Father-son musical duo makes its debut at Heritage Harbor

January 28, 1994|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,Contributing Writer

The area's newest father-son musical duo will make its concert debut at 7:30 this evening at the Heritage Harbor clubhouse west of Annapolis.

Douglas Allanbrook, the distinguished composer, harpsichordist, pianist and St. John's tutor, will be joined by 16-year-old John Allanbrook, a Key School sophomore and the principal French horn player in the Chesapeake Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Father and son will perform the Mozart third horn concerto and portions of Mr. Allanbrook's "25 Building Blocks", a series of challenging variations for horn and piano. Mr. Allanbrook will round out the program with a pair of Haydn sonatas and his own "Venice and Naples Music for Piano."

The work, "25 Building Blocks", was composed for Arthur Brooks, former member of the Annapolis Brass Quintet. "It is a full-blooded piece for piano and horn," says the composer, "a grand duo, if you will."

John, who was inspired to take up the French horn by Mr. Brooks' playing, admires his father's work.

"I get to do everything," says the young musician, who has been playing this most treacherous of instruments for six years.

"I sound raspy sometimes. I flutter tongue and make glissandos all over the place. And the rhythms are really jazzy. The hardest thing, though, is the endurance it takes to manage all the soft high notes."

Mr. Allanbrook has played many concerts in his career, but clearly this one is special to him.

"I think it's marvelous," he says. "John is only 16, but I must say he's coming along. He's good at it."

John, too, is enjoying the experience. "We rehearsed quite a bit over the week off from school and it's gone very well except we do argue over tempos sometimes," he says, laughing.

But that happens in the best of musical families.

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