Eli Epstein

Professor of Horn
Affiliated Departments

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I focus on the whole person and tailor my teaching to each individual’s needs. My approach is about developing excellent biomechanics and also freeing students to express their feelings, stories, and selves with their audience.

Eli Epstein joined the Conservatory in 2005 and is a professor of horn. He also teaches chamber music, brass pedagogy, and the course the Creative Musician.

Prior to joining the faculty at Boston Conservatory, Epstein was second horn for the Cleveland Orchestra (1987-2005) and horn professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1989-2005).

Epstein has appeared several times as a soloist with the Philadelphia and Cleveland orchestras, in chamber programs at the Music Academy of the West, where he was on the faculty (2005-2013), and at the Aspen Music Festival, where he served as principal horn for the Aspen Chamber Symphony (2000-2012). Epstein has collaborated with the Borromeo and Brentano string quartets and has served as guest principal horn for the Rhode Island Philharmonic, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, and St. Louis Symphony. Occasionally, he performs with the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

On the faculty at New England Conservatory (NEC) and director of the NEC Youth Brass Ensemble since 2009, Epstein has conducted college ensembles at Boston Conservatory, Cleveland Institute of Music, Longy School of Music, Music Academy of the West, NEC, and El Sistema in Venezuela.

Advocating the idea that music can be a meaningful and uplifting force in society, Epstein won the grand prize in the Entrepreneur the Arts Contest (2009) for his Inside Out concerts and appeared on Heartbeat of America with William Shatner.

Epstein's book Horn Playing from the Inside Out was celebrated in the Horn Call as "an overwhelmingly stimulating and productive treatise," with the journal noting that "its positive influence on the profession will be immediate and lasting." Orchestral Excerpts for Low Horn, Epstein's album released in 2014, was also praised in the Horn Call (2015): “Every performance provides a sonic paragon, a rubric worthy of emulation by student and professional alike.”

A graduate of the Eastman School of Music, Epstein was awarded a Bachelor of Music with high distinction in 1979.

Recent Engagements

  • Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 1 (Chameleon Arts Ensemble, Boston, 2016)—Soloist
  • Featured guest artist (Arizona State University Horn Day, 2016)
  • Featured guest artist (Florida French Horn Day, 2015)
  • Featured clinician (International Horn Society conference, Los Angeles, 2015)
  • Featured clinician (International Horn Society conference, London, 2014)


  • School Name
    Eastman School of Music
    Bachelor of Music (B.M.)
    Field of Study
    Horn Performance
    Date Degree Received