Richard Todd
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The Art of Practicing




Los Angeles Times

"Todd produced the kind of improvisation expected of the best jazz brass players. The old question of whether classically trained musicians can swing never arose here. Todd’s fine sense of phrasing – extremely patient in ballads, frantic and prone to chance-taking at the fastest tempos – was never stiff. He seemed to find the right sound for every mood…Todd’s performance made a convincing argument for the French horn as jazz vehicle. The only question remaining at the end of the afternoon was if there’s any other French horn player capable of the feat."


The Scranton Times

"Todd is widely recognized as one of the premiere horn playing masters in the world today. He is in great demand as a soloist with various orchestras around the globe. Todd's versatility is evidenced by his recording and playing not only in noted classical settings but also with jazz greats like Woody Herman, McCoy Tyner and David Grusin. He has taken an instrument not known as much in jazz settings and transformed it with a rhythmic clarity admired by jazz greats everywhere...


San Francisco Classical Voice; Brahms Horn Trio

"It was an equal partnership of the three musicians: Kahane, with his bright, well-projected tone; Batjer, providing a dark, straightforward, powerful sound; and Todd...Splendid, and that's a fact. It does not "credibly" register when you watch and listen to Todd produce a flawless sound, a legato no brass instrument has business to provide, many colors, imitation of the oboe, organ, string instruments, the human voice. Far more important, the blending of the horn with the other two, far less outspoken instruments in such a way that there is true ensemble, that Brahms' music prevails over what otherwise might become a big virtuosity show."


Audiophilia; “With a Twist”

It is quite rare that a great classical artist is as adept at jazz. The same may be said for a jazz musician with the classical style. After Friedrich Gulda, the Marsalis’s, Keith Jarrett, and Chick Corea, the list of great mainstream players brilliant at both thins considerably. Moreover, these exemplary classical and jazz musicians play mainstream jazz instruments; piano, trumpet and sax. Well, along comes the great Californian classical hornist Richard Todd and adds his name and rare jazz instrumental voice to the list.”



"To study music is to study one’s self. It is an art form that demands one’s best each and every day. I ask of my students that they adhere to the four R’s of success – Research, Repetition, Retention, and Result – thereby being accountable for their progress and aware of how it was achieved. I believe a great teacher is someone who makes themselves unnecessary as quickly as possible. A great student makes sure that happens. Making music is one of the greatest gifts to be given, and also to be shared."

-Richard Todd