Rancourt, Stephane


Oboist Stephane Rancourt was born in Canada, where he studied with Jacques Simard at the Conservatoire de Musique de Quebec. In Europe, he continued his studies with Thomas Indermuhle, at the Rotterdam Conservatoire and the Karlsruhe State Academy. In Canada, he was the first oboist to win the Sylva Gelber Award, given by the Canada Council for the Arts, and was also the 1991 prize-winner of the Prix d’Europe.

As an orchestral player and soloist, he has performed in most European countries, as well as in South America, Russia, Canada, Japan and Australia. Before taking up his appointment as Principal Oboe with the Halle in 2003, he was Principal Oboe with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for eight years.

His discography includes Alan Rawsthorne’s Oboe Concerto, nominated for a Gramophone Award, Samuel Barber’s Canzonetta for oboe and string orchestra and Capricorn Concerto, selected as a Gramophone ‘Editor’s Choice’. On the Halle’s own label, he has recorded Vaughan Williams’s Oboe Concerto. Stephane Rancourt also teaches oboe at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Chetham’s School of Music.

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Hulse, Gareth


Gareth Hulse read music at Cambridge University, and continued his studies on the oboe with Janet Craxton and Heinz Holliger.  He was subsequently appointed principal oboe with the Northern Sinfonia, a position he has since also held with English National Opera and the London Philharmonic. 

Gareth now pursues his interest in contemporary music as principal oboe with the London Sinfonietta, and in chamber music with London Winds and the Nash Ensemble, with whom he has toured widely and recorded extensively for Sony, Decca and Hyperion. Gareth has given many concerto performances, in music ranging from Bach and Vivaldi to Berio and Lutoslawski, and is a frequent broadcaster on radio and television.  He teaches at the Royal College of Music.

Carter, Roy

Roy Carter began playing the oboe at the age of ten. At the age of twelve he was awarded a Junior Exhibition to study at the Royal Academy of Music with Margaret Eliot. When he was sixteen, Roy won an open scholarship to study full time under Terence McDonough at the Royal College of Music, where he won the Joy Boughton Memorial Prize for oboe whilst in his second year of study.
After leaving the Royal College, Roy joined the Philharmonia as second oboe. After a short period there, he was appointed Principal, Oboe with the English National Opera Orchestra.
During his freelance career Roy has played Principal, Oboe in most of Britain’s leading orchestras inlcuding the London Philharmonic, Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia, BBC Symphony, English Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, London Mozart Players, City of London Sinfonia and the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden and was Professor of Oboe at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.
Roy joined Northern Sinfonia as Principal, Oboe in October 2005.

Maxwell, Melinda


Melinda Maxwell read music at York University and studied in Germany with Ingo Goritzki and Helmut Winschermann. She has performed as soloist at many major UK and European festivals, and is frequently heard in recital and on BBC Radio 3. Numerous works have been written especially for Melinda, by composers including Nicholas Maw, Sir Harrison Birtwistle and Simon Holt. Melinda is also an accomplished composer herself.

In addition to her work as a recitalist, Melinda is principal oboe of the Endymion Ensemble and BCMG, and performs regularly as principal with the London Sinfonietta.

She has taught at the Royal Academy of Music and Trinity College in London and has been giving master-classes at the Dartington International Summer School since 1992. She also coaches at the Britten-Pears and NYO summer courses, and is Consultant in Woodwind Studies at RNCM in Manchester.

Her numerous recordings include Melinda Maxwell in Manchester: Music for Oboe from the RNCM, Birtwistle's 26 Orpheus Elegies and Pulse Sampler for NMC.

Daniel, Nicholas

Nicholas Daniel’s distinguished career began when, at the age of 18,  he won the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition. At his debut at the BBC Proms in 1992 the Sunday Times described him as one of the greatest exponents of the oboe in the world. Today one of the UK's most distinguished soloists as well as an increasingly successful conductor, he has become an important ambassador for music and musicians in many different fields.
Nicholas has been heard on every continent, and has been a concerto soloist with many of the world’s leading orchestras and conductors. A champion of contemporary music, he has premiered works by many distinguished composers including Thea Musgrave, John Tavener, Henri Dutilleux and Harrison Birtwistle.    Nicholas is a founder member of the Haffner Wind Ensemble and the Britten Oboe Quartet; he gives regular recitals and plays chamber music with many distinguished instrumentalists and ensembles.

As a conductor, Nicholas has worked with orchestras in the UK and abroad, and is Associate Artistic Director of the Britten Sinfonia.  He is also Artistic Director of the Leicester International Festival and teaches in the UK and in Germany, where he is Professor of Oboe at the Hochschule für Musik,  Trossingen.

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Benjamin Harte
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