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Lisa Bontrager

Emeritus Distinguished Professor, Horn
Headshot of Penn State Horn Instructor Lisa Bontrager

Lisa O. Bontrager has performed as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Europe, South America, Central America and Japan, including tours with the Millennium Brass Quintet and MirrorImage, a horn duo with Michelle Stebleton, as well as the Pennsylvania Quintet.  Bontrager served as featured artist at the Southeast Horn Workshop, symposia of the International Women’s Brass Conference, the Western United States Horn Symposium (Las Vegas, Nevada), the Western Illinois Horn Workshop, Oficinate Musica De Curitiba (Brazil), and has been a concerto soloist with the National Symphony Orchestra of Paraguay, among others and contributing artist at many symposia of the International Horn Society.

Recognized for her teaching, Bontrager has presented masterclasses throughout the world, teaching in Greece, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Germany, Japan, among others. She is a Distinguished Professor of Music at Penn State where she received the 2008 Faculty Scholar Medal for the Arts and Humanities. For six summers, she taught at the Interlochen Arts Camp. She serves as principal horn of the Pennsylvania Chamber Orchestra, the Altoona Symphony, Penn’s Woods Music Festival, as tenor hornist of the Brass Band of Battle Creek, and has performed with the Baltimore, Rochester, Chautauqua, and Harrisburg and Binghamton symphonies.

Bontrager served as an elected member of the Advisory Council of the International Horn Society for many years. She can be heard on nearly 20 recordings, including her solo CD, “Hunter’s Moon,” released on the Summit label and her recently released, “Abide With Me, Great Hymns in New Settings” on the MSR Classics label. She holds performance degrees from the University of Michigan where she studied with Louis Stout.

  • Education
    • BM from University of Michigan
    • M.MUS from University of Michigan
  • Courses Taught
    • Horn
  • Publications + Presentations


      Great Hymns in New Settings
      Paul Basler, Marc Guy, Brooke Hopkins, Paul Jones, James Naigus, Jeremy Strong
      Lisa Bontrager, horn
      Timothy Shafer, piano
      Sarah Shafer, soprano
      Grace Saylards, horn
      World Premiere Recordings
    • Hunter’s Moon
      Including works by Horvit, Bozza, Barboteu, Vinter, Wilder, Gliere, Glazounov, and Basler.
      Summit Records, DCD 327
    • Millennium Brass—In Concert!
      Vince DiMartino, trumpet; Richard Illman, trumpet; Lisa O. Bontrager, horn; Scott Hartman, trombone; and Marty Erickson, tuba.
      Including works by Mozart, Puccini, Copland, and popular selections.
      Millenium Brass (884501503617)
    • Millennium Brass
      Walking Frog Records
      Vince DiMartino, trumpet; Rich Illman, trumpet; Lisa Bontrager, horn; Scott Hartman, trombone; Marty Erickson, tuba
      Works by Tom Ritter George, William Walond, W.A. Mozart, Gustav Holst, Tom Turpin, Vittorio Monti, Bizet, Gershwin, Jack End, Grainger, Cheetham, Jack Gale, and Fats Waller
    • MirrorImage at the Opera
      MirrorImage Horn Duo—Lisa Bontrager and Michelle Stebleton
      Opera Duets and Songs arranged for Horn Duo and Piano, including works by Berlioz, Bizet, Boccherini, Delibes, Donizetti, Handel, Mozart, Rossini & Verdi
      MSR Classics, MS1234
    • Harambee: Horn Music of Paul Basler
      Lisa Bontrager, David Bradley, Kristen Johns, Charles “Skip” Snead, Michelle Stebleton, Gerald Walker, Jr.
      Paul Basler
      Piano MSR Classics, MS1166
    • Brass Band of Battle Creek
    • A Christmas Festival
      Brass Band of Battle Creek
      Works by Adolphe Adam, Leroy Anderson, George Frideric Handel, Victor Herbert, Mykola Leontovitch
      MSR Classics [MS1425]
    • Brass Band of Battle Creek—Live
    • Thastum Rag!
      Dorian Recordings
      New Columbian Brass Band
      George Foreman, Conductor
      Toe-Tappers and Finger-Snappers from America’s Golden Age
    • American Wind Music
      Eleanor Duncan Armstrong, Barry Kroeker, Smith Toulson, Lisa O. Bontrager, Daryl Durran<.
      Including works by Fine, Rochbherg, Etler, Bach.
      Centaur Records, Inc., CRC2085
    • Recent American Works for Winds
      Eleanor Duncan Armstrong, Tim Hurtz, Smith Toulson, Lisa O. Bontrager, Daryl Durran
      Including works by Cohen, Albright, Zahab, Benjamin, Wilsom and Bermel.
      Centaur Records, Inc. CRC2509
    • 20th Century Wind Chamber Music
      Eleanor Duncan Armstrong, Barry Kroeker, Smith Toulson, Lisa O. Bontrager, Daryl Durran, with Jan Wilson, mezzo-soprano. Including works by Stucky, Berger, Thorne, Bach, Schafer.
      Centaur Records, Inc., CRC2225
    • ON SAFARI. Mirror Image Goes Wild: New Music for Horn Duo MIRROR IMAGE HORN DUO TOMOKO KANAMARU, PIANO Lisa Bontrager & Michelle Stebleton, horns World Premiere Recordings [MS1528]
    • Music for Battle Creek Brass Band of Battle Creek
      MSR Classics [MS1348]
    • Battle Creek Transit Authority Brass Band of Battle Creek
      MSR Classics [MS1634]
  • Expertise
    • Horn