Artist Spotlight: Colleen Kennedy

Hear TBSO Principal Oboist play Mozetich’s “Calla Lilies” and Piazolla’s “Oblivion”!

Mark your calendars for January 27th, for our Hilldale Classics Concert: Mozart and Calla Lilies. We have an incredible program lined up, featuring Mozart’s Symphony No. 38, “Prague”, Schreker’s Chamber Symphony, and of course, Colleen Kennedy as soloist on two pieces.

Colleen is originally from Comox, BC but grew up in Scarborough, ON. She has held the position of Principal Oboe of the TBSO since 1981. Colleen studied oboe performance with Harry Sargous at the University of Western Ontario and later with Robert Bloom at the Juilliard School in New York City. As an educator, Colleen works as a Sessional Lecturer at Lakehead University, teaching oboe and Woodwind Techniques. In addition to oboe reed making, Colleen loves running, sailing, hiking and making tasty macarons.

Check out our interview with Colleen below, and don’t forget to pick up your tickets for the concert on January 27th HERE!

Q: What is your favourite piece of music?

A: Brahms Symphony No. 2 – so looking forward to playing it on the next Masterworks!

Q: What is your favourite musical memory?

A: My favourite memory – walking on stage at my 25th-anniversary celebration concert to play the Vaughan Williams Concerto – the reaction of the audience was overwhelming, and I almost started crying. There was so much love coming from the crowd

Q: Does music play a part in your everyday life?

A: I always have music playing in my head, so I rarely have music on as background noise. I like listening to orchestra music that is coming up in the season and oboe repertoire that I might be interested in trying. My husband likes to listen to music with the sound turned up, so his musical choices, which include an eclectic mix of popular music and Mahler Symphonies, are also part of my life.

Q: What do you like most about performing?

A: The connection with the audience.

Q: Who is your musical idol?

A: As an oboe player, it’s Eugene Izotov. I love his sound, his interest in the details, and his willingness to share with the oboe community. As a teacher, it’s Richard Killmer.

Q: How did you decide to become a professional musician?

A: It was a journey. I fell in love with music, the oboe and learning, and it led me to dream of a career in music. Hard work and a bit of luck in landing a job allowed the aspiration to come true.

Q: What advice would you give to young aspiring musicians?

A: Dream big – and have something to say musically. You have lots of time to find your way, so be curious about possibilities. Not everyone takes the same path.

Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.