Katherine Needleman

Oboe / Performance

Katherine Needleman is a multi-faceted musician and native of Baltimore. She joined the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra as principal oboist in 2003, the same year she won first prize at the International Double Reed Society’s Gillet-Fox Competition. In Baltimore, she also curates the “Coffee, Patisserie, and Classical Music” series, which explores the connection between composer and performer through historically marginalized music.

As soloist, she has appeared with the Saint Paul, Baltimore, and Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestras; the Albany, Richmond, and Haddonfield Symphonies; and the Orquesta Sinfónica Nacional de Colombia, in addition to her frequent appearances with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. While a student at the Curtis Institute of Music, she appeared with The Philadelphia Orchestra as a winner of their Albert M. Greenfield Competition. She has performed as guest principal oboist with the New York Philharmonic, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the symphony orchestras of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New Zealand, and San Diego.

Ms. Needleman has premiered and commissioned numerous works. She gave the American premiere of Ruth Gipps’s Oboe Concerto, conducted and played the American premiere of Brenno Blauth’s Concertino, and gave the West Coast premiere of Christopher Rouse’s Oboe Concerto at the Cabrillo Festival. She gave the premiere of Kevin Puts’s oboe concerto, Moonlight, at the BSO’s New Music Festival with Marin Alsop and gives the West Coast premiere at the Cabrillo Festival in August 2022.

Before the 2019-2020 season was truncated by COVID-19, Ms. Needleman presented two recitals throughout the U.S.: one for oboe alone, and one for oboe and piano consisting of music by women composers. In late March 2020, she began her Lockdown Oboe Solo Concerts—a series of 11 weekly performances that included numerous premieres, broadcast from her living room to an audience of 80,000. Her works for oboe, English horn, and piano are published by Presser.

Ms. Needleman joined the Curtis faculty in 2022.