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Stephen Laifer

Joined the RPO in 2012

Horn player Stephen Laifer was born in Honolulu, Hawaii into a military family, eventually settling in Syracuse, New York. Laifer began playing the horn relatively late as a sophomore in high school, deciding at the last minute to shelve a career in graphic design and pursue music instead. He studied horn at Ithaca College with John Covert, relocating to the West Coast after graduation to play in the U.S. Air Force Band, where he studied with David Krehbiel, former principal horn of the San Francisco Symphony. In 1990 Stephen was named Co-Principal Horn with the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra in South Africa, a position he held for 12 years. He also spent a year with the orchestra in Barcelona, Spain.

Laifer has worked with orchestras around the globe, touring and performing across Africa, Eastern and Western Europe, Singapore, and China. He was a member of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra from July 2005 until the orchestra’s closure in 2011. He joined the horn section of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra as its 4th Horn player in September 2012. He is also an active educator, maintaing a regular private studio. Clinician visits over the last year have included master classes given at Louisiana State University and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He is currently a regular substitute player with the North Carolina Symphony, and the Tenerife Symphony Orchestra in Spain’s Canary Islands. He has also performed with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Albany Symphony, and Singapore Symphony. Outside of music, Laifer is a keen hiker, mountain biker, and kayaker, grows more than 200 orchids, and is a busy freelance writer and editor.