Richard Woodhams - Behind the Scenes
Richard Woodhams Principal Oboe
Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.
Where were you born? Palo Alto, CA.
What piece of music could you play over and over again? Gurrelieder by Arnold Schoenberg.
What is your most treasured possession? A good oboe reed to play great music upon.
What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Right now, Su Xing House on Sansom St.
Tell us about your instrument. I change instruments frequently, but my current oboe was made in England of Cocobolo wood.
What’s in your instrument case? Cigarette papers; a small screwdriver; a single-edge razor blade, and a small vial of grease. Sounds bad, but these are tools of the trade common to all oboists.
If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I would ask the great J.S. Bach, my favorite composer, to air his views on family planning.
What piece of music never fails to move you? Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun by Debussy. Many others as well!
When did you join the Orchestra? September 1977.
Do you play any other instruments? No, not yet.
What’s your favorite type of food? Mostly Asian.
What books are on your nightstand? The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs and Roughing It by Mark Twain. Also, Leave it to Psmith by P.G. Wodehouse.
Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Das Paradies und die Peri by Robert Schumann.
What’s the last recording you purchased? CD or download? The Jazz Messengers, a CD. I like to listen to vintage jazz for the incomparable musicianship of the performers.
When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? In San Francisco in 1963; Brahms's First Symphony with Eugene Ormandy.
Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Symphony Hall in Boston.