Long road back for Chicago Symphony’s newly rehired principal oboe

Posted on: August 16, 2016

“A dozen years ago, the music stopped for Alex Klein,” writes John von Rhein in Thursday’s (8/11) Chicago Tribune. “In May 2001, Klein, then serving as principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, found himself losing control of his fingers when he played. He was eventually diagnosed with a neurological disorder known as focal hand dystonia…. In April 2004, after nine years in the orchestra, Klein announced he was retiring from his position…. He then returned to his hometown of Curitiba, Brazil [and] took up conducting and music administration. He taught master classes. He founded and directed … the Santa Catarina Music Festival. He launched and directed … a Brazilian orchestra for at-risk schoolchildren…. He refused to abandon his dream of playing once again with a major orchestra. In April, Klein tested the waters by sitting in as guest principal oboe for CSO performances of Mahler and Verdi under music director Riccardo Muti…. Two months later the CSO invited him to audition for his former chair…. Lo and behold, he won the audition. His reappointment as principal oboe of the CSO took effect with last Friday’s [August 5] concert at Ravinia.” 

Posted August 16, 2016

Alex Klein photo by Abel Uribe / Chicago Tribune