The Oboe Band was formed in 2005 to revive this once huge­ly pop­u­lar ensem­ble of Baroque oboes and bas­soons.

As the only pro­fes­sion­al ensem­ble of its kind in the UK, The Oboe Band are com­mit­ted to research­ing and pre­sent­ing the rich and var­ied reper­toire which includes the­atre music by Pur­cell and his con­tem­po­raries, Musique de Table writ­ten for Louis XIV and cham­ber sonatas and cer­e­mo­ni­al music from many Euro­pean com­posers.

From 2006 — 2008 The Oboe Band were giv­en the pres­ti­gious posi­tion of Ensem­ble in Res­i­dence at the Roy­al Col­lege of Music. Their role there com­bined per­for­mances, ped­a­gog­ic duties and research.

The Oboe Band give lec­ture recitals and con­certs through­out the UK and Europe. Each per­for­mance is giv­en an excit­ing twist as they pro­vide his­tor­i­cal insights, aca­d­e­m­ic demon­stra­tion and col­lab­o­rate with actors and dancers.

Our mem­bers all play with World Class peri­od instru­ment orches­tras and as The Oboe Band they are ded­i­cat­ed to bring­ing excel­lent Baroque cham­ber music to the con­cert plat­form.

To date, two pieces of music have been spe­cial­ly com­posed for them; Oboes by Blai Sol­er and Orlan­do Furioso by Gra­ham Sheen.


The Band has abun­dant vital­i­ty and fresh­ness”
Ear­ly Music Today, Vol­ume 14 no. 6
Jere­my Bar­low

I’m per­son­al­ly thrilled to have these four excel­lent ambas­sadors to pro­mote the rich­es of his­tor­i­cal per­for­mance”
Muso Mag­a­zine, Octo­ber / Novem­ber 2006
Col­in Law­son

Their con­certs are packed with insight and his­tor­i­cal detail, giv­ing audi­ences a glimpse into a long-neglect­ed musi­cal world”

UpBeat Mag­a­zine, Autumn 2006
James Mur­phy

Our CD “War & Peace” was released in Decem­ber 2009 to great crit­i­cal acclaim. Here is what they have said so far:

Ear­ly Music Today:
One of the nicest aspects of this review­ing lark is watch­ing and, if pos­si­ble, encour­ag­ing young musi­cians as they make their first steps into the com­plex world of pro­fes­sion­al music-mak­ing — and then fol­low­ing them as their careers devel­op. I often first hear them in stu­dent con­certs or dusty base­ments, or in com­pe­ti­tions like the for­mer Ear­ly Music Net­work Inter­na­tion­al Young Artists’ Com­pe­ti­tion (now run by Nation­al Cen­tre for Ear­ly Music in York). So it is always a thrill when I hear of their suc­cess­es or, as in the case of The Oboe Band, they send me their first CD. The Oboe Band (who are exact­ly what they say on the tin) were formed in 2005, were final­ists in the 2007 com­pe­ti­tion, and were Ensem­ble in Res­i­dence at the Roy­al Col­lege of Music from 2006–8. War & Peace is an appro­pri­ate tile for their CD, as the ear­ly his­to­ry of the oboe cov­ered both even­tu­al­i­ties. The attrac­tive­ly pre­sent­ed pro­gramme reflects the his­to­ry of the instru­ment and its music dur­ing the 17th and ear­ly 18th cen­turies. The inevitable tran­scrip­tions work well, par­tic­u­lar­ly the two Pur­cell suites. The play­ing is excel­lent through­out, with some impres­sive use of artic­u­la­tion and dynam­ics in their insight­ful inter­pre­ta­tions. I can assure any read­ers who might think that an entire CD of oboes is the sort of thing designed to annoy the neigh­bours that this is far more like­ly to delight. Andrew Ben­son-Wil­son

The Musi­cian Mag­a­zine:
“Evoca­tive Wood­wind”
This extreme­ly tal­ent­ed quar­tet — oboists Frances Nor­bury, Joel Ray­mond and Sarah Humphrys, and bas­soon­ist Rebec­ca Stock­well — offer 42 tracks of con­sid­er­able breadth and imag­i­na­tion. These range from suites des­tined to pro­vide a back­drop for out­door events, through items writ­ten specif­i­cal­ly for court occa­sions, to a num­ber of dra­mat­ic, stage-ori­en­tat­ed pieces. Their play­ing demon­strates the intri­ca­cy and warmth of the oboe port­fo­lio. Pur­cel­l’s Suite from The Fairy Queen instant­ly cap­tures the instru­men­t’s evoca­tive essence with its danc­ing cas­cades of notes. Superb.

4 out of 5 stars by Ear­ly Music Mag­a­zine:
“War and Peace is the debut record­ing from the Oboe Band, a quar­tet of ear­ly music spe­cial­ists formed in 2005 “to revive the once huge­ly pop­u­lar ensem­ble of baroque oboes and bas­soon from the time of the Restora­tion”. Con­sist­ing of inti­mate cham­ber music, music for the table, the­atre music and pieces for out­door enter­tain­ment, this CD gives the lis­ten­er a chance to hear exam­ples of reper­toire from the oboe band’s many and var­ied roles, clear­ly demon­strat­ing the many facets of the oboes’ char­ac­ter from the “pure and plan­gent” to the “brave and spright­ly”. MB