04. August 2010 · Comments Off on Eric Owens & the Oboe · Categories: News

He Sings, He Conducts (and He’s Not Bad on the Oboe)

I heard Mr. Owens sing in both Dr. Atomic and Porgy and Bess. He’s a wonderful singer … and I believe a wonderful singer should play a wonderful oboe. Yes. That’s what I think.

Mr. Owens is formally part of the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen. The conducting students have an orchestra dedicated to them, providing a rare chance to work with a stageful of musicians. They receive lessons from the staff, this year Hugh Wolff and Larry Rachliff, and tips from visiting conductors. The students perform every Tuesday before an audience.

Other established musicians who have studied conducting at Aspen include Ward Stare, a former principal trombonist of the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Peter Biloen, a former violist with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic; and Luis Biava, the principal cellist of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. The students are required to play in the ensemble. So Mr. Owens said he bought an oboe a year ago after a 20-year hiatus and began practicing furiously and making reeds in preparation.

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