Welcome to the Oboe studio! Professor Peter Cooper heads the studio, where he teaches weekly private lessons as well as weekly Orchestral Excerpt/Audition Preparation class. Professor Cooper’s teaching priority is to help each student become an independent artist set up for life-long learning and professional success. Jason Lichtenwalter also serves on the Oboe Faculty, and other distinguished oboists have taught lessons and master classes.
All lessons include reed-making assistance with the goal of developing the skills to be a first class reed maker. Professor Cooper works with students on basic fundamentals such as embouchure, breathing, tone production and body efficiency, as well as covering solo repertoire. The studio has between eight and 10 students, including two Graduate Teaching Assistants and the rest undergraduates. One of the TAs is responsible for organizing the weekly Studio Class as well as teaching a Technique and Reed Making class for the undergrads. The other TA plays in the Graduate Woodwind Quintet.
What Makes the CU Oboe Studio Unique?
Students are strongly encouraged to help continue an atmosphere of camaraderie in a supportive environment. Healthy competition means students try to inspire each other, emulate what they admire in other students and strive for their personal best while encouraging each other. Cutthroat competition is strongly discouraged. Professor Cooper’s position as Principal Oboist of the Colorado Symphony means he brings a performance perspective and experience to his teaching. Students can see him perform major oboe excerpts in a full-time professional orchestra. Nothing requires good reed making more than the weekly routine of being a Principal Oboist and he passes these skills along to his students. Having been a first oboist for 35 years, he has a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities of the classical music business and works with each student on career goals.
Principal Oboist of the Colorado Symphony and Senior Instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, Peter Cooper has taught and performed as soloist with orchestras in Asia, Europe and the United States. He previously held positions in the San Francisco Symphony and the Hong Kong Philharmonic.
He has commissioned and premiered five oboe concertos. His recordings include the Strauss and David Mullikin Oboe Concertos with Neville Marriner and the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields, and “Whispers of the Past” for oboe and harp, which have received international critical acclaim.
He regularly performs and gives master classes at the IDRS conventions, and he is a frequent soloist with the Colorado Symphony.
Peter Cooper plays Marigaux oboes and Marigaux, Paris, has sponsored him in master classes and recitals at Universities all across the United States and Asia.
A graduate of Northwestern University, he studied with Ray Still and Gladys Elliot. He has been guest Principal Oboist with many orchestras including Boston, Atlanta, Houston, Seattle, Milwaukee, San Diego and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra. Read Professor Cooper's full bio or view this video interview produced by the Colorado Symphony.