Neil Black
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Neil Black

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Soloist Former Principal Oboist, London Philharmonic Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and English Chamber Orchestras Professor, Guildhall School of Music, London.

Comments from Mr. Neil Black
"Ke-Xun Ge must be the world's greatest reed maker. It is not too much to say that his beautiful reeds have changed my life. Suddenly, after all these years, practice time is really time for practising, instead of being a frustrating period of making and adjusting reeds, interspersed with moments of practice. The secret of his reeds is in the perfect balance of the various registers. Having vibrant bottom notes does not mean sacrificing tone quality elsewhere, and, as he uses a profiler of his own design and excellent Chinese cane, the quality is amazingly consistent. I wish I had found out about them earlier."

Neil Black OBE BA(Oxon) HonRAM


Department of Wind, Brass and Percussion: Oboe

Neil Black has played oboe since the age of eleven. He had not originally intended to make music his career but took a degree in History at Oxford University. However, his experiences in the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain fired his enthusiasm and within three years of leaving Oxford he was appointed principal oboist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, where he gained invaluable experience, playing under such conductors as Steinberg, Monteux and Boult.

Most of his musical life, however, has been devoted to solo playing and performing with chamber orchestras and ensembles. He has been principal oboist of the Academy of St. Martin-in-the-Fields and, for many years, the English Chamber Orchestra, with which he toured the world and performed many concertos.

As soloist he has played in many of the world’s great musical centres. Recent performances include the Mozart Oboe Quarter in London and Japan, a tour of Denmark, and performances at the Marlboro, Sarasota and Spoleto USA festivals.

He is much in demand for coaching and masterclasses and is currently a professor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London and musical director of the Kirckman Concert Society.

Neil Black’s numerous solo recordings for all the major record companies have brought him international acclaim. Amongst them are the Bach Double Concerto with Perlman, the Strauss and Vaughan-Williams concertos with Barenboim and the English Chamber Orchestra, Mozart, Bach and Vivaldi Double Concerto with Menuhin and the Polish Chamber Orchestra.

He was awarded the O.B.E. by the Queen in the New Year’s Honours 1989.