Martin Owen is widely regarded as one of Europe’s leading horn players, appearing as soloist and chamber musician at some of the leading music festivals around the world. In July 2016 Martin became principal horn with Britten Sinfonia. He also holds the position of Principal Horn at the BBC Symphony Orchestra, having served as Principal Horn of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra for ten years, and during the 2012/13 season, Martin was Principal Horn of the Berliner Philharmoniker on a temporary contract. Martin also currently holds the position of Principal Horn of the California-based ensemble, Camerata Pacifica.
Recent highlights include performances of concertos by Mozart, Richard Strauss, Schumann, Messiaen, Britten, Elliott Carter and Oliver Knussen, with orchestras including the BBC Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, BBC Philharmonic, Orquesta Nacional de España, The Hallé, New World Symphony and Aalborg Symfoniorkester. IN 2016-17 Martin Owen will perform Strauss: 1st Horn Concerto with the Liceu Symphony Orchestra / Josep Pons in Barcelona in October and will appear as guest principal with the Cleveland Orchestra.
In 2006, Martin Owen also gave the world premiere of Malcolm Arnold’s recently discovered Burlesque with the Royal Philharmonic in the composer’s home town of Northampton, and, in 2007, made his solo debut at the BBC Proms performing Schumann’s Konzertstück with the BBC Philharmonic. Martin returned to the Proms as soloist in 2009 in a highly acclaimed performance of Oliver Knussen’s Horn Concerto with the BBC Symphony conducted by the composer, broadcast live on BBC television and radio. In 2008, he made his Barbican debut in the London premiere of Elliott Carter’s Horn Concerto with the BBC Symphony/Knussen as part of Carter’s 100th birthday celebrations (the performance was released by Bridge Records in March 2010). More recently, in May 2011, Martin performed both the Knussen and Elliott Carter horn concertos with the Orquesta Nacional de España in Madrid, broadcast live on Spanish national radio; and in 2013, Martin performed Benjamin Britten’s Serenade with Ben Johnson at Aldeburgh, the Centenary of Britten’s birth, as well as giving concerts with Ensemble Berlin in Portugal, Germany and Croatia.
Other recordings include Mozart’s horn concertos with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (for RPO classics), Britten’s Serenade with Toby Spence and the Scottish Ensemble directed by Clio Gould (for Linn), Britten’s Canticles with tenor Ben Johnson (for Signum Classics), Schubert’s Octet with Michael Collins (which was recorded for Wigmore Hall’s Live label), Schumann’s Konzertstuck with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra/Mackerras (on the BBC’s label), Danzi’s Sinfonia Concertante with the Orquestra de Cadaques/Marriner (on the Trito label) and Roderick Elms’ Four Seasonal Nocturnes with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra/Cleobury (for Dutton). Additionally, Martin Owen has performed on over 300 movie soundtracks to date including James Bond, Star Wars, Harry Potter, Gladiator and Pirates of the Caribbean films.
Martin Owen is a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Music, where he is Professor of Horn.