Beth Orson has played English Horn and Assistant Principal Oboe with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 1990. A dedicated teacher, she is an Adjunct Professor of Oboe at the UBC School of Music, Oboe Coach at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada (NYO) and at the VSO Institute at Whistler, and also maintains a private teaching studio. As a chamber musician, Ms. Orson has appeared most recently with the VSO Chamber Players, in recital at NYO and on UBC’s Noon-Hour concert series. Principal Oboe of the NY Symphonic Ensemble from 1988-2005, she completed 19 tours to Japan with the NYSE, performing in every major concert hall in Japan, often as oboe soloist. As an English horn player, Ms. Orson’s solo performances include the world premiere of VSO Music Director Bramwell Tovey’s “The Progress of Vanity” for English horn and small orchestra at the 2012 International Double Reed Society Conference in Ohio and the Canadian premiere of the piece with the VSO in 2014; Rodney Sharman’s “Songs Without Words” with the VSO, the North American premiere of James MacMillan’s “The World’s Ransoming” with the VSO, the solo English horn part to Dan Seguin’s Leo Award-winning score for the CBC feature film “Murder Unveiled,” Brian Cherney’s “In the Stillness of September 1942” with the VSO, the Kraus/Ferlandis Concerto for English horn with Lion’s Gate Sinfonia and numerous performances of Sibelius’s “The Swan of Tuonela” and Copland’s “Quiet City” with the VSO.
A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and winner of the Oberlin Concerto Competition, Ms. Orson’s principal teachers were Laurence Thorstenberg (retired, Boston Symphony), James Caldwell (Oberlin), and Elaine Douvas (Metropolitan Opera Orchestra). Before moving to Vancouver, Ms. Orson worked as a freelance musician in New York City where she often performed with the orchestras of the Metropolitan & New York City Operas, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Philharmonia Virtuosi, and on Broadway.