequently took up the bassoon I think for similar reasons.

How did you come to join the orchestra?
I’ve had a chat with the other horns and none of us can remember. I was invited to stand in for somebody for a season, and then somehow stayed.

Most treasured occasion with the BPO?
Playing the second horn solo at the beginning of Mahler’s 9th symphony in the ABH concert. I’d worked really hard on it and it all came together on the night.

Any moments you’d rather forget?
When my wife joined in 2009 (!)

Favourite composers?
Probably Mahler.

Least favourite composer?
Johann Strauss. He was obviously a genius, but there’s only so many off-beats a horn player can play.

Work(s) you’d like to play before you die?
The rest of the Mahler symphonies please. 1,3,5,7 and 8.

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