The New York horn community lost a dear friend and colleague on April 11. Ranier DeIntinis’s 43-year career as a member of the New York Philharmonic (from 1950 to 1993) was legendary, and his teaching (he was a member of the Juilliard faculty from 1961 to 2004) will influence horn players for generations to come. Dinny, who was born in 1924, was a great player, a musician of the highest level, and a beautiful human being. He had a huge, robust sound as well as a pianissimo that was beautifully focused and singing. He was all about the sound of the horn. When the Philharmonic was pulling out all of the stops, you could always hear Dinny, never blasting and always big.
I will never forget coming into lessons with the sweet smell of his pipe and the cowboy hat; they were trademarks. He would look down at his notes and, after a long pause, say, “O.K., give me 13 percent more sound, Cheech.” I always wondered how he would come up with those seemingly random percents, but now they make sense. He insisted on solid basics and a complete low range. Pares scales with “octave lower” written on every one (in case you forgot) and Kopprasch were our staples. He sent me a postcard one time that merely said, “keep pumping out the middles, highs and lows!”
I will always remember Dinny and his wife, Peggy, coming to Finland for my wedding. He was an honored guest in Finland, and met Holger Fransman, the father of Finnish horn playing, and members of the Finnish Horn Club. Our honeymoon was with both sets of parents and the horn teacher: all bases covered! The trip concluded in middle Finland with a great bonfire on our family island and many trips in and out of the sauna.
The joy in Dinny’s voice when I recently told him I had become a member the Philadelphia Orchestra was really from the heart. Dinny cared so much for his students. We will all share the happy memories and cherish the brief time we had with him. The invaluable horn knowledge and the guidance he offered us are especially comforting during times when the task is difficult. He was incredibly positive, never bitter, and gave the phrase “go for it” a whole new meaning. Dinny’s enthusiasm for horn playing was contagious, and above all, he truly loved music and believed in the deep message it brings. Thanks, Dinny.