The Minnesota Orchestra announced today that Nathan Hughes has been appointed its principal oboe. Hughes, who currently serves as principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, will begin his new role at the end of December, performing in the Orchestra’s New Year’s celebrations on December 31, 2022 and January 1, 2023. A native of St. Paul, Hughes stepped in to serve as the Minnesota Orchestra’s acting principal oboe for three months in the fall of 2021, following the retirement of John Snow from the principal position. He will maintain his teaching position at The Juilliard School in New York.
“We knew when Nathan played with the Orchestra last fall that he was a really great fit for this Orchestra in terms of his musical leadership, his work ethic and his outstanding qualities as an artist,” said Music Director Osmo Vänskä. “This is one of the final positions that I will be involved in hiring in Minnesota, and I am so happy about what Nathan will bring to the Minnesota Orchestra going forward.” Vänskä, who conducted his final concert as music director on June 12, will step down from his leadership role on August 31 and will subsequently serve as conductor laureate.
Said Nathan Hughes, “Joining the Minnesota Orchestra, an ensemble that has such a long, rich history and at the same time is forward-thinking, is truly an honor and privilege. I have admired the Orchestra since I first heard it as a young boy growing up in the Twin Cities, and I felt so warmly welcomed when I recently performed with the group. The collaborative spirit among these high-caliber musicians has developed into a wonderful atmosphere that encourages creativity, and the organization is very fortunate to be supported by a large community of music lovers. I look forward to coming to Orchestra Hall to make music with these amazing artists!”
Hughes will also join the Orchestra for its November 2022 performances and recording sessions for Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony.
Profile: Nathan Hughes
Nathan Hughes is currently principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera and is a member of the faculty at the Juilliard School. He previously served as principal oboe of the Seattle Symphony and has recorded, toured and made guest appearances as principal oboe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and San Francisco Symphony.
An avid chamber musician, Hughes has performed with the Philadelphia, La Jolla, Seattle and Brooklyn Chamber Music Societies, as well as at ChamberFest Cleveland and Chamber Music Pittsburgh. In addition, he has made appearances at the festivals of Aspen, Bridgehampton, Lucerne, Marlboro, Pacific, Salzburg, Santa Fe, Sarasota, Spoleto and Tanglewood. He has received critical acclaim for his performances as soloist with the MET Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Seattle Symphony, La Jolla SummerFest Chamber Orchestra and Verbier Festival Orchestra.
Hughes is a dedicated teacher, and his students have earned significant positions in numerous major symphony orchestras throughout the country. He has lectured and presented masterclasses at institutions around the world including at the New World Symphony, Cleveland Institute, Eastman School of Music, Oberlin Conservatory and Indiana University, as well as at the Munich Hochschule in Germany, National University in Korea, Royal Conservatory in Canada, and Pacific Music Festival in Japan. He regularly works with young musicians in the summer at the Marlboro Festival in Vermont and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.