The Dutch hornist Ab Koster was Professor for Horn at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg from 1980-2019 and is active not only as an international soloist but also gives masterclasses regularly in many countries around the world.

Ab Koster was born in The Hague, Holland as the son of a Dutch hornist. He completed his studies at the Royal Conservatory of Music in his hometown with the honor of “Prix d’Exellence”. He then continued his studies at the Folkwang University in Essen with Hermann Baumann, who named him one of the “leading hornist of his generation”.

Starting in 1977, Ab Koster held the position of principal horn in the NDR Symphony Orchestra in Hamburg, Germany until 1990. In order to accept the many invitations as a soloist and chamber musician, he left the orchestra in 1990. He exhibits his excellent soloistic mastery not only on the modern valved horn but also on the historical natural horn. The many years of collaboration with Jean-Pierre Rampal, Gustav Leonhardt, and Frans Brüggen (“Orchestra of the 18. Century”) as well as many solo performances, records, radio and TV recordings in various countries earned him an outstanding international reputation.

Concert tours have led him to almost all countries in Northern, Western, and Eastern Europe as well as in the USA, Canada, Japan, Australia, Taiwan, South Korea, and China.

For years, Ab Koster belongs to the small circle of soloists who are sought after world-wide, on the natural horn as well as on the valved horn. His interpretation of the concertos by Mozart and Strauss are particularly celebrated all over the world.

In addition to this, he held a professorship at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Hamburg from 1980-2019. He is one of only 36 living honorary members of the International Horn Society (IHS), and is also an honorary member of the Nederlands Hoornisten Genootschap.

Some of the orchestras and ensembles with whom Ab Koster played as soloist:


Bach-Collegium Munich
Berlin Symphonic
Bonn Philharmonic
Braunschweig State Orchestra
Duisburger Symphonic
Erfurt Symphony Orchestra
Folkwang Chamber Orchestra
Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra
Gelsenkirchen Phiharmonic Orchestra
Göttinger Symphony Orchestra
Halle Philharmonic State Orchestra
Hamburger Symphoniker
Hessen State Opera Orchestra Wiesbaden
Jena Philharmonic
Junge Münchner Philharmonic
Minguet Quartet
NDR Symphony Orchestra
Neue Philharmonie Westfalen
Northwest German Philharmonic
Philharmonica Hungarica
Philharmonic Orchestra Augsburg
Sinfonietta Köln
Staatskapelle Weimar
Studio Orchestra Duisburg
Südwestfälisches Sinfonieorchester
Telekom Classical Philharmonic Bonn
Thüringen Philharmonie Gotha-Eisenach
Vogler Quartet
Würzburg Symphony Orchestra


Ardito Quintett
Danzi Quintett
Gelders Orkest
Metropool Orkest
Netherlands Radio Chamber Orchestra
Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra
Noord Nederlands Orkest
Orchester des 18. Jahrhunderts
Residentie Orkest The Hague


L’Orchestre National de Radio France
Orchestre de chambre Jean-François Paillard


Camerata Academica Mozarteum Salzburg
Concentus Musicus Wien
Salzburg Soloists
Wiener Concert-Verein


Kansas Symphony Orchestra
Pottstown Symphony Orchestra


Tafelmusik Toronto

Czech Republic

Cappella Istropolitana
Czech Chamber Soloists
Czech State Philharmoic Brno


Athens Philharmonic Orchestra
Thessaloniki Philharmonic Orchestra


JeJu Symphony Orchestra
Korean Chamber Orchestra


Kyushu Symphony Orchestra


National Orchestra of Taiwan in Taichung
Symphony Orchestra Taipei


Ural Symphonic State Orchestra


Franz-Liszt-Chamber Orchestra Budapest
Hungarian Baroque Orchestra


London Chamber Orchestra


Australian Chamber Orchestra
Orchestra-Geminiani Melbourne


Vlaanderen Orchestra in Antwerpen


Philharmonic Orchestra Tallin


Stavanger Symphony Orchestra

Some of the conductors under whom Ab Koster played as a soloist:

Werner Andreas Albert
Herribert Beissel
Andrej Boreyko
Hermann Breuer
Frans Brüggen
Welisar Gentscheff
Roy Goodman
Peter Gülke
Nikolaus Harnoncourt
Michael Helmrath
Toshiyuki Kamioka
Bernhard Klee
Reiner Koch
Ton Koopman
Roman Kopman
Jürgen Kussmaul
Gustav Leonhardt
Dimitri Liss
Jacques Mercier
Rainer Miedel
Kenneth Montgomery
Gerard Oskamp

Nicolas Pasquet
Christoph Prick
Jean-Pierre Rampal
Caspar Richter
Peter Schneider
Georg Schmöhe
Jaap Schröder
Jonathan Seers
Christian Simonis
Jiri Starek
Mark Stringer
Jan Stuhle
Ferdinand Terby
Bernard Thomas
Nikos Tsouschlos
Sandor Vegh
Hans Vonk
Hans Wallat
Günter Wand
Bruno Weil
Klaus Weise
Johannes Wildner
Helmut Winschermann

Ab Koster demonstrates his soloistic competence on the valved horn as well as the natural horn.

His collaboration with conductors such as:

– Ton Koopman,
– Gustav Leonhardt,
– Frans Brüggen (Orchester des 18. Jahrhunderts)
– und Bruno Weil (Tafelmusik Toronto)

shows his extreme flexibility to adapt to the original performance practices of the instrument.

For years, Ab Koster belongs to the small circle of worldwide sought-after soloists on the natural horn as well as the valved horn.

International festivals at which Ab Koster was invited to perform and/or teach:


Bad Harzburg Music Days
Festival in Münsterland
Festival in Rellingen
Festival „Mitte Europa“
Hambach Festival
Mendelssohn-Festival Hamburg
Mozart Festival – Würzburg
Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival
Schloß Anderbach
Schloß Elmau
Schubertiade Duisburg
Sony-Festival in Iersee


Salzburg Festival


Early Music Festival in Utrecht
Holland Festival
Orlando Kerkrade Festival


Associazione Amici Della Musica
Festival in Milan
Festival in Napoli
Festival in Rome
Festival in Verona


Affinis Music Festival


Festival “Salon de Provence”
International Festival in Cannes “MIDEM”
“Festival de Cluny”
“Festival de Vernegues”
“Festival des Cuivres” in Dijon


Granada International Festival Emmanuel de Falla
Alzira Festival Spanish Brass


Risör Music Festival

Czech Republic

International Music Festival “Mährischer Herbst” in Brno
International Festival “Prager Frühling”
Janáchek Festival – Ostrava


Taipei Music Festival
Taichung Music Festival


Houston Chamber Music Festival
Lincoln City, Oregon – Chamber Music Festival

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