Episode 25: Brian Kavolius-Matherne (Brian KM)

Dismantling Dissonance

Mar 13 2021 • 58 mins

Performer-Composer Brian Kavolius-Matherne is a horn and electronics soloist with
projects as varied as the medium is unique. With influences including Tchaikovsky, Strauss,
Broadway, French-Acoustic-Folk, David Maslanka, and Julia Kent, it is no wonder that he
took to composition to synthesize all the music he hears!

Brian developed a taste for new music early in his career, performing with the EDGE New
Music Ensemble at Shenandoah Conservatory during his early training. Since then, he has
commissioned multiple new works for solo horn and various chamber groups and has
served as principal horn for world premieres of works for orchestra and band. A
collaborator at heart, common theme of a recital organized by Brian is a connection to
another art form, such as winemaking, brewing, oration, photography, or writing. As a
performer-composer, he has performed his works for audiences across the US
and Canada, ranging from Hawaiʻi to the east coast, including a recent appearance at the
Santa Clara Universities Music@Noon series.

In addition to horn and electronics life, Brian has had a full career as a solo, chamber,  and
orchestral musician. He served as principal horn in performances with the University of
Maryland Symphony Orchestra, the University of Maryland Wind Orchestra, the
Shenandoah Conservatory Symphony Orchestra, Shenandoah Summer Music Theater
Company, the Plainville Wind Ensemble, the Rapidan Orchestra, the Miami Summer Music
Festival Symphony Orchestra, and the Miami Summer Music Festival Opera Orchestra. He
is an active participant in the chamber music community wherever he lives and has been a
regular member of many groups.

After his collegiate training, Brian was appointed the Principal Horn of the US
Navy’s “U.S. Pacific Fleet Band” in Pearl Harbor, Hawaiʻi and served under the baton of
Fleet Bandmaster Lieutenant Commander Kelly Cartwright. While serving in the Navy, he
was a featured soloist and regular horn player for the organization’s premiere brass
quintet, “Harbor Brass” and wind quintet, “Trade Winds”. During his service in the US Navy, Brian completed multiple international and domestic tours, providing musical
support for hundreds of diplomatic, military, and outreach events. He participated in the
Oʻahu Joint Military Service Band Concert in 2019, serving as principal horn for military
members in the Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Army, and National Guard. In 2018, he was
selected to perform at the Midwest Band Conference as a member of a Navy-wide
chamber ensemble. He received the National Medal of Arts “for personifying excellence in
music and service to country”.

As a fierce advocate for musical outreach in educational settings, Brian contributed
hundreds of hours of volunteer teaching for local high schools during his military service.
He served as the head of the U.S. Pacific Fleet Band’s Music Education Outreach Program
and was the initiating agent for key programs, including multiple joint programs with
the University of Hawaiʻi Department of Music and the Navy’s first online outreach
program during COVID-19. He is committed to education and maintains an active
horn studio and stays in touch with a network of band directors, providing educational
outreach as a soloist.

Brian received his undergraduate degree in Music Therapy along with a performance
certificate from Shenandoah Conservatory and his MM in Horn Performance
from the University of Maryland. He maintains an MT-BC credential with the Certification
Board for Music Therapists. His principal teachers are Janelle Ellis, William
Zsembery, Joseph Lovinsky, and Gregory Miller.


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