Katherine Needleman is rapidly gaining attention as one of America’s most sought-after young oboists. Recently named Principal Oboist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, she is the winner of the 2003 Fernand Gillet-Hugo Fox International Oboe Competition. A recent recital of oboe quartets and quintets that included premieres by David Ludwig and Luis Prado prompted the Philadelphia Inquirer to claim that she defied at a million different turns her instrument's reputation as a bear. She is as nimble and virtuosic as they come, and her tone fools you into thinking that a sweet oboe sound is an easily found commodity.
Ms. Needleman has appeared as soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Baltimore Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra, the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center, and the Curtis Chamber Orchestra, among many others. She has appeared as guest principal oboist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the San Diego Symphony, and the New Zealand Symphony. She has previously served as Principal Oboist of the Richmond Symphony and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia (formerly Concerto Soloists). An active chamber musician, she has performed at Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York; Jordan Hall and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston; the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C.; on major series in Philadelphia and Cincinnati; and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Spoleto Festival in Italy, the Newport Festival in Rhode Island, and the Alpenglow Festival in Colorado. A frequent participant at the Marlboro Music Festival, Ms. Needleman performed in festival concerts in New York and Boston celebrating its 50th anniversary, and also toured the east coast with musicians from Marlboro.
Devoted to twenty-first century music, she premiered the Sonata for Oboe and Piano by Chia-Yu Hsu and gave the American premiere of Brenno Blauth’s Concertino. Ms. Needleman received a Bachelor of Music degree at age twenty from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Woodhams. The recipient of the National Arts Club’s Tilden Prize in 2002, she was also a prizewinner at the Houston Symphony’s Ima Hogg Competition. In 2001, she became affiliated with Astral Artistic Services of Philadelphia, a nonprofit agency providing career development guidance, performance, and networking opportunities to America’s most gifted emerging classical musicians.