Ilze Brink-Button

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Ilze Brink-Button > French Horn

ilze-buttonIlze Brink-Button, a native of South Africa, started her first musical instruction at the age of 7 on the piano. She began studying the French Horn at the age of 11 and soon thereafter won several concerto competitions in South Africa on both French Horn and Piano.

Additionally she won several scholarships to further her musical studies from the Royal College of Music and UNISA (University of South Africa).

At the age of 13 she made her solo debut playing concertos on both horn and piano with the Orange Free State Symphony Orchestra and the Johannesburg Symphony Orchestra. She won several concerto competitions to play with other orchestras, including the CAPAB Symphony Orchestra in Cape Town and the South African Broadcasting Corporation Symphony Orchestra where she appeared twice on National Television playing concertos on French horn. She also recorded several live television and radio chamber music works, including the Brahms Horn Trio, Mozart Horn Quintet, Beethoven sextet and many more.

From 1978 to 1982, Ilze was a member of the South African Youth Orchestra and toured Israel, France and Switzerland in 1978 with the orchestra. In February 1984 she won a fulltime assistant principal horn position with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra (CTSO), Cape Town, South Africa and toured Taiwan and Hong Kong with that organization in November of 1988.

Ilze was a Music Performance Major at the University of the Orange Free State in South Africa, and furthered her studies with John Covert at the Ithaca College School of Music during a leave of absence from the CTSO. In 1987, while a student at Ithaca College, she earned the privilege of performing the Franz Strauss Horn Concerto with the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra as a winner of that institution’s concerto competition.

In 1989 Ilze married American trombonist and Public School Band Director, Steve Button and settled in Oneonta, New York. During summers between 1990 and 2002, Ilze served on the faculty of the Hartwick College Summer Music Festival and Institute in Oneonta, NY. Her duties there included French Horn Instructor, Horn Ensembles coach, member of the Faculty Woodwind Quintet, and she performed with Members of the Canadian Brass and New York Philharmonic for several summers while in residence at the Music Festival.

Since moving to the United States, she has held positions with the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Utica Symphony Orchestra, Catskill Symphony Orchestra and various other regional professional musical organizations. Ilze substituted regularly with the Glimmerglass Opera Orchestra for over a decade, participated in the Skaneateles Chamber Music Festival, and Binghamton Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 1995 she moved to Syracuse, NY with her husband and two children and started her own private horn studio. She has been as a Visiting Lecturer at Cornell University since August 2008, and performs with Symphoria in Syracuse.