English Horn

Rixon Thomas

My Education: Started on Clarinet but there were too many good players so I changed to oboe ; ). Sydney Conservatorium of Music  – Highschool then Bachelor of Music with Honours. Teachers in Australia: Linda Walsh and Diana Doherty. Teachers in Europe: Bjørn Carl Nielsen, Albrecht Mayer, Francois Leleux, Douglas Boyd, Gordon Hunt and Diethelm Jonas. Before I joined the Kapel, I had tenure positions in The Sydney Symphony, the New Zealand Symphony and the Copenhagen Phil.

My favourite composition: Ross Edwards – Violin Concerto  ’Maninyas’ with Dean Olding. I heard this piece as a child in my hometown, Sydney/Australia, with the orchestra I would later become a member of – The Sydney Symphony Orchestra.

Greatest musical experience: In 2013 I was invited back to play with the Australian World Orchestra, which I’ve be a member of since 2011. But this time it was Stravinsky – Rite of Spring with Zubin Mehta. What a Cor part. It was huge.

My most memorable/funny/unusual experience in the Kapel: Playing the enormous English Horn solo from Wagners Tristan and Isolde whilst standing 4 storeys above the orchestra pit at Operaen. After the start of the 3rd act, I had to tiptoe out of the pit, then take the elevator up to the 4th storey. Then I had to go out onto a walkway where I was to play completely alone for almost 4mins. But that walkway was more or less a grill, so you could see right through the floor to the orchestra 4 storeys below. A bit hard to concentrate on the music, but they said it was a good acoustic effect from the audiences perspective.

When I’m not playing in the Kapel: I teach quite a bit around the world. Then there’s lots of Padel Tennis. But mostly my downtime is spent together with my 3 adorable children and my sweet Viola playing wife : )