Katy Ambrose is Assistant Professor of Horn at the University of Iowa. She also serves as Solo Horn in the New Orchestra of Washington, Solo Horn of Victory Hall Opera, and Fourth Horn in the Delaware Symphony Orchestra.
From 2015-21 she was on faculty at the University of Virginia, and Principal Horn of the Charlottesville Symphony Orchestra. Ambrose has held positions in the Albany Symphony (Interim Assistant Principal Horn), Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic (Second Horn), Philly Pops (Fourth Horn), and Lexington Philharmonic (KY) (Assistant Principal Horn), and has made substitute appearances with the Philadelphia Orchestra, Hawai’i Symphony, Daejeon Philharmonic (South Korea), Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, Vermont Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Richmond Symphony, and the Virginia Symphony. She has performed on Baroque horn with the Washington Baroque Consort, and on Classical horn at the Staunton Music Festival. Commercial highlights have been playing for Adele’s 2016 World Tour and as a recording artist for NFL Studios. She has been a featured artist for the Virginia Arts Festival and the International Women’s Brass Conference and is a regular performer and presenter for the International Horn Society, and contributor to its journal The Horn Call.
Ambrose has created and cultivated several chamber ensembles, including Seraph Brass, Izula Horns, and the natural horn quartet Conica. She recently served as interim Operations Coordinator for the Boulanger Institute, an organization working to promote music written by and for women, helping to launch their inaugural festival in March 2019. Katy is especially interested in mentoring younger musicians and has developed programs for several engagement initiatives in the Delaware and Philadelphia areas, as well as through the Charlottesville Symphony.
Her academic research explores race and power dynamics in the history of the horn in the United States. During the COVID-19 pandemic she gave guest lectures about her research to horn studios, orchestra boards, and wind ensembles throughout the U.S. and was a presenter at the Historic Brass Society's 2021 symposium. Dr. Ambrose received the Doctor of Musical Arts from Temple University, Artist Diploma from Yale University, where she held the Henry and Lucy Moses Fellowship, Masters degree from the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, where she received the William D. Revelli Award. Her major teachers have included Randy Gardner, Søren Hermansson, Jeffrey Lang, Jennifer Montone, and William Purvis.
Katy lives in Iowa City with her husband Carsten, a software engineer and amateur violinist, their twins sons and cat, Milo.
Learn more about Katy at katyambrose.com