Miles Hearn, a renowned French horn player and passionate nature enthusiast, passed away on February 25, leaving behind a legacy of musical talent and a deep love for the natural world. Hearn, a Toronto native, was known for his exceptional ear for music and his ability to identify bird calls without the need for binoculars.
Hearn’s journey with music began early in his life. Growing up in Scarborough in the 1950s, he developed a deep appreciation for classical music, which he shared with his mother. His grandmother gifted him his first French horn in high school, igniting his lifelong passion for playing music. Hearn’s talent and dedication to his craft led him to become a professional French horn player, performing with prestigious orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra. His exceptional ear for music allowed him to create beautiful melodies and harmonies that touched the hearts of many.
In addition to his musical pursuits, Hearn also had a profound love for nature. He worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources, contributing to our understanding of birds and their habitats. His keen sense of hearing and deep knowledge of bird calls made him a valuable asset in identifying and studying different bird species. Hearn’s love for nature extended beyond his professional work, as he spent the last 15 years of his life as a dedicated nature guide, leading people through the picturesque ravines and trails of Toronto. His passion for both music and nature was unmatched, and he brought joy and inspiration to those who had the privilege of knowing him.
One of Hearn’s close friends, Louise Lore, recalls his remarkable ear for music and his ability to identify birds through their calls. His deep connection with nature was evident in his decision not to carry binoculars during his nature walks, as he could rely solely on his acute sense of hearing. Hearn’s passion for music and nature was intertwined, as he found solace and inspiration in the melodies of birdsong during his walks in the natural world.
Hearn’s contributions to both music and nature have left a lasting impact on those who had the pleasure of knowing him. His talent as a French horn player and his dedication to the study of birds have enriched our understanding and appreciation of the beauty of the natural world. His gentle spirit, unwavering passion, and profound knowledge will be deeply missed by the music and nature communities alike.
As we remember and celebrate the life of Miles Hearn, we are reminded of the power of pursuing one’s passions and the joy that can be found in the beauty of music and nature. Hearn’s legacy serves as an inspiration to us all to follow our passions with unwavering dedication and to appreciate and protect the wonders of the natural world. His contributions to music and nature will continue to inspire generations to come, and his memory will be cherished in the hearts of those whose lives he touched. Rest in peace, Miles Hearn, and thank you for sharing your incredible talents and love for music and nature with the world.
Link to an obituary in the Toronto Sun https://www.thestar.com/life/together/2023/03/28/this-toronto-renaissance-man-led-popular-nature-walks-almost-until-the-day-he-died.html