I began my correspondance with mr. Cerminaro late 2015. I felt as if we hit it off right from the start, coinciding on many ideas both in music and life.
John was also interested in trying some of the mouthpieces we were producing. Now, for those in the know, John has always been on the forefront when it came to innovation in terms of equipment.
From the introduction of the triple horn in modern orchestral hornplaying, to designing mouthpieces, he has done it all, with the greatest of succes. Yet, always to serve the music, or to put it in John's own words "Playing the horn, as well as possible, and finding ways to play it beautifully yet also reliably is what we seek.. in mouthpieces, bells, bodies of the horn, leadpipes .. All these things play a part, in making the horn a little bit more reliable"
John, and his lovely wife, Charlotte, were very supportive of what we were trying to do with our modular mouthpiece system. They both liked our ideas and views on mouthpiece design, and when John suggested we take a look at his personal mouthpieces, and permitted us to use any or all aspects of them, for our designs, we of course gratefully accepted.
I immediatly loved these designs. They are made to allow the player to produce a specific sound, and in a specific way. This means using a rim of smaller I.D. (I would suggest a maximum of no more than 17,5mm) that is not too wide. John's own rims exemplify this, with a smaller I.D. of around 17mm combined with narrower profiles
His cup designs, originally made by the great (late) Bob Giardinelli and Walter Lawson, were adjusted over time by various craftsmen. After taking careful measurements of his designs (with the best and most expensive methods possible - accurate down to 1.7µm) we started playing with the idea if we could perhaps, still improve on these already exceptional mouthpieces. When I suggested this to John, he was very supportive of the idea and wrote me the following:
" To me, it always comes down to this: Can I play it well? Does it give me ease of production and richness of sound? The main thing is: make it play great! - I mean, what else matters?
With me, it was always by ear, a little here, a little there, until a cup sounded right. YOU ought to just find the best in whatever conclusions I've ended up with, then combine whichever elements you think best. I will be glad to play "test-runs" along the way to help out. But, in the end, my guess is YOU will find our best shot at giving modern horn players what they'll be needing for the years ahead."
After making one or two small, yet effictive modifications to the existing designs, all with the utmost respect for the sound and feel of the originals, John and I both feel we have succeeded in making the most of the designs that he spent his carreer playing and developing. If the classic 'New York' sound is what you seek, look no further.
Long considered one of the most colorful fixtures on the classical music scene, John Cerminaro has played principal horn of the "CBS Television Orchestra" w/Alfred Wallenstein conducting and both New York and Los Angeles Philharmonics, under Leonard Bernstein and Carlo Maria Giulini, respectively. Mr. Cerminaro was principal horn for the debute concerts of the New York Philharmonic's "Live From Lincoln Center" and Leonard Bernstein's, "Young Peoples Concerts" at Avery Fisher Hall. He has taught French horn at the Juilliard School, the Aspen Music Festival and the California Institute for the Arts, and is widely known for his solo recordings ranging from Mozart's Four Horn Concertos to John Williams' score for the NBC Nightly News. Author of the "The Greater Glory" a treatise for performers, and a recently completed a manuscript entitled, "A Musician's Life Revealed", Mr. Cerminaro's teaching background includes being the Landsdowne Lecturer at Victoria College and "The Business of Music" seminar, weekly at The Juilliard School. In addition to playing guest principal horn with many American orchestras, such as the Dallas, Houston, Milwaukee and Seattle symphony orchestras, John Cerminaro was appointed principal horn of "The All Star Symphony Orchestra" during its inaugural season in 2012, recording eight live televised concerts in Manhattan, all still in syndication and available worldwide online or via DVD. In 2015, Mr. Cerminaro turned his attention to an internet video teaching series as well as the creation of a new line of mouthpieces in collaboration with Tim Van Gijsegem of Maelstrom Mouthpieces in Geraardsbergen, Belgium. John Cerminaro and his wife Charlotte maintain homes in Seattle and Aspen, where they reside with their two children.