WFMT to celebrate long-time Chicago Symphony oboist’s 90th

Posted on: March 4, 2010

“The great principal oboe players of America’s top symphony orchestras tend to enjoy long and productive tenures,” writes John von Rhein in Thursday’s (3/4) Chicago Tribune. “Think of the Boston Symphony’s Ralph Gomberg (37 years on the job), the Cleveland Orchestra’s John Mack (36 years) or the New York Philharmonic’s Harold Gomberg (34 years), Ralph’s brother. All three legendary oboists have passed on, but another giant of their generation remains. The only living oboist to have held a principal position at one of the nation’s top orchestras for a longer period is Ray Still, who played oboe in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra for 40 years, 39 of them as section principal. What’s more, he served under four music directors before retiring from the CSO in 1993. With the oboist’s 90th birthday approaching later this month, a group of colleagues and former students is bringing him back to Chicago to conduct master classes. Starting Monday, WFMT-FM 98.7 will devote much of its programming week to his orchestral, chamber and solo recordings. The focal point of the Still celebration will be a two-hour audio documentary about his remarkable life in music that the station will air March 12, the very day when he will complete his ninth decade.”

Ray Still with the Chicago Symphony during the Solit era

Posted March 4, 2010