I started playing the oboe when I was 17 years old and at this point I was already on a path to study Natural Sciences at university. However, it quickly became clear that music, and the oboe in particular, was where my real passion lay. After a year at Durham I was able to change to the music course and started playing with the university orchestras. I was fortunate to meet Rosie Jenkins (London Symphony Orchestra) around this time and it was through her inspirational teaching that I first began to believe I might be able to take the oboe further.

After university I took a graduate assistant position at a boarding school in Dorset. This was a wonderful but intense year where I discovered a passion for teaching and enjoyed sharing my love of music with pupils in the classroom and through coaching the orchestras and various chamber groups. Working in the music department during the day and the boarding house before and after school and at weekends didn’t afford much free time however so I had to do a lot of late-night practice sessions in remote classrooms to keep the oboe going during this time!

I then moved to London for postgraduate study at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, kindly supported by a Guildhall School Scholarship and the Sir Richard Stapley Educational Trust. My main teachers were Alison Teale, Gordon Hunt, and Tim Rundle, and at Guildhall I was privileged to take part in side-by-side rehearsals and performances with the London Symphony Orchestra including concerts at the Barbican and in Trafalgar Square. Other orchestral training has included playing with Guildhall Symphony and Opera Orchestras, Orion Orchestra, and the Young Musicians Symphony Orchestra. I graduated from the master’s course with distinction and as a soloist was awarded the Guildhall Oboe Prize, performing with pianist Jonathan Musgrave.

I currently freelance with orchestras in London and further afield, most recently the London Mozart Players, and also enjoy chamber music opportunities including a performance at Wigmore Hall as part of the Nicolas Daniel Oboe Day playing two new works for ten oboes by John Woolrich and David Bruce. I particularly enjoy the frequent opportunities I get to play Bach’s music for services, chamber recitals, or choral concerts as it was Bach’s oboe writing that first inspired me to learn the oboe.


Guildhall School of Music and Drama
London, UK

Durham University
Durham, UK

Quickfire Questions

Where’s your favourite place to listen to music and why?
I like listening to music while I am moving; whether walking or commuting/travelling, and especially on long train journeys. It’s partly that these offer a rare opportunity to stop and concentrate but there’s also something about travelling which heightens the music for me.

What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
In my spare time I am a keen runner – any distance from 5km to half marathon – and generally speaking the more mud and hills the better. I ran cross country at school and university and in London I most enjoy running in Richmond Park or along the river. I also recently discovered Parkrun so on the rare occasions that I’m free/awake on a Saturday morning I love doing these with friends.

Tell us something about yourself that might surprise us.
I’ve recently started taking drum lessons…

Emily is a member of the 2020-2021 fellowship.