Announcing the Preliminary Round Judges for the 2021 Norma Hooks Young Artist and Gillet-Fox Competitions! The submission deadline is coming up quickly on March 15th. Learn More

About IDRS

Established in December 1971, the International Double Reed Society (oboe and bassoon family), is a member-based organization made up of professional double reed players, amateurs, hobbyists, university/college instructors, music teachers, institutions, instrument manufacturers, double reed product retailers, reed makers, and enthusiasts. The society has over 3,000 members from 56 countries. Learn more about IDRS.

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Explore The Double Reed

The International Oboe Community Celebrates Laila Storch at her Centenary

Geoffrey Burgess | Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Laila Storch: a living oboe legend. At almost 100 years young, her generous spirit is as strong as ever. She has given all of us in the double reed community a direct lifeline to the past.
—Nathan Hughes

A student of Marcel Tabuteau, Laila Storch graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music in 1945—the first woman oboist to do so. Her appointments included Kansas City Philharmonic, Houston Symphony Orchestra (1948–55), National Symphony, Chicago Little Symphony, and Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra, the Carmel and Bethlehem Bach Festivals and Casals Festival (1950–53, 1965–68) working across her career with a series of esteemed conductors including Pablo Casals, Efrem Kurtz, Bruno Walter, Leopold Stokowski, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Sir Thomas Beecham and Ferenc Fricsay. In 1955 a Fulbright Grant took her to Vienna to study eighteenth-century oboe concertos. In Austria she was a member of the American Wind Ensemble of Vienna, and during the 1957–58 season she played principal oboe in the Mozarteum Orchestra in Salzburg. In 1962 she joined the Robert Shaw Chorale on a tour to Eastern Europe and the USSR, and from 1963 to 1965 taught on the faculty of SUNY Binghamton. She then replaced James Caldwell as oboist of the Soni Ventorum Wind Quintet which at that time was resident in Puerto Rico. With the quintet, she relocated in 1968 to Seattle, where she was Professor of Oboe at the University of Washington up to 1991. She has been visiting professor at Indiana University and the Oberlin Conservatory, and the Central Conservatory of China in Beijing (1989), given masterclasses and judged for numerous competitions including the Fernand Gillet, Isle of Wight and Lucarelli International Oboe Competitions. And, of course we all know her book about Marcel Tabuteau—How Can You Expect to Play the Oboe if You Can’t Peel a Mushroom?

Laila has also been an active member of the IDRS from the very beginning, and is the Society’s longest living honorary member. In the very first issue of To the World’s Oboists, Dan Stolper announced that Laila Storch had agreed to write for the publication.

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#idrsThrowback50 is back! Today we are remembering the #IDRS2003 conference at the Univ. of N. Carolina at Greensboro! Hosts Ashley Barret, Michael Burns, & James Prodan welcomed us to their beautiful campus, and we had memorable week of music! What was your favorite memory?


Announcing new criteria for Honorary Membership and call for nominations!

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