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Six Questions: Luke Baker, Horn

Get To Know the Festival's 2018 Fellows
July 18, 2018

Horn player LUKE BAKER, from Houston, TX, recently received his MM degree from the Yale School of Music under the tutelage of William Purvis. His previous teachers include Greg Hustis, Haley Hoops, Gavin Reed and Holley Linder. He performs regularly with the Allentown Symphony and has served as guest principal with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic. While Baker enjoys orchestral performance, he also has a passion for solo performance, and won the university division 2017 International Horn Competition of America and the 2014  Meadows Undergraduate Concerto Competition. When Baker is not playing the horn, he enjoys skiing, rock climbing, and social dancing. | Clement Clarke Moore Scholarship | lukebakerhorn.com

What is a favorite non-musical activity / what do you enjoy doing on your down time?

I have many hobbies, but my favorites include, skiing, rock climbing, and social dancing (salsa, swing, etc.)

What are the first 5 items on your playlist?

I have very eclectic tastes in music, but on a long road trip I might listen to Greg Hustis’s album, Lyrical Gems for Horn followed by some music by The Killers, Alanis Morisette, Bon Jovi, Vampire Weekend, Thousand Foot Crutch, Taylor Swift, The Rend Collective, and Yanni. If there was still more drive time left, I’d listen to a podcast or two and then another album of classical music with Radek Barbarok or the Berlin Philharmonic.

What book are you currently reading?

I don’t manage to set aside a lot of time to read, but my girlfriend and I are slowly working our way through The Scarlet Letter.

Why did you choose your instrument?

When it came time to sign up for band in 6th grade, I had my heart set on playing percussion. My 12 year old self could think of no better way to spend a class everyday in school, than banging on everything but the kitchen sink. My band director didn’t seem to think that was a great idea and convinced me to play the trumpet. I hated the trumpet and jumped at the opportunity 6 months later to switch to the euphonium. I pleaded with my parents and band director, but my band director really thought I should play the Horn instead. I begrudgingly agreed to try it out for a few weeks, but my competitive nature forced me to practice and try to outperform my classmates in our weekly playing tests. I promised myself I would quit music year after year until I realized how skilled I had become at this unwieldy instrument and slowly fell in love with the Horn, Classical music and the whole package. I suppose my middle school band director may have known what he was talking about all along… 🤔

Do you have any pre-concert traditions?

I am generally pretty mellow before most of my concerts, but I will unashamedly use any orchestral audition as an excuse to go out for some Thai food the night before.

😋 Druken Noodles 😋

If you could create and play in any chamber ensemble, whom would it include?

This one is a toughy… I would play in a Horn Quartet with Radek Baborák, Frank Lloyd, and Sarah Willis.