Steven Becknell

Adjunct instructor

Author of the groundbreaking book for horn, Etudes from the Repertoire, Steven Becknell has had an extremely varied and unique career in Southern California. At age 22, Becknell moved to Los Angeles to study with Hollywood studio legend Vince DeRosa at USC and began working professionally while still in school. He has played in orchestras throughout Southern California including the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the Pacific Symphony, and was a member of the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra for eight years. But the majority of Becknell’s time has been spent recording in the Hollywood studios.

He has played on well over 1,000 motion pictures, many television series, video games, and even the recorded music for theme parks such as Disneyland. Becknell has played live for the Academy Awards and has had the honor of recording with such legendary artists as Frank Sinatra, Barbra Streisand, Rosemary Clooney and Barry Manilow.

Becknell has been principal horn with the Los Angeles Opera for over 25 years. In 2010, he performed all the offstage and pit solos of Wagner’s complete Ring cycle, the first time it had ever been produced in Southern California. To date, Becknell has played over 1,500 performances with the Los Angeles Opera.

Becknell has performed chamber music extensively in the Los Angeles area, was a long-time member of West Coast-based Camerata Pacifica, and has performed at the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival and Mostly Mozart Festival. A veteran of numerous Broadway show productions, Becknell is eager to impart all of this broad-based experience with students at USC.

Academic degrees