Christopher Dwyer

Musicians Behind the Scenes: Christopher Dwyer

Posted by:  The Philadelphia Orchestra on December 02, 2021

Where were you born? I was born in Black River, New York.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? Strauss’s Four Last Songs.

What is your most treasured possession? My father recently gave me a medal he wore around his neck for the last 70 years. I wear it all the time now.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Parc.

Tell us about your instrument. I play a horn custom made by Dan Rauch. He just retired and there aren’t many out there so I feel very fortunate.

What’s in your instrument case? AirPods and Purell.

If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I would ask Handel why he left horns out of Messiah and then promptly buy him a beer.

What piece of music never fails to move you? Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 (“Resurrection”).

When did you join the Orchestra? In 2020.

Do you play any other instruments? No, horn is plenty.

What’s your favorite type of food? Italian.

What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? Hard copy of Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

Do you speak any other languages? No.

Do you follow any blogs? Fareed Zakaria GPS.

Do you have any hobbies? Walking, hiking, and traveling.

Do you have a favorite movie? Braveheart (my wife is a descendant of William Wallace!).

Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Rachmaninoff’s First and Third symphonies.

What’s the last recording you purchased? CD or download? I just purchased the download of Florence Price’s First and Third symphonies that we recently recorded for Deutsche Grammophon.

What’s on your iPod? Many things but I’ve recently been obsessed with an album of Mahler songs featuring baritone Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Leonard Bernstein at the piano.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? My first time performing with the Orchestra in 2008—Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 (“Symphony of a Thousand”). It was PHENOMENAL! I also have hundreds of Philadelphia Orchestra albums that I’ve been collecting since I was a teenager.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Carnegie Hall is hard to beat.

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