Emily Buehler


Hometown: North Wales, PA

Alma maters: Eastman School of Music, B.M. Horn Performance/Music Education; Pennsylvania State University, M.M. Horn Performance

Photos by Matt Dine and Chris O’Brien


Awards/Competitions: Performer’s Certificate, Eastman School of Music; Teaching Assistantship, Pennsylvania State University; 1st Prize, 2017 Southeast Horn Workshop Low Horn Audition; 2nd Place, 2017 Southeast Horn Workshop Concerto Competition

What is your earliest memory of classical music? Classical music has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. The cornerstone moment that I remember most clearly was being called down to conduct Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer at a Pops concert when I was a child!

When did you realize you wanted to pursue music as a career? I got serious about music my sophomore year of high school. This was my first year playing the horn in an ensemble, and I kind of became obsessed with the instrument and its versatility. I was also exposed to all of the options music has to offer as a career and never second-guessed it.

What do you think orchestra concerts should look like in the 21st Century? Orchestra concerts should look like a lot of things: audience participation, understanding, and involvement. Orchestra concerts should not be one-sided.

Who is your biggest inspiration? I am always very inspired by my colleagues. I love making music with other people, and this drives me to be the best musician I can.

Which composer do you feel you connect with the most? It may be because I am a horn player, but I love R. Strauss and Mahler.

What is your favorite piece of music, and why do you love it? Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn, and Strings. This is a piece that, to me, captures a majority of human emotion. I love how Britten wrote for the ensemble and utilized all members to their fullest capacity.

What has been your favorite experience as a musician? My favorite experience has been playing in a brass quintet on outreach concerts. I love the intimacy of playing with a small ensemble, and the music is fun and rewarding.

Do you have any embarrassing performance stories? Plenty. I think my favorite is a moment that happened during the second movement of Hindemith’s Symphony in B-flat. The whole movement, a fly kept landing on my leadpipe, inching its way toward my face. I tried to shew it away, and simultaneously, the second horn players tuning slide popped out of their horn in my direction. I catapulted myself to the slide and returned it in a measure’s rest . . . but there was a flurry of movement on the stage during a quiet part of the piece, and two very nervous horn players.

What is some advice you would give to your younger self? Listen more. Listen to more music, listen to more educators, and listen to more recordings of yourself. Don’t be afraid to not sound your best . . . that’s what learning sounds like.

Favorite non-classical musician or band: Tie between Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver

If you could play another instrument, what would it be? Bassoon

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be doing? Either a therapist or an event planner

What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to and why? Maine. Beautiful surroundings, great hiking, and best of all . . . the seafood.

Which three people, dead or alive, would you like to have dinner with and why?
1) My great grandfather: he played trumpet in the Philadelphia Orchestra in the ’20s, and I have so many questions for him.
2) Verne Reynolds: I’ve heard so many things about him and learned so much from his books.
3) Britten: He wrote incredible music in a variety of different genres. I love his style and use of the horn.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us: I can Irish Dance.

Piece of advice for a young classical musician: Play more scales than you want. More importantly, listen to all kinds of music!!!