Obituary: oboist Laura Ahlbeck, 57

Posted on: June 30, 2015

“Performing with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra or substituting with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Laura Ahlbeck coaxed beautiful notes from her oboe, a challenging instrument,” writes Bryan Marquard in Monday’s (6/29) Boston Globe. “About five years ago, Ms. Ahlbeck’s music was curtailed and then silenced after she was diagnosed with frontotemporal degeneration, a rare degenerative brain disease…. Ahlbeck grew up in Columbus, Ohio, where her mother was a social worker and her father was an engineer and an amateur jazz trombonist. Ms. Ahlbeck worked at McDonald’s to earn money for her first oboe … and was talented enough as a teenager to play with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra. She graduated from Ohio State University with a bachelor’s degree in music and from Manhattan School of Music with a master’s in performance. She and [husband Richard Ranti, associate principal bassoon in the Boston Symphony] met when both were students at the Tanglewood Music Center…. Along with her teaching at New England Conservatory and performing with the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, Ms. Ahlbeck taught at Boston University, Bard College, and Boston Conservatory, and performed with the American Symphony Orchestra, Boston Lyric Opera, and Bard Festival Orchestra.” In addition to her husband, Ahlbeck leaves a son, two daughters, and a sister.

Posted June 30, 2015