November 20, 2018
Erich Burnett

Oboe celebration welcomes esteemed performers and craftsmen to campus for a recital, master class, repair sessions, and more.

For 137 years, the F.Lorée company of France has ruled the oboe world.

photo of Robert Walters
Robert Walters
Photo by Tanya Rosen-Jones ’97

On Sunday, December 2, Oberlin will honor the company's legacy with Lorée Oboe Day, orrganized by Oberlin Professor of Oboe and English Horn Robert Walters. The celebration will include visits from oboe masters from across the country and a master craftsman from across the ocean: Alain de Gourdon, president of the Paris-based F.Lorée company.

Founded in 1881, F.Lorée is the world’s oldest manufacturer of oboes and is widely considered the best. Many of the world’s top oboe performers play F.Lorées; Walters himself has played one since age 15.

Among the scheduled performers are Eugene Isotov, principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony; Frank Rosenwein and Corbin Stair, principal and second oboe, respectively, of the Cleveland Orchestra; and William Welter, a 2018 Oberlin Conservatory graduate—and a former student of Walters’—who already has ascended to principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

The festivities begin with an exhibit of F.Lorée instruments and opportunities for instrument adjustments and minor repairs with specialist Carlos Coelho of Indianapolis. The exhibit and repairs are available between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. and again between 3:30 and 5:30 p.m. in Conservatory Central Room 32.

At 11:30 a.m., Gourdon will lead a discussion about F.Lorée instruments and the history of oboe making, also in Central 32. Gourdon is the craftsman who developed the Caldwell model Lorée oboe, named after the legendary Oberlin oboe professor James Caldwell.

At 1:30 p.m., Walters, the visiting artists, and Oberlin students will present a recital in David H. Stull Recital Hall. The performance is part of Oberlin’s annual oboe studio recital, which is performed each year in memory of Caldwell, who died in 2006.

“One thing I’ve done every year since I’ve been at Oberlin is to have the oboe studio recital on his birthday, which is December 3," Walters says of Caldwell, who also played Lorées throughout his life. "This year I thought we should do it on Lorée Day, which is the day before his birthday."

A reed class will follow at 4 p.m. in Central 32. It will be led by Christopher Philpotts, English hornist of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra.

The day closes with a master class hosted by Isotov, slated for 5 to 7 p.m. in Stull Recital Hall.

Learn more about Lorée Oboe Day at Oberlin on the online events calendar.

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