William Welter Master Class Highlights

William Welter and Eugene Izotov

The world-renowned oboist shares words of wisdom with mentor Eugene Izotov and SFCM students.

William Welter is one of the most celebrated oboists working today. He was appointed principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO) by Music Director Riccardo Muti in June 2018, succeeding SFCM Professor of Oboe Eugene Izotov, one of his mentors. Prior to his appointment to the CSO, Welter performed as a guest musician with the Cleveland Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony, New York Philharmonic and as guest principal oboe of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra.

In April, Welter held a master class for students at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music who study with Izotov and English horn and oboe faculty member Russ deLuna.

“I am extremely proud of Will and his tremendous success,” says Izotov. “He has a unique voice and endless curiosity about the various aspects of playing the oboe and of being a musician in general. Will’s teaching is a natural extension of his artistic personality—he is expressive, graceful, passionate, and genuine. In this profession, which is sometimes diluted by misguided egos and over-inflated personalities, an artist like Will Welter is not only a breath of fresh air, but a powerful force for longevity, elegance, and sincerity of classical music.”

“Eugene is a wonderful teacher, which I know first-hand, who goes above and beyond in every way to help his students reach their full potential,” says Welter. “With a deep knowledge of all things music, oboe, reeds and decades of performance experience, he never ceases to inspire and offer motivation in lessons. The SFCM oboe studio is an incredible place to study in a competitive yet supportive environment with perspectives from terrific teachers.”

Welter is one of several renowned guest artists who have visited the SFCM oboe department this year. Others include Ryan Roberts (New York Philharmonic), Robert Walters (Cleveland Orchestra), Denis Bouriakov (LA Philharmonic) and Olivier Stankiewicz (London Symphony).

“I was immediately impressed by the exceptional musicianship, quality of sound, and professionalism of all of the students of Eugene Izotov and Russ deLuna,” said Welter. “What stood out to me the most, was their contagious enthusiasm for growth and unshakable confidence while performing.”

Below are highlights of Welter’s words of wisdom selected by Izotov.

“In music there are no accidents with expressive markings: when there is a crescendo - I want to hear a crescendo; when there is piano - it doesn’t mean ‘comfortable’, it means piano.”

“Just play it, don’t labor over every single note.”

“[Eugene Izotov] has transmitted his love of haute-cuisine to me, which is an inspiration musically as well: anything that stimulates the senses is just so delicious. Now, play the solo from the Brahms violin concerto, and try to think of a piece of escolar sushi!”

Watch Welter’s master class here or below.
Learn more about SFCM’s oboe department.