CHARLES TIBBETTS -
(Photo: Taken during intermission in the Ordway Theater with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra)
Charles Tibbetts grew up in Beloit, Wisconsin. At the age of 14, he
began private French horn lessons with the legendary John Barrows, who
was the horn professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He
studied four years privately, then four more years as a student, right
up until Mr. Barrows' death on January 11th, 1974. It was during these
eight years, that Charles often met Alec Wilder, who would be in town
visiting his long time friend, John Barrows. As it was only a 45 minute
drive from Beloit to Madison, Charles also played in the Wisconsin
Youth Orchestra under it's founder and conductor, Marvin Rabin. In 1970,
he played principal horn with the American Youth Orchestra in New York
City at Carnegie Hall.
The same month John Barrows died, Charles left the University and flew to Montreux Switzerland where he played principal horn at the Institut de Hautes Études Musicales, an international youth orchestra. There he studied briefly with Alan Civil , Barry Tuckwell and Hermann Baumann. It was Baumann who convinced Charles to travel to Germany and take auditions during his stay in Europe. At his second audition, Charles won the position of principal with the Philharmonia Hungarica, under the direction of Antal Dorati. For the next 36 years, Charles held positions in the Badische Staatstheater Karlsruhe, Nationaltheater Mannheim and Südwestfunk (SWR) Radio orchestras. He played under great conductors like, Antal Dorati, Gunter Wand, Michael Gielen, Adam Fischer, Christoph Eschenbach , Hans Wallet, Leif Segerstam, Günter Herbig, Donald Runnicles, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Nicholas McGegan and Roberto Abbado.
Yet Charles' first love has always been playing chamber music. During his 36 year professional career, he performed in many different groups. Among his favorites were, the Bach - Collegium Stuttgart, under Helmuth Rilling, Ensemble Modern, Ensemble 13 - Baden - Baden, Gabrielli Quintett founded by Reinhold Friedrich, Das Rennquintett which he founded himself, and the Mannheim - Heidelberg chamber music series with Donald Runnicles. Since moving back to the states, he also enjoys subbing with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.
In June, 2010 Charles returned to his native state of Wisconsin with his wife and two children, where he is currently living in Eau Claire and playing chamber music with different groups around the western state and Twin Cities area.
John Barrows at U.W. Madison
Donald Runnicles visiting
Performing at the Mannheim Palace
Horn reunion of former Barrows students
Design: Csikós György