Eugene Izotov has been appointed Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), beginning with the 2015-16 season

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA, December 8, 2014 – Eugene Izotov has been appointed Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony (SFS), beginning with the 2015-16 season. Mr. Izotov is currently Principal Oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, a position he has held since 2006. He previously served as Principal Oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra and as Associate Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony from 1996-2003. Mr. Izotov succeeds the late William Bennett as Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony.

“I am delighted to be joining the San Francisco Symphony as Principal Oboe,” said Mr. Izotov. “This is a deeply personal decision for me since much of my life is connected to these two great American orchestras and cities. As I look forward to making music with maestro Michael Tilson Thomas and my colleagues of the San Francisco Symphony, I know my heart will be filled with wonderful memories of music-making with Chicago Symphony and profound gratitude to maestro Riccardo Muti for his humanity, support, and inspiration.”

“Eugene is one of the great oboe virtuosos in the world,” said Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas. “I have enjoyed working with him for over 20 years and am always struck by his profound musicality, elegance, and lyricism. Eugene is a devoted colleague and teacher and I look forward to many years of collaboration.”

Eugene Izotov is one of the leading wind players of his generation and his playing continues to receive wide acclaim for its “luminous beauty” (San Francisco Chronicle), “lyrical gold” (Chicago Tribune), and “purity of tone” (La Stampa). Mr. Izotov leads a multi-faceted career in orchestral, solo, teaching, and chamber music engagements. He is the first Russian-born musician in history to hold a principal wind position in any major American symphony orchestra. His numerous awards include top prizes at solo competitions in Saint Petersburg (1991), Moscow (1990), New York (1995), and at the Fernand Gillet International Competition (2001).

Mr. Izotov has appeared over 40 times as soloist with orchestras such as the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, and has collaborated with Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, James Levine, Nicholas McGegan, Edo De Waart, Ludovic Morlot, Ton Koopman, and Michael Tilson Thomas performing works by Mozart, Strauss, Marcello, Haydn, Martinu, Vivaldi, Carter, Hummel, Krommer, and Bach. Mr. Izotov has recorded for Sony Classical, BMG, Boston Records, Lisem Records, Elektra, CSOResond, and most recently he was a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of John Williams on the Oscar-nominated recording for Steven Spielberg’s film Lincoln. A prolific chamber musician, Eugene Izotov has collaborated regularly with the MET Chamber Ensemble throughout its residence at Carnegie Hall, as well as with Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jamie Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, André Watts, and the Tokyo String Quartet.

One of the most sought-after oboe teachers in the U.S., Mr. Izotov presents regular master classes at conservatories across the nation and abroad, such as Aspen Music Festival, New World Symphony, Boston University, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, University of California at Berkeley, Huyndai Center (Seoul, Korea), Tanglewood Music Center, Domaine Forget (Canada), and Interlochen Center for the Arts. In 2003, at the invitation of Maestro James Levine, Mr. Izotov joined the woodwind faculty of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. Since 2005 he has served on the International Principals faculty of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. Mr. Izotov also served as an oboe mentor for the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas during its residency at the Sydney Opera House in Sydney, Australia which included a live internet simulcast to over 30 million worldwide viewers. This season’s highlights include teaching engagements at New World Symphony, Music Academy of the West, Mannes College, Oberlin College, Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), and McGill University (Montreal, Canada).

Born in Moscow, Russia, Mr. Izotov studied at the Gnesin School of Music with Ivan Pushechnikov and Sergey Velikanov and at Boston University School of Fine Arts with Ralph Gomberg.


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