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Maryland lawmakers give tribute to Tuckwell

February 27, 1997

By GUY FLETCHER

Staff Writer

ANNAPOLIS - Maryland Gov. Parris N. Glendening doesn't pretend to be a student of classical music, but he knows what he likes.

"Whenever I go to the orchestra, one of the things I really like is the French horn," Glendening said.

On Thursday, Glendening met the person some consider to be the world's greatest French horn player when Barry Tuckwell, conductor of Hagerstown's Maryland Symphony Orchestra, visited.

"I'm so honored to meet you. I have heard so much about you," Glendening told Tuckwell.

The brief meeting was just one of several State House tributes to Tuckwell, who was recognized for his contributions to music during ceremonies in both the Senate and the House of Delegates.

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"The idea was to honor him because there's no question he was the man who put the Maryland Symphony on the map and the symphony could have easily failed without him," said Sen. Donald F. Munson, R-Washington, who helped arrange the tribute.

Munson said it also was a way to demonstrate that the state's cultural riches are not limited to the metropolitan areas.

"I want people down here to understand there's some incredible life outside the beltway," Munson said.

Tuckwell said he was "deeply moved" by the reception he received, one that included standing ovations from lawmakers in both General Assembly houses, speeches and proclamations.

"I'm really clogging up the works here," he joked.

Tuckwell, an Australian native, said the day was particularly important because he became a United States citizen last May and being honored by his state government was a matter of great pride.

"It's something I did not know about or certainly did not anticipate," he said of the tributes.

Tuckwell's career as a horn player ended last month, but he hasn't retired as a conductor. He will continue to lead the MSO for another year before a resignation he announced last year takes effect.

Thursday's events will stay with him always, he said.

"This is one of those things that's going to come back in my mind periodically," he said.

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