Curtis Institute faculty hires: principal oboists of Philadelphia Orchestra and Baltimore Symphony

Posted on: April 15, 2022

“Philippe Tondre and Katherine Needleman, principal oboists in the orchestras of Philadelphia and Baltimore, respectively, will take over Curtis [Institute of Music’s] oboe studio this fall, the school announced Thursday,” writes Peter Dobrin in Thursday’s (4/14) Philadelphia Inquirer. They succeed Richard Woodhams, who retired as Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal oboist in 2018. “The appointment marks a significant departure from tradition…. Tondre and Needleman represent two different schools of playing. Tondre has a European sound, while Needleman, who studied with Woodhams at Curtis, is part of an American pedagogical lineage at the school going back to Woodhams’ teacher, John de Lancie, and de Lancie’s teacher, Marcel Tabuteau. Giving students access to both philosophies was part of the thinking behind the joint appointment, as was maintaining Curtis’ historic connection with the Philadelphia Orchestra…. All of Curtis’ oboe students—there are typically five—will study with both faculty members; the school has been moving toward a system in which all students train with more than one major teacher…. Needleman joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2003…. She has played the premieres of several new works for her instrument…. Tondre joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2020 and continues to play principal oboe with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.”