Concerto for Oboe and Strings (1995)

solo oboe and string orchestra

  1. Dreams from the Ice (lament)
  2. Night Fire – Pulse

During my undergraduate career, I had the distinct privilege of getting to know Richard Killmer, the professor of oboe at the Eastman School of Music. Not only is he a consummate musician, he is a dedicated teacher. His simple philosophy, “when in doubt, play beautifully,” along with his extreme enthusiasm for his students makes him truly beloved around the school.

The concerto is in two movements, played without pause. The first movement, Dreams from the Ice, allows the soloist to lament the loss of sensitivity to those emotions that can make us truly human. Killmer’s almost effortless approach to playing the oboe inspired the freely flowing solo lines over the “icy” string chords. The second movement, Night Fire – Pulse, begins a pulsing, that “melts away the ice” of the first section with its relentless energy. The soloist gradually becomes comfortable with the rolling waves of energy and begins to float above the string textures. The concerto is a tribute to Richard Killmer’s positive human spirit.

This recording of Concerto for Oboe and Strings is by oboe soloist, Malinda Kreiser and the USC Orchestra, conducted by Donald Crockett.