The Philadelphia Orchestra is still casting about for a new principal oboist.
Nathan Hughes, the only finalist after auditions over the winter, played trial weeks with the orchestra in concerts during the first two weeks of April but has not been offered the spot. The search will go on through the 2018-19 season, said an orchestra spokeswoman.
Hughes, currently oboist with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, is still in the running and will play “additional trial weeks along with other invited musicians,” she said. He also has been in the running for the same job in Chicago and played trial weeks there in March. A Chicago Symphony spokeswoman said she did not know when a decision would be made.
Hughes noted in an email that “within a matter of weeks this spring, I had the unique privilege and honor of playing with three of the greatest American orchestras — the Philadelphia Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, as well as my current orchestra, the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. The experience was illuminating in so many ways. Each of these ensembles plays, performs, and interacts in vastly different ways, and it was thrilling to make music with each of them … Wherever my path takes me, I feel fortunate that I will be making music with some incredible musicians!”
Although the search will continue into next season, Richard Woodhams, the Philadelphia Orchestra’s principal oboist since 1977, is still set to retire at the end of the current season.