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Artist Hyperion Records
Monberg, Ursula Paludan (horn)
© Gianluca De Girolamo

Ursula Paludan Monberg (horn)

Born in Aalborg, Denmark, in 1982, Ursula Paludan Monberg was thrown into the world of classical music from the very beginning. Having spent much of her childhood under pianos in her mother’s singing lessons, or listening to choir rehearsals in the parish church, the sound of the voice has always been the source of inspiration for her music-making. After an unrequited love affair with the violin, Ursula found her right instrument with the horn.

Shortly after taking up the instrument, German horn professor Michael Höltzel suggested an even better fit: the natural horn. It quickly became obvious that this was the perfect way forward for Ursula, the colourful palette of the early horn allowing her inner voice to sing.

Ursula was the first student to take a bachelor’s degree at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama with natural horn as her first study. Inspired by Andrew Clark’s entirely new syllabus for the instrument and his high standards, Ursula developed a practice regime and desire for excellence—requirements of the instrument and its repertoire. Further studies with natural-horn virtuoso Claude Maury at the Formation Superiéure in Saintes, France, provided an opportunity to discover a different style of playing.

From 2007 to 2013 Ursula held the principal horn position at Concerto Copenhagen, during which time she completed the soloist class at the Royal Danish Academy of Music. Under the direction of Lars Ulrik Mortensen she made her solo debut with the orchestra on a 2010 tour of Denmark, playing concertos by Quantz, Graun and Haydn.

Whilst studying in London Ursula gained a place on the OAE Experience Scheme with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Having a connection with an orchestra of this calibre from an early stage has opened many doors; their bond remains strong, too, with Ursula appearing regularly as guest principal. In 2018 the OAE invited her to play principal horn for Giulio Cesare at Glyndebourne, where she played horn obbligato in Va tacito alongside Dame Sarah Connolly, thereby fulfilling a career dream!

In 2012 Ursula was appointed principal horn of The English Concert following two performances (at the BBC Proms and the Thomaskirche Leipzig) of Bach’s Mass in B minor. Ursula has performed this demanding solo obbligato part many times, and has recorded it to critical acclaim for Arcangelo on Hyperion. Jonathan Cohen and Ursula first met while both playing with the OAE, and since setting up Arcangelo, Jonathan has regularly invited Ursula to play with this esteemed ensemble both on tour and in the studio. This recording marks her solo debut.


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