Philadelphia Orchestra principal oboe Richard Woodhams to retire in 2018

Posted on: October 23, 2017

“Richard Woodhams, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s elebrated principal oboist for four decades, has decided to retire. Woodhams plans to play through the orchestra’s 2017-18 season, including summer concerts, and then step down,” writes Peter Dobrin in Saturday’s (10/21) Philadelphia Inquirer.  “ ‘I think I am still playing well and am in good health, and I think that’s the right time to do this sort of thing for me,’ … said Woodhams…. That said, the decision was ‘difficult because I just think that the relationship with the conductor here [music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin] is very good, and the orchestra is playing in top form.’ … Woodhams has been a reliably vivid, agile and sweet presence on an instrument not always known for those qualities. He is also a link in an important musical lineage: He studied with John de Lancie, his predecessor in the post, and de Lancie had studied with his predecessor in the orchestra, Marcel Tabuteau…. Born in Palo Alto, Woodhams won an audition to the Curtis Institute of Music at age 15 to study with de Lancie. He graduated from Curtis in 1968 and landed the principal spot in the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1977 during Eugene Ormandy’s tenure as music director.”

Posted October 23, 2017