Hazel Dean Davis moved to Boston in 2015 where she is a freelance horn player, playing regularly with the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Pops. Prior to that, Hazel played second and fourth horn with the Virginia Symphony Orchestra for 11 years, a job she won at age 22. Hazel spends her summers as a faculty artist and teacher at the Brevard Music Center in North Carolina.
Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Hazel graduated from Harvard University in 2003 with a BA in Biological and Social Anthropology. At Harvard, she studied horn with James Sommerville of the Boston Symphony and was active in the chamber and orchestral music scene, receiving both the David McCord Prize for Music and the Louis Sudler Top Prize in the Arts. Hazel appeared as a soloist at Harvard in the Britten Serenade in 2001 and in the world premiere of American composer Carson Cooman’s Enchanted Pathways, written for her in 2003.
In addition to Mr. Sommerville, Hazel has studied with Caroline Lemen and Kendall Betts in St. Paul, and with Julie Landsman at The Juilliard School, where she received a Graduate Performance Diploma in 2004.
As a student Hazel performed at the Aspen Music Festival, Tanglewood Music Center, Pacific Music Festival, and the Marlboro Chamber Music Festival.
In 2006 Hazel was invited to play with the Boston Symphony for six weeks after she was a finalist in their fourth horn audition. Since then, Hazel has performed in Boston with the Boston Symphony, the Boston Pops, and as principal horn with the grammy-nominated chamber orchestra, A Far Cry. Highlights in 2015 include seven weeks with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, a tour to Carnegie Hall with the Boston Symphony, 2nd horn with the San Francisco Symphony on Bruckner 8, and premiering Matthew Aucoin’s opera “Crossing” at the American Repertory Theatre in Cambridge.
A passionate chamber musician, Hazel plays regularly in the Virginia Arts Festival Chamber Series, where critics have called her äóěthe star of the show…she played with complete security and authority…whether asked for leaps, trills, or long beautiful sustained notesäóť (Virginian Pilot).
In addition to her summer teaching at the Brevard Music Center, Hazel maintains a private horn studio in Arlington, MA. She also moonlights as a high school math tutor.
When not playing horn, Hazel loves traveling and immersing herself in new cultures and environments. Hazel lives with her husband Steve and children Diana, Nadia, and Kalle.