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Jeffrey Rathbun

Jeffrey Rathbun Photograph by Roger Mastroianni

Assistant Principal Oboe
Everett D. and Eugenia S. McCurdy Endowed Chair
The Cleveland Orchestra

Jeffrey Rathbun became Assistant Principal Oboe of The Cleveland Orchestra in 1990, and served as Principal Oboe from 2001-03.  He was previously a member of the Atlanta, San Francisco, Oakland, and Honolulu symphony orchestras.  In 1988, he won first prize at the Lucarelli International Competition for Solo Oboe Players, held at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall; his New York debut recital, in April 1990, was also at Weill.  

A Buffet Artist, Jeffrey Rathbun was the only North American oboist invited to perform in the 190th Anniversary Concert for the renowned instrument manufacturing company Buffet Crampon in Paris in 2015.  In demand as guest principal oboe, he has performed with the Boston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic.  With the San Francisco Symphony during Michael Tilson Thomas’s 20th year as music director, he was invited to serve as guest principal oboe in concert and on the ensemble’s 2014-15 National Tour.  He opened the Chicago Symphony’s 125th anniversary season in September 2015 in the same role.  

Mr. Rathbun teaches at the Kent/Blossom Music Festival, and, since fall 2006, has served as lecturer in oboe at Baldwin Wallace Conservatory and as a faculty member of the Cleveland Institute of Music.  He has been a visiting oboe professor at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and Indiana University, and has led masterclasses at the Manhattan School of Music, Mannes College of Music, and the New World Symphony, among other schools.  He serves as a member of the executive committee of the International Double Reed Society.

Jeffrey Rathbun is a graduate of the University of North Texas, where he studied with Charles Veazey.  He subsequently studied with John Mack, then principal oboe of The Cleveland Orchestra, and earned his master’s degree at the Cleveland Institute of Music.  He has received the Distinguished Alumni Award from both schools, from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2003, and from the University of North Texas in 2004.

A composer of chamber and orchestral works, Mr. Rathbun’s compositions are published by Theodore Presser Co., Jeanne Inc., and Trevco Music.  His works have been performed by many ensembles, including The Cleveland Orchestra, Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, and the San Diego Symphony, under the direction of conductors including Christoph von Dohnányi, Leonard Slatkin, Jahja Ling, and Franz Welser-Möst.  The Cleveland Orchestra has commissioned Mr. Rathbun to write a new composition for orchestra, to be premiered in 2018-19.


Updated:  July 2016