Ian Charlesworth

Meet Ian Charlesworth


When did French Horn come in to the picture? In high school, year eight, I wanted to play trombone…. "Sorry, your arm’s not long enough so try French horn" was the response. As you can see I’ve not bothered switching. I was playing in the Young People’s Orchestra, Elizabeth, South Australia, which is where I grew up. Lived in the same place for 17 years, then moved all over Australia.

What do you love about the French Horn? I love the tone of it, its got a mellowness that contrasts to the trumpet brightness. I love its range, has a larger range than other brass instruments, versatile, goes anywhere except a Brass Band.

You’ve played in plenty of Bands? I have played in numerous bands and orchestras. I love the orchestral repertoire; I love the mixture of textures that you get with an orchestra. I like the Classical music that was written for orchestra, even of John Williams that offers the textures and colours.

What has inspired you to continue being a musician? Um, I think probably the enjoyment that I’ve gained from performing. Despite being forced in to it initially, I was only forced in to learning the piano; it’s the fact of performing in an ensemble that has inspired me to carry on. My father being in the light-operatic company, he would have a major role. Dad still sings, even though he has just turned 88.

Being part of CSO, how has this benefited your life? Certainly it has benefited me in that it has given me motivation to get back in to playing. It gives me something in my life that I do for me – everything else is for work, or with family. It’s something that I enjoy.

What advice would you give someone thinking of being a musician? If you want to have a go at different instruments, don’t just stick with one if you’re not enjoying it. You could be someone who sits on the sidelines, but if you get involved, you get more out of it! Unlike sport, it is something you can do all year round and until the day you die; something you can do socially and actively.