The Reiter brothers, Josef and Xaver, were true heroes of the horn, having filled solo positions in the Munich Opera, other European orchestras in Sondershausen, Hannover, Karlsruhe and the Bayreuth Festival, before coming to America in the latter half of the 1880s. Here they were solo horns of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera, the New York Symphony with Damrosch, Scheel's Orchestra of San Francisco, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the first season of the Philadelphia Orchestra, and finally the New York Philharmonic with Gustav Mahler and Josef Stransky. They appeared as soloists with several of these orchestras. The older brother, Josef, returned to Munich and left us rather early in 1909, but Xaver, with his hair down to his shoulders, lived on in Valhalla, New York, until 1938, a real character to the end of his life!
Norman Schweikert was born in 1937 in Los Angeles. In 1955 Norman auditioned for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in Music Director Erich Leinsdorf's hotel room in Los Angeles and won the fourth horn position. He remained with the orchestra until 1966 with three years out for military service with the United States Military Academy Band at West Point. He earned a BM degree and Performer's Certificate in 1961 from the Eastman School of Music while playing in the Philharmonic, studying with Morris Secon and Verne Reynolds. Norman played second horn to Reynolds for two years and also enjoyed playing in the Eastman Wind Ensemble with Frederick Fennell, including taking part in more than a dozen recordings. Norman spent five years as Instructor of Horn at the Interlochen Arts Academy and a member of the Interlochen Arts Quintet (woodwind). In June 1971 he joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal horn. He moved to second horn in 1975, where he remained until retiring in 1997. In 1977 Norman, Dale Clevenger, Richard Oldberg, and Tom Howell performed and recorded the Schumann Konzertstück in Chicago. Norman also taught horn at Northwestern University from 1973 to 1998.