Oboe/Oboe questions


Hi Geoffrey,I have some questions for you:

1.If I play the oboe regularly,around 3-4 hours every day,how often should I check my instrument with my repairman and how often should I change most corks on my oboe?
2.Do greatest oboe soloists today have reed profiling machines and do they use them? If yes is the answer,do you know who and which brands do they use?
3.Which are the biggest competitions in the world today for the oboists and which are the biggest chalenge to prepare them?
4.As I am an oboe teacher,could you give some informations about which pieces are in the programme for young oboists from beginner to high school student in UK,Germany,France etc.? (of course,If you know anything it would be helpful).
5.Do you know where I can buy plastic and woodden oboes to 800 euros price and is Marchi oboe brand (plastic oboes)good choice to consider?

Please,answer me as fast as you can and thank you very much!


Dear Patrick

Sorry not to have got back to you sooner but I have been on holiday and didn't put my dates in the AllExperts diary!

Questions you have- let's see...

1. check your oboe regularly but learn to do it yourself. You will know when it feels leaky and a pad needs attention. In my experience pads hardly ever need changing. I get my oboe serviced about once every two years but I do any small work myself.

2. Yes many of the best oboists use profilers or don't make reeds at all! The favourite machines seem to be Rieger and Michel. It is difficult to say who uses what because most professional oboist will have more than one make. I have five different profilers for instance!! I use them in rotation to part scrape reeds and then hand finish. Ramon Ortega for instance has used Rieger the last time I spoke to him. Maurice Bourgue uses a Beucher machine (Swiss) amongst others.

3. Biggest Competitions are Munich, Prague, Geneva and Tokyo. They are all tough but I think that Munich is probably toughest. Only three first prizes ever given. Holliger, Bourgue and Ortega.

4. Pieces are very difficult to answer for you. In the UK the Associated Board Examination Syllabus is a very good guide to what is graded and published. In France the teaching emphasis seems to be on scales and studies and a very organised pedagogical structure. In Germany I couldn't say - sorry.

5. Plastic oboes for 800 euros?  Difficult but not impossible. Try the Schreiber range which are cheaper than Buffet's equivalents but the same oboe! I don;t know anything about the Marchi oboes sorry.


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Geoffrey Bridge


Professional oboist with many years experience. Former pupil of Leon Goossens. Solo artist for Arts Council of Great Britain. Freelance recitalist/broadcasting/orchestras. Former Head of woodwind teaching in Hampshire, England. Questions on repertoire, playing styles, reeds, cane selection and processing.


St Andrews University Royal College of Music, Aberdeen College of Education Licenciate of the Royal Academy of Music General Teaching Council certificate Broadcast solo recitals/performed with major symphony orchestras/Music Club recitals/writings on double reed matters

Chairman and Trustee of the British Double Reed Society International Double Reed Society Association Hautbois Francais Orchestral Manager of Southern Pro Musica Orchestra/Aberdeen Sinfonietta

Double Reed News/Australasian Double Reed Society magazine/International Double Reed Society

LRAM, Cert Ed

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