Eugene Rittich

Eugene (Danny) Rittich. French hornist, teacher, b Calgary, of Hungarian-born parents, 15 Aug 1928; Artist Diploma (Curtis) 1951. After studies in Kelowna, BC, and with Douglas Kent in Victoria, he continued his training 1945-51 at the Curtis Institute where his teacher was Mason Jones. He also undertook private studies with Philip Farkas in 1967, Frantisek Solc in 1971 and Arnold Jacobs in 1973.

Rittich became principal horn of the TSO in 1952 and was co-principal (or associate) from 1973 until he retired from the orchestra in 1989. He was principal horn 1952-64 of the CBC Symphony Orchestra and 1953-65 of the York Concert Society, and a founding member of the Toronto Winds and the Toronto Woodwind Quintet.

Rittich became a horn teacher at the University of Toronto in 1956 and at the RCMT in 1961 and continued to teach at both in 1991. He was the brass coach for the NYO 1960-84, and has been a coach (from 1973) and guest conductor (1979-89) of the Toronto Symphony Youth Orchestra. He has prepared many pupils for careers in orchestras and chamber groups. Notable among these have been Jean Gaudreault of the MSO; Ronald George, principal of Orchestra London Canada; Miles Hearn, principal of the Hamilton Philharmonic, Harcus Hennigar of the TS; Carol Lavell, principal of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony Orchestra; James and John MacDonald; Fergus McWilliam of the Berlin Philharmonic; Janet Parker, principal of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra; James Sommerville, and others in orchestras across Canada. Rittich commissioned Weinzweig'sDivertimento No. 7 and Morawetz'Sonata for Horn and Piano and premiered both works on CBC radio in 1980, the divertimento with the CBC Vancouver Chamber Orchestra and the sonata with Patricia Parr. He also recorded the sonata with Parr (6-ACM 16).