Principal Oboe, Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra
Principal Oboe of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007, Erik Behr was previously Principal Oboe of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet. Mr. Behr has performed as guest principal with the San Francisco Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and as a guest with the Seattle and Houston symphonies. During the summer, he performs alongside his wife, RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde, with the Sun Valley Music Festival and the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Other festival appearances include the Casals and Spoleto festivals.
In addition to numerous concerto appearances with the RPO and Houston Ballet, Behr has recorded Honegger’s Concerto da Camera with the RTV Slovenia Orchestra. In 2018 he will perform the world premiere of Allen Shawn’s Oboe Concerto, commissioned specifically for Behr and the RPO. Together with his wife, he is Artistic Director of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester and in 2017 he gave the world premiere of Guggenheim Fellow Adam Roberts’s Oboe Quartet, commissioned for Behr and SCMR. He has given chamber recitals nationally and internationally at the Edinburgh International Festival, Kilkenny Festival, and Maribor Festival. His playing has been praised by critics as “bold and graceful” (Washington Post), “immaculate” (Sunday Tribune), for its “tremendous musicianship and sense of style” (Irish Examiner) and for his “ease and eloquence” (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle).
Currently Adjunct Professor at Roberts Wesleyan College, Mr. Behr has served on the oboe faculty at the University of Houston and was a visiting lecturer at Cornell University. He received his B.M. (cum laude) at Arizona State University, his M.M. from Temple University, and D.M.A. from Rice University. His principal teachers have been Robert Atherholt, Richard Woodhams, and Martin Schuring.