The genesis and success of the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra can be attributed at least in part to the involvement of founding hornist David Jolley. A hornist can never really hope to attain anything like the fame of a high-profile concert pianist or violinist, or that of an opera star, but Jolley is about as successful a brass soloist as there is.
He attended the Juilliard School for both undergraduate and graduate studies. His career was boosted while still in its infancy when Jolley won the Concert Artist Guild Award and then took top prize at the Heldenleben International Horn Competition; international prominence was not long in coming. In addition to his many performances and recordings with the Orpheus group and his activities as a horn soloist, he has collaborated over the years with a number of well-known chamber groups and organizations, including the Guarneri String Quartet, the Beaux Arts Trio, the American String Quartet, and the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. As can be said of so many modern virtuosos, David Jolley has spent a great deal of his musical energy on contemporary music: John Harbison and George Perle, among others, have composed brand-new pieces for him to play. He has also found time to teach at the Manhattan School of Music, the North Carolina School of the Arts, the Hartt School of Music, and Queens College.