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Robert Stephenson

Principal Oboe

Robert Stephenson joined the Utah Symphony Orchestra in 1980 and has been the Principal Oboist under Music Directors Varujan Kojian, Joseph Silverstein, Keith Lockhart and Thierry Fischer. A graduate of the Interlochen Arts Academy and the Curtis Institute of Music, Mr. Stephenson is an adjunct professor at the University of Utah, a faculty member at the Sewanee Summer Music Festival and has served on the faculty of the Aspen School of Music, the Sequoia Chamber Music Workshop  and the Symphony School of America. Prior to joining the Utah Symphony, Robert spent three years as principal oboe with the Savannah Symphony under conductor Christian Badea. Besides his many summers at Interlochen, Robert performed at the Spoleto Festivals in Italy and Charleston, South Carolina, the Academy of the West, the Teton Music Festival, the Elkhorn Music Festival, Tanglewood and the Blossom Music Festival. His teachers included John de Lancie, John Mack, Richard Woodhams, Louis Rosenblatt, Jay Light, Dan Stolper, Richard Foley, William Criss, Rhadames Angelucci and Evelyn McCarty.  His compositions include “Twinkle Variations” for solo oboe, “40 New Melodic and Technical Etudes” for oboe or saxophone, “Dance Etudes”, which has versions for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone and bassoon,  “Rhythm, Time and Meter”- 49 etudes for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone or bassoon and “Quotation Etudes” for flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone or bassoon.  All compositions are presently being published by the Jeanne Publishing Company. Robert has written articles for the magazine Flute Talk, and he has served on the Artistic Committee, the Orchestra Committee, multiple Audition Committees and two Music Director Search Committees for the Utah Symphony. He is a resident of Salt Lake City, the father of three, spouse of Lisa Byrnes (associate principal flute with the Utah Symphony) and a member of the woodwind quartet “Three Fish and a Scorpion” and the flute, oboe and guitar trio “Free Housing Project”. In September of 2014 Robert took a 12-month sabbatical from the Utah Symphony. This opportunity made it possible to hear 80 orchestral concerts, 22 operas and more than 30 recitals in the United States and Europe. The experience was chronicled in a blog on the Musicians of the Utah Symphony website and titled “A Musical Journey”.