Inspiring oboes – part 2

janet craxtonAnother former ERSO member (back when we were called the London Senior Orchestra) was Janet Craxton.  She was an influential oboist, teacher and champion of new music and played with ERSO to gain orchestral experience prior to entering the Paris Conservatoire in 1948.  When she returned was at immediately engaged as principal oboist of the Hallé Orchestra from 1949 to 1952.  Janet went on to become principal oboe in the London Mozart Players from 1952 to 1954, the BBC Symphony Orchestra from 1954 to 1963, the London Sinfonietta from 1969 to 1981, and the orchestra of the Royal Opera House from 1979 to 1981. She was appointed oboe professor at the Royal Academy of Music in 1958.

She was much in demand as a soloist, and gave world premières of works by Ralph Vaughan Williams, Lennox Berkeley, Alan Rawsthorne, Elisabeth Lutyens, Elizabeth Maconchy, Richard Stoker and Priaulx Rainier. In 1958, she was co-dedicatee and original performer with the tenor Wilfred Brown of Ralph Vaughan Williams’ song cycle Ten Blake Songs.

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