Howarth oboe
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Recordings to celebrate the world of the oboe

Links & Surprises
There are more links throughout this site, attached to the appropriate pages.
These links were last checked in January 2020

  • Why I started Oboe Classics...

  • ...and how it's been after nearly 25 years.

  • If you're bemused by this site and are wondering what all this stuff is about, there's a very good American video,
    Why would anybody want to play the oboe?. It really tries to get to grips with the answer to that question.

  • And if you do want to play the oboe, check out James Turnbull's website LearnToPlayTheOboe. There's lots of good basic information there.

  • Once you get going you will realise how important the reed is. Graham Salter has written Understanding the Oboe Reed. It manages to be both an academic treatise and a fascinating coffee-table book.

  • The US Army might seem an unlikely source of information about, and performances on, the oboe, but there is a very detailed video here. The uniforms may be formal but the playing is warm and flexible, and there are lots of tips.

  • Check out The Vivaldi Guys on YouTube. Playing the oboe can be fun, especially if you are a good mover!

  • John Barnett was one of the oboists on the recording of Handel's Fireworks Music featured on the CD English Accents. He has written an entertaining account of his experience which shows that in many ways the life of a jobbing freelance musician hasn't changed much since the 1950s. It is called 'Promotion' and is here, in PDF format.

  • "The chief objection to a wind instrument is that it extends the life of the player." If provocative remarks like this one from George Bernard Shaw entertain you, try this collection of amusing, thought-provoking and poignant musical quotes compiled by David Barker for MusicWeb International, a UK-based web resource for classical music (which has given lots of Oboe Classics CDs rave reviews, and deserves support).

  • Are you an oboe player or teacher looking for work? Or someone looking for a player or teacher? There is an international listing at, and a UK one at

  • The publisher of the Dorothy Gow Quintet, featured on An English Renaissance, is Stephen Powell Music Services.
    He does typesetting and copying, and also set the Britten Metamorphoses Sketches.

  • If you're pondering what equipment is best for listening to these CDs, you might consider the thoughts of classical music enthusiast Sebastian Mitchell.

  • US composer/arranger Robert Elkjer has written some entertaining jazz-style duets for oboe and english horn.
    His sound clips are electronic, but generous and fun. This will take you to the relevant page of his web site.

  • Intimate Voices; a (printable) PDF version of an article about running The Sheba Sound.

  • Wagner and the Wind Quintet; a (printable) PDF version of an article about one of the tracks on the Oboe Divas! CD

  • Nicholas Daniel performs Britten's Metamorphoses on YouTube. This link will take you to Bacchus, but all six movements are there. This performance is featured (in HiFi) on the Britten CD.

  • An article by Christopher Redgate on listening to extreme oboe music. There is also a German version.

  • The Best Laid Plans - an article by Althea Ifeka on planning her CD From Leipzig to London, leading up to the first day of recording on July 7th 2005 - a date when others had a different agenda for London.

  • The Oboist as the custodian of orchestral pitch, article by Geoffrey Burgess (this is a page from the 'More Details' section of The Oboe 1903-53).

  • Working with Janet Craxton by Brian Hawkins. (This is a page from the 'More Details' section of Janet Craxton)

  • How some professional oboists first got started. (This is a page from the 'More Details' section of Ready Steady Blow!)

  • Howarth of London, the maker of the oboe pictured in these pages. They sell almost everything you can think of...

  • ... which is all very well if you are UK-based. For a similar US resource, try Midwest Musical Imports, based in Minneapolis.

  • Feedback from people who have bought these CDs

  • The British Double Reed Society which has lots of information, and links to other UK music organisations.

  • Haydn looks after his oboists

  • An oboist in Hungary, Imre Bojtár, who sells CDs on his site

  • 'The Enraged Musician'

  • FOR OBOE MUSIC, June Emerson Wind Music is probably the best wind music supplier in the world!

  • - for a more specialist site, try It's in German, but is understandable to an English speaker. Go to the 'shop' page for huge lists of oboe music.

  • - and for some fun ensemble arrangements, have a look at Wonderful Winds, which includes 'Windbags' for oboe ensemble. Run by a flute player and an oboe player, they can also do an arrangement for you on request.

  • An online shop selling oboe bits and pieces is It's UK-based but will mail stuff worldwide. Specifically, it has a very good, clear (and free) summary of how to adjust oboe reeds.

  • FOR AURAL TESTS (hearing beats in a bar, rhythms, singing notes etc) try

  • If you are a cellist, thanks for being here, and for a cello CD try our sister label Cello Classics

  • - and for a clarinet CD, try the label that started it all, Clarinet Classics

  • Zen and the Art of Oboe Playing - some wise words from Maurice Bourgue

  • - and just as important as what goes on in the mind is what goes on in the body; check out, the wide-ranging website of Las Vegas oboist Stephen Caplan.

  • Jazz players are not known for their longevity, but the celebrated US saxophonist Johnny Griffin was still playing up until his death in 2008, aged 80. His long life may have been due in part to his learning the oboe at school. He was drafted into the army in 1951, and was about to be sent to fight in Korea when an oboe vacancy came up for a (US-based) military band. Griffin took the job; many of his friends were subsequently killed in Korea.

  • Some Travel Diaries of Jeremy Polmear, and his walking website with Diana Ambache
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