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Horn Virtuoso and Former MSO Music Director Barry Tuckwell Has Died Aged 88

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – January 17, 2020 – Barry Tuckwell, the founding Music Director and Conductor of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, and one of the most admired and successful of 20th-century horn players, has died, aged 88.

Tuckwell was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1931 and during his illustrious career, became an internationally recognized soloist and recording artist. In 1982 Tuckwell helped found the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, serving as its music director into 1998. He retired from professional horn playing in 1996, at the age of 65.

Jonathan Parrish, Executive Director of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra had the privilege of working with Tuckwell. “As the most recorded horn soloist of all time, Tuckwell had a global impact on the world of horn playing and has inspired every generation of horn player for the past seventy years,” said Parrish. “Locally, he left an indelible mark on Hagerstown by helping to create the Maryland Symphony Orchestra in 1982.  I am forever grateful for the opportunity he gave me to be a member of the MSO at the beginning of my performing career, and now to return as Executive Director of this wonderful orchestra he nurtured into existence.”

Under Barry’s talented leadership, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra grew to become a significant regional cultural force, its music delighting and enriching audiences. His renowned stature in the international music world, and the depth of his musical knowledge, impressed both the musicians who played for him, and the audiences who listened to him. The orchestra flourished under his direction.

“I was deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Maestro Tuckwell,” said Elizabeth Schulze, current Music Director and Conductor of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra.  “As a founder and first Music Director and Conductor of the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, his contribution to the cultural life of our community was profound and everlasting.  His musicianship and virtuosic artistry was admired the world over and I am grateful that he chose to share his considerable talents so generously with us all.”

Barry Tuckwell was a major factor in the Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s remarkable success. His legacy, to the orchestra and to the community is immeasurable. He guided the orchestra and audiences to the rich pleasures of fine classical music. For this, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra will be forever grateful.


Founded in 1982, Maryland Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 38th season as the area’s premier professional orchestra.  Under the musical direction of Maestra Elizabeth Schulze, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to providing musical performances that educate and entertain, while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding region. Learn more: