Richard Woodhams retired from the Philadelphia Orchestra in 2018 after having enjoyed a tenure as Principal Oboe since 1977, appearing as a soloist in New York, Chicago, Boston, Ann Arbor, San Francisco, Los Angeles and many other cities in the United States as well as in Asia. He premiered several Concerti in Philadelphia as well and collaborated with its last five Music Directors.
He taught at the Curtis Institute and Temple University and now teaches privately. His former students currently occupy positions in leading Orchestras and Schools both in the United States and abroad. Richard has given masterclasses in prominent conservatories in Canada, China, Great Britain, Israel, Taiwan and the United States. He taught and played at the Aspen School of Music for fifteen summers and participated in many other Festivals including those of La Jolla, Marlboro, Sapporo, and Sarasota. He also served on the Jury of the Munich International Oboe Competition, recorded the Strauss Oboe Concerto with Wolfgang Sawallisch , and is a charter member of The World Orchestra for Peace, an international assembly of musicians founded by Sir Georg Solti in 1995 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of The United Nations.
In addition to his orchestral work and teaching, he has long been active in chamber music as well and has performed with the Dover, Guarneri, Orion and Tokyo String quartets, violinists Itzhak Perlman and Alexander Schneider, and pianists Andre Watts, Emanuel Ax and Jean Yves Thibaudet, among many other outstanding musicians.
In recent years he has served as guest Principal Oboe of the Chicago Symphony with Riccardo Muti and the Los Angeles Philharmonic with Michael Tilson Thomas. In 2018 he received a citation from the Musical Fund Society of Philadelphia in acknowledgement of his longstanding contributions to Philadelphia’s musical life.
Mr. Woodhams is a graduate of the Curtis Institute where he studied with John deLancie, his distinguished predecessor in the Philadelphia Orchestra, and began his career in the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra under Walter Susskind.
He has two grown sons, Louis Woodhams and Eric Woodhams who live in St. Louis and Detroit respectively, and is married to Kiyoko Takeuti, pianist and celesta player with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He enjoys reading about culture and politics, playing in and going to concerts of many forms of classical music, and listening to vintage jazz and swing music.