Howard Hilliard is a fifth generation Californian where he received his Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the University of Southern California. At the invitation of principal conductor Zubin Mehta, he was invited to play principal horn in L’Orchestra del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino (Florence Italy’s main orchestra) for over six years. As part of that orchestra he recorded on many of the major classical labels as well as the original “Three Tenors” concert from Rome, which was the biggest selling classical CD of all time. After returning to the United States, Dr. Hilliard received his Doctoral degree from the University of North Texas College of Music. His most recent concerto engagements in Texas include performances with the Garland, Las Colinas, San Angelo and Symphony Arlington orchestras.
Dr. Hilliard has performed as principal horn all over the world in orchestra and wind ensembles that include: “I Solisti Fiorentini”, “Solisti dell’Ensemble Cameristico Pistoiese”, “Orquesta Sinfonica de la UANL” in Monterrey, Mexico, Boston Civic Symphony, North Shore Symphony, Dallas Chamber Orchestra, Plano Symphony, East Texas Symphony, Waco Symphony Orchestra, Irving Symphony, Dallas and Texas Wind Symphonies, Corpus Christi Symphony, Riverside County Philharmonic, West Side Symphony, Burbank Chamber Orchestra, Glendale Chamber Orchestra, American Youth Symphony, and Desert Symphony. He is currently the principal horn of the Garland, Las Colinas, San Angelo, Dallas Pops and Symphony Arlington orchestras.
Dr. Hilliard has been a voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Science, which selects the “Grammy” awards each year. In addition to being an active freelancer in the DFW Metroplex, he teaches French horn and trumpet, repairs brass instruments, does custom horn work and publishes both pedagogical articles and sheet music. His publication “Lip Slurs for Horn” is the best-selling book of lip slurs for horn in the world. It was featured in clinics at the 2012 International Horn Symposium.
His latest publications include “Intermediate Studies for Developing Artists” on Horn, Trumpet, Trombone, Euphonium and Tuba. These publications were presented at the Texas Bandmasters Association annual meeting. Dr. Hilliard’s articles have been published in his field’s most prestigious journals of record including: The Horn Call, The International Trumpet Guild Journal, The Instrumentalist and TMEA Bandmasters Review.
Away from the horn, Howard enjoys spending time with his wife Susanna who is a professional oboist and his two sons. He is also a dedicated Mavericks fan, after having been a long time “Showtime” Lakers fan prior to coming to Texas. That same passion for basketball extended to playing on the club basketball ball team, CUS Firenze, in Florence Italy for five years.