William Purvis

A native of Western Pennsylvania, William Purvis pursues a multifaceted career both in the U.S. and abroad as horn soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and educator. A passionate advocate of new music, Mr. Purvis has participated in numerous premieres as hornist and conductor, including horn concerti by Peter Lieberson, Bayan Northcott, and Penderecki (New York Premiere), trios for violin, horn, and piano by Poul Ruders and Paul Lansky, and Steven Stuckey’s Sonate en Forme de Préludes with Emanuel Ax in Carnegie Hall. Recent world premieres include Carter’s Retracing II for solo horn and Carter’s Nine for Five, his new wind quintet, with the New York Woodwind Quintet.

Mr. Purvis is a member of the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, the Yale Brass Trio, and the Triton Horn Trio, and is an emeritus member of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. A frequent guest artist with the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, he has also collaborated with the Tokyo, Juilliard, Orion, Brentano, Mendelssohn, Sibelius, Daedalus, and Fine Arts string quartets. Mr. Purvis also performs frequently on early horns. He was a member of the Amadeus Winds and Mozzafiato, and has numerous recordings on Decca and SONY Vivarte with those ensembles.

His extensive list of recordings spans an unusually broad range from original instrument performance to standard solo and chamber music repertoire to contemporary solo and chamber music works as well as numerous recordings of contemporary music as conductor. Recent recordings include the Horn Concerto of Peter Lieberson on Bridge (which received a Grammy and a WQXR Gramophone Award), works of Schumann, Paul Lansky, the Schoenberg Wind Quintet with the New York Woodwind Quintet, the Quintet for Horn and Strings by Richard Wernick with the Juilliard Quartet, and Retracing II for Solo Horn by Elliott Carter.

Since 1999, Mr. Purvis has been a faculty member at the Yale School of Music, where he is coordinator of winds and brass. In 2008 he was appointed interim director of the Yale Collection of Musical Instruments. Mr. Purvis is also on the faculty of The Juilliard School.

Photo: Christian Steiner