John de Lancie
John de Lancie, the longtime principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and then director of the Curtis Institute of Music, was born in Berkeley, Calif., and attended the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as a student of Marcel Tabuteau, the French oboist who brought a more resonant, flexible style of playing to the United States. In 1940 he joined the Pittsburgh Symphony under Fritz Reiner, and in 1942 he entered the Army and played in its band.
As a 24-year-old soldier occupying defeated Germany, he met the composer Richard Strauss, then 81, and asked him to compose a concerto for the oboe. Strauss initially refused, but later wrote his only concerto for oboe and orchestra. Mr. de Lancie did not play at the premiere of that extraordinarily difficult work, but added it to his repertory.
He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1946 and became principal oboist when Mr. Tabuteau retired in 1954. He retained the position until 1977. He recorded as a soloist with the orchestra, and appeared with the Philadelphia Woodwind Quintet and other chamber groups.
London Symphony Orchetsra - André Previn, Conductor
Chamber Orchestra - Max Wilcox, Conductor