Ian Zook 🔸Horn

Performer & Teacher




Ian Zook is an active orchestral and solo performer and has appeared in concerts throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. He joined the faculty of James Madison University in 2009 and performs frequently with the Madison Brass and Bluestone Winds, both faculty ensembles in-residence at James Madison University.  As soloist he has performed with numerous ensembles including the JMU Brass Band at the Kennedy Center, the JMU Wind Symphony, JMU Percussion Ensemble, the Madison Singers, KOR, the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra, the Virginia Baroque Consort,  the Chamber Orchestra of Charlottesville, and the Staunton Music Festival.

Mr. Zook's orchestral experience is extensive and has included positions with the Charlottesville Symphony, Princeton Symphony, and Haddonfield Symphony Orchestras, and multiple performances as a substitute musician with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Harrisburg, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia,  Delaware, and Vermont Symphonies, and the Pennsylvania Ballet, Opera Philadelphia, and National Symphony Orchestra. He has performed under many of the world's premiere conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Valery Gergiev, Charles Dutoit, Neemi Järvi, Michael Tilson Thomas, Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, Osmo Vänskä, David Zinman, Leonard Slatkin, James Conlon, and David Robertson.

He has also presented regular solo performances and lectures at universities, including the Curtis Institute of Music, University of Delaware, West Chester University, Penn State University, the University of Michigan, Central Michigan University, Western Michigan University, UNC-Greensboro, Western Carolina University, UNC School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, and UNC – Chapel Hill.  He is a regular featured performer and presenter at annual Southeast and Northeast Workshops of the International Horn Society, and presented the premiere of John Hilliard's Love Songs for the New Kingdom at the 45th International Horn Symposium. He is currently active as the Virginia Representative for the International Horn Society and hosted the 2017 Southeast Horn Workshop at James Madison University.    

Mr. Zook has performed at several international music festivals, including concerts on tour with the Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra for the Festival del Sole in California, Italy, and Switzerland. These programs featured solo appearances from artists including Joshua Bell, Pinchas Zuckerman, Mishca Maisky, and Barbara Bonney.  He also performed with the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland on internationally broadcasted concerts under conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Mikhail Pletnev, Esa-Pekka Salonen, and Manfred Honeck.

Additionally, Mr. Zook toured as principal horn of the Pacific Music Festival in Japan under the baton of Valery Gergiev with concerts in Sapporo, Nagoya, Osaka, and Tokyo. He performed alongside principal musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic in both orchestral and chamber music settings, and also worked with principal musicians of the Berlin Philharmonic.

A proponent of period-instrument performance, he has played natural horn with the New York Collegium, Washington Bach Consort, and Staunton Music Festival.  Mr. Zook was also a featured performer at the 2005 Northeast Horn Workshop playing trompe de chasse. On the opposite end of the spectrum, he has moonlighted with popular acts such as the Three Irish Tenors, Mannheim Steamroller, Billy Ocean,  KC and the Sunshine Band, and The Gladhands.

Mr. Zook holds degrees from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan. His teachers have included Sören Hermansson, Bryan Kennedy, Lowell Greer, and John Zirbel.  Additional experience was garnered performing both orchestral and chamber music at the National Orchestral Institute, Sarasota Music Festival, Aspen Music Festival, and the American Institute of Musical Studies in Graz, Austria. 

Photo by John Edward Mason

Photo by John Edward Mason