Beth Orson has played Assistant Principal Oboe and English Horn with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 1990. Sessional faculty at the University of British Columbia’s School of Music since 1993, she also serves on the faculty at the Vancouver Academy of Music. She was appointed Oboe Coach at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2008 and continues to teach there every summer. As a chamber musician, Ms. Orson has appeared most recently with the Turning Point Ensemble and VSO Chamber Players, and in recital at UBC and at NYOC. Principal Oboe of the NY Symphonic Ensemble from 1988-2005, she completed 19 tours to Japan with the NYSE, performing in every major concert hall in Japan, often as oboe soloist. As an English horn player, her solo performances include the world & Canadian premieres of VSO Music Director Bramwell Tovey’s “The Progress of Vanity” for English horn and small orchestra at the 2012 International Double Reed Society Conference held at Miami University (Ohio) and with the VSO in 2014; Rodney Sharman’s “Songs Without Words” with the VSO, the North American premiere of James MacMillan’s “The World’s Ransoming” with the VSO, the solo English horn part to Dan Seguin’s Leo Award-winning score for the CBC feature film “Murder Unveiled,” Brian Cherney’s “In the Stillness of September 1942” with the VSO, the Kraus/Ferlandis Concerto for English horn and Orchestra with the Sinfonia-Orchestra of the North Shore and numerous performances of Sibelius’s “The Swan of Tuonela” with the VSO.
Ms. Orson grew up in Rhode Island and began studying piano at age 5 with Madeline Talamo of Providence. Oboe lessons began at age 15 with Lawrence Thorstenberg, former English horn of the Boston Symphony. Ms. Orson went on to attend the Oberlin Conservatory where she studied with James Caldwell and David Weber and was a winner of the the Oberlin Concerto Competition. After graduation she moved to New York City where she studied privately with Elaine Douvas and worked as a freelance musician performing regularly with the orchestras of the Metropolitan & New York City Operas, the Orchestra of St.Luke’s, Philharmonia Virtuosi, at Radio City Music Hall and on Broadway.