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Peter Francomb

Section Leader, Horn


The Friends of Royal Northern Sinfonia Chair

Peter Francomb began playing the horn at the age of 10. His early studies were in Eastbourne with Jane Allen, and in London with Ifor James and Ron Harris.

Early performing experience was gained with the Brighton Youth Orchestra. In 1974 he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Music, where he studied with Douglas Moore. In 1976 at the International Festival of Youth Orchestras, he won the Van Cliburn Foundation Scholarship, which funded a further year’s tuition with David Cripps and Tony Halstead at the Guildhall School of Music.

On leaving college, he worked as guest principal horn with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. In the field of chamber music he has worked with the Nash and Prometheus Ensembles, and since 1985 has been a member of the Albion Ensemble.

In 1988 he was invited to become the principal horn of Royal Northern Sinfonia, and in 2013 he celebrated 25 years in that role. During his time in Newcastle/Gateshead he has played a large selection of the horn solo repertoire. In 1992 he was invited to perform Giovanni Punto’s Fifth horn concerto at the International Horn Convention in Manchester, and he subsequently recorded this and three other concertos for Pan Classics with Royal Northern Sinfonia.

Peter continues to be invited as guest principal with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, the Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, and Opera North.

In 2015, Peter was invited to become principal horn with the London Mozart Players. He combines this work with his RNSduties.