Oboe Talk Interview: Laura Griffiths

Name: Laura Griffiths

Current position or what role the oboe currently plays in your life (i.e. principal oboe, freelancer, etc.): Principal Oboe, San Francisco Ballet Orchestra

The kind of oboe you play: Loree Royal

Website or Blog (if you have one): N/A

1. Tell us your story about how you found the oboe… or how it found you.

Joe Robinson, then Principal Oboe of the NY Phil, came to my hometown in Michigan and played a concerto with the local orchestra. He was the one to recommend my first teacher, Roger Rehm.

2. What’s your “secret recipe” for making a great oboe reed?

Well, really it comes down to your setup: a gouge that works really well, a shape that is good for you, and good cane. Many years of practice and experience help, but really, even one’s “secret recipe” does not guarantee a great oboe reed.

3. How do you motivate yourself when you run into challenges, or problems with reeds, or other oboe frustrations?

Put on the TV, sit down with all my reed stuff and a recording device and work my butt off until I am more satisfied with the way I sound.

4. What one oboe “secret,” if someone had told it to you back when you were getting started, would have made your oboe journey even better than it’s been?

There isn’t one for me. However, if I could go back, I would say that playing with people you enjoy working with is more important than playing in one of the “best” orchestras. Really, performing is most fulfilling when it is a group of friends playing chamber music together.

5. What’s your favorite oboe piece EVER?

Le Tombeau de Couperin

6. What ELSE do you enjoy doing outside of playing the oboe?

Yoga, jogging, taking care of my infant daughter!

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