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Columbus Makes Art Presents: Brian Mangrum, Principal French Horn of the Columbus Symphony

Susan Ropp Susan Ropp Columbus Makes Art Presents: Brian Mangrum, Principal French Horn of the Columbus SymphonyBrian Mangrum, Principal French Horn of the Columbus Symphony. Photo by Will Brenner.
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Brian Mangrum joined the Columbus Symphony as principal French horn in the summer of 2018, shortly after graduating from Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music. A native of Montreal, he also studied at the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal and Marianopolis College, was a New Horizons Fellow at the Aspen Music Festival and School and was awarded First Prize in the brass category of the Montreal Symphony’s Concours Manuvie 2017.

You can see Brian perform as part of the Columbus Symphony’s Masterworks Series throughout the 2019-20 season, which opens with Twisted 3, a multidisciplinary celebration of the performing arts in collaboration with BalletMet, CAPA and Opera Columbus, Sept. 26-29 at the Ohio Theatre.

Susan: What inspired you to become a musician?
Brian: I was lucky to grow up in a family of musicians (violin and bassoon), and as a kid, I thought that my parents had the best jobs. When they couldn’t find a babysitter, we would sit backstage in Montreal, exposing my siblings and me to some incredible performances at a young age. I have wanted to be a musician for as long as I can remember.

Brian Mangrum, Principal French Horn of the Columbus Symphony. Photo by Will Brenner.
Brian Mangrum, Principal French Horn of the Columbus Symphony. Photo by Will Brenner.

Susan: In your opinion, what is the coolest thing about being a musician?
Brian: My favorite things about being a musician are that there is always room for improvement, and that every time you get together with colleagues, be it at a festival, a gig, or with the CSO, there’s an opportunity to learn a lot. You get to meet some really interesting people on the job, and the hang-out after a good show is a lot of fun.

Susan: What are your hobbies and interests?
Brian: Outside of music, I love camping and biking with my pup, Hildy. If I wasn’t a musician, I would want to be a park ranger somewhere in the mountains. Reading and cooking are up there, and recently I have been thinking about getting into beekeeping.

Susan: If you were stuck on a desert island and could only have three albums to listen to, what would you choose?
Brian: The Brahms Symphonies recorded with the Vienna Philharmonic with Leonard Bernstein, the Montreal Symphony’s recording of Stravinsky’s Pétrouchka and the collected recordings of Dennis Brain.

Susan: Do you have a favorite sport and/or team?
Brian: The Habs! (Montreal Canadiens)

Susan: What are your favorite things about Columbus and its arts scene?
Brian: Good food, lots of things to do and some beautiful nature very close to the city. I think the best thing about the arts scene is the variety of shows and expositions, and the rate at which it’s growing! I’m fairly new to the city, as I joined the Symphony in 2018, but I love seeing that every week there is a new group coming through town, another play being performed or a new expo. Local artists are often featured, which is great for the city’s cultural identity.

You can see Brian perform as part of the Columbus Symphony’s Masterworks Series throughout the 2019-20 season, starting with Twisted 3, Sept. 26-29 at the Ohio Theatre.

Columbus Makes Art Presents is a bi-weekly column brought to you by the Greater Columbus Arts Council – supporting art and advancing culture in Columbus. The column is a project of the Art Makes Columbus campaign, telling the inspiring stories of the people and organizations who create Columbus art and sharing information about exhibitions, performances, concerts and more at ColumbusMakesArt.com. Each column will be written by a different local arts organization to give you an insiders look at how #artmakescbus.

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