02. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Audition Results

The Cleveland Orchestra second oboe audition took place yesterday and sources say Corbin Stair, a Curtis student, won the chair. Here he is playing “that movement” (at a rather quick pace compared to what I’m used to) from the Gran Partita:

Congratulations, Corbin Stair!

22. January 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Audition Results, Symphony

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra has a new principal oboe: Jelena Dirks of Chicago. She’ll join the SLSO at the start of the 2014-2015 season. She replaces Peter Bowman, who has been out with health problems, and will step down from the post at the end of this season.

Dirks, a native of San Diego, is a third-generation female professional musician. Her mother is now-retired Chicago Symphony Orchestra violist Karen Dirks; Jelena Dirks began piano at age 5 and still plays professionally. At 11, she took up the oboe as well.


01. September 2012 · Comments Off · Categories: Audition Results

… and some never land a job. Congratulations to Sarah Lewis, a new oboist of Toronto Symphony Orchestra.

Since receiving her M.A. from The Juilliard School in New York City, Lewis has auditioned for some 15 orchestras in cities such as Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Kansas City, Washington, D.C., and Atlanta — wherever there was a job opening for an oboist. Five times she has been in the top four. This time she got the job.

… and yep, another young’un!

Mary Lynch joins The Cleveland Orchestra as second oboe in August 2012, succeeding Elizabeth Camus, who became a member of the Orchestra in 1979 and retired in August 2011. Born in Washington, DC, Ms. Lynch is currently completing her master of music degree at the Juilliard School, where she studies with Elaine Douvas and Nathan Hughes. She holds a bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory, where she studied with John Ferrillo. Additionally, she is a graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy, where she was a student of Daniel Stolper.

Ms. Lynch was principal oboe of the New York String Orchestra in 2009 and 2010. While a student in Boston, she performed as co-principal oboe of the Discovery Ensemble (2008-10), and as a frequent substitute with the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra. During recent summers, she has performed at the Marlboro Music Festival, Music Academy of the West, Tanglewood Music Center, and at the Aspen Music Festival and School. Ms. Lynch was the soloist in the premiere of Benjamin Pesetsky’s Oboe Concerto, which took place in Boston in 2009. She also performed as soloist with the Borromeo String Quartet as a winner of their 2009 Guest Artist Award. In 2010, the Boston Woodwind Society selected her as winner of the Ralph Gomberg Oboe Award. Ms. Lynch is currently a Morse Fellow at the Juilliard School, and earlier was awarded a Community Performances and Partnerships Fellowship from the New England Conservatory as a member of the woodwind quintet Sirocco Winds. With Sirocco, she presented educational concerts sponsored by the Virginia Arts Festival, Rockport Chamber Music, and Concord Chamber Music Society.

Continue reading here.

Congratulations to her!

It’s funny to read about her predecessor, who started in 1979 and is now retired. Oh dear … I joined San Jose Symphony (RIP) in 1975. Hmm.

Retirement time, maybe?

Then again, I’m guessing a career in Cleveland meant a wee bit better salary, and the ability too retire?!

Let’s see … the new principal oboist and the new principal clarinetist of San Francisco Opera. The new second bassoonist of San Francisco Ballet. And so many others … under 30 seems to be the norm these days.

And now this …

High on the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s wish list for a new concertmaster was a violinist who could lead the group forward while connecting to its illustrious past.

No one envisioned the violinist also would connect to his own past in a remarkable way.

The PSO and its music director, Manfred Honeck, on Saturday announced the hiring of Noah Bendix-Balgley, 27, who is relatively unknown in the field but set the orchestra’s audition process on its head with his late entry into the competition. It turns out the American violinist is not the first in his family to play in the group.

“I was not aware of it until a few weeks ago — my great-grandfather, Samuel J. Leventhal, played in the PSO under Victor Herbert,” said Mr. Bendix-Balgley, who is living in Munich. “He played under Brahms in Leipzig, Germany, and joined the PSO as a 20-year-old in 1900, leaving in 1904.”

Wow. 27 years old an concertmaster of Pittsburgh. Pretty amazing!


23. May 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Audition Results

I read this at the bottom of the article about Florida Orchestra I just blogged about:

Departure: Oboe and English horn player Andrea Overturf is leaving to join the San Diego Symphony next season.

04. April 2009 · Comments Off · Categories: Audition Results, Auditions

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has hired Lora Schaefer, principal oboe of the Kansas City Symphony, for the position of second oboe. She will be sitting in with the CSO wind section in late April and early May before officially joining the orchestra July 6 at Ravinia.

Read here.

So that explains the principal oboe opening announcement in Kansas City that states “one year possibly permanent”.

03. August 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Audition Results

Scott Hostetler has won the audition for the orchestra’s English horn chair and will continue to play oboe with the orchestra as well. His new appointment takes effect immediately. … Burl Lane has announced his retirement after 43 years as a member of the bassoon section. He presently serves as the orchestra’s contrabassoonist and saxophonist.

I read it here. I’m assuming this means that the position he held before, listed third in the same orchestra — see the Chicago Symphony oboe roster — will be open now. Dominoes never end.