Hi! I'm Brian. I'm in love with combining French horn sounds with other things. I've been playing horn for over a decade. I fell in love with music when I saw an incredible trombone soloist perform "Gee, Officer Krupkie" on a unicycle when I was 10. I begged my parents to let me join middle school band, and off I went.
I've always approached music with the same mindset that I hope that trombone soloist did. Now I try my best to inspire that younger version of myself in every performance I give. I am always asking myself "How can I play this that will help tell this story better?", and "What will make this sound cooler?"
When I trained in Music Therapy at Shenandoah Conservatory and then French Horn Performance at the University of Maryland, College Park, I tried to approach every musical moment as a show in itself. I fell into the wonderful rabbit holes of orchestral, wind, chamber, contemporary, music theater, and brass ensemble music and never stopped going.
After I won my horn job with the United States Navy and moved to Pearl Harbor, Hawaiʻi, I continued to do my best to make this show, right now, as good as it can be.
What do you think? Let's work together and see how good we can make this show!
The other aspect of my career, accidentally, has been in photography. I bought my first camera, an old and used Panasonic Bridge camera, when I was backpacking and hiking a lot in college. When I would arrive at the campsite, I wasn't tired yet and there was nothing to do!
I started shooting at campsites and on the trail and reading about how to get better. Eventually, a friend saw my photographs and asked me to do her headshots. I spent hours each night before the shoot desperately trying to learn how to do a good job with portraits. They came out great!
Then came a conductor, then an actress, then a musician, then a whole music theater production! Before I knew it, I was shooting portraits left and right. When I won my job with the United States Navy, I quickly showed my work and they made me the staff photographer. I spent years touring with the band as the principal horn, but also stepping out to photograph the band members.
In all my travel, I have developed a love for photographing my life on the road and the things I see. I have a love of landscapes, nature, odd buildings, and interesting scenes.
Click below to learn more about my photography or learn about how you can become a better photographer!
formal artist's bio
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 the world premiere of works for orchestra and band. A collaborator at heart, he often organizes performances with a connection to another art form, such as winemaking, brewing, or photography.
In addition to horn and electronics life, Brian has had a full career as a solo, chamber, and orchestral musician. He has 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 as the Principal Horn of the United States 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 United States 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 many 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 remains 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 when called.
Brian received his undergraduate degree in Music Therapy along with a performance certificate from Shenandoah Conservatory and his Master’s Degree in Horn Performance from the University of Maryland. He maintains an MT-BC credential with the Certification Board for Music Therapists. His principal teachers have been Janelle Ellis, William Zsembery, Joseph Lovinsky, and Gregory Miller.