Toll Free 1.866.888.7478

Andrew Joy

Andrew Joy

Growing up on a wheat and sheep farm in Western Australia taught a young Andrew Joy critical lessons about sowing seeds, being patient during gestation periods and taking responsibility for the quantity and quality of the resulting harvests.

The self-reliance, confidence and determination to see hard jobs through to completion and a fierce commitment to delivering on promises that Joy developed on that farm later proved invaluable during a challenging and rewarding professional career on principle horn in a premiere German radio orchestra.

Two cellists, Brian Meddeman in Australia and Johannes Goritzki in Germany, opened his mind and ears to complex, nuance-rich sound production and challenged him to find the means of translating cello technique into his horn playing. The violinist Ingeborg Scheerer shaped and sharpened his interest in exact intonation and clean, clear articulation. A heavy orchestral recording schedule covering a large portion of the standard repertoire and many contemporary works paved the way for several highly-acclaimed solo recordings and CDs.

Andrew Joy’s eldest, severely handicapped son Chris inspired a major work by the deceased German composer, Hans Georg Pflueger, “…icy is the world outside…” for Tenor, Horn, Strings and Percussion, which was premiered in Neuss, Germany in March 1998. The Japanese composer, Michiko Kawagoe has written several works for horn solo, horn and piano, and horn and organ for Joy and his duo partner, Peter Dicke.

Joy’s partnership with the horn maker Dieter Otto began in 1980 at a horn symposium in Trossingen, Germany where he purchased his first Otto 166 double horn in yellow brass. Watching Otto hand-make a first branch for the high F side of the first B flat / high F horn that the pair developed together was a special highlight for Joy. They then later fused this model with a 180K to create the prototype 185 Dieter Otto triple in 1998. Otto presented the new instrument to Joy after the premiere of Pflueger’s “…icy is the world outside…”. Joy continues his involvement in the development of Dieter Otto horns together with Otto’s successor and new owner, Martin Ecker.

A bottom lip injury at the beginning of 2006 prompted questions to brass colleagues which led Joy to discovering Jerome Callet’s “Tongue Controlled Embouchure” and then, through Prof. John Ericson in the USA, Jeff Smiley’s “The Balanced Embouchure”. The combined concepts and resulting new skill sets have revolutionized Joy’s understanding of what it is to play and perform on a brass instrument.

A disturbing incident in 2007 during a performance of Mahler’s 5th symphony, when the conductor deliberately started the third movement scherzo whilst Joy was still emptying water from his main tuning slide, generated the energy for the idea and action that led to the birth two years later of the JoyKey, a revolutionary automatic water drainage system for wind/brass instruments, now in world-wide use.

Since stepping down from his principal horn position in the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra at the beginning of 2011 after 32 years of service, Andrew Joy’s current mission is sharing the benefits of both the JoyKey and Callet’s and Smiley’s revolutionary concepts/practice techniques with the brass community world-wide.

My Kit

Essential Must Haves

  • Mouthpiece and Lead-pipe brushes
  • PowerLung
  • Practice Journal
  • Gratitude Journal
  • Hammer and golf ball
  • Kindle
  • iPhone

Something Worth Learning

Favorite Things

  • Spending time with my amazing Family
  • Spending time with close friends
  • Studying and learning
  • Reading
  • Teaching
  • Travelling

Practice Inspiration