Eric Olson

Principal Oboe

Eric Olson’s brother starting playing the trumpet when Eric was eight. That led Eric to the recorder and two years later to the oboe.

What do you want patrons of the Symphony to know about you?
Something you may not know is that professional oboe players have to make their own oboe reeds. Professional oboists spend at least 10 hours a week making their reeds, starting from the raw tube cane (that looks similar to bamboo) all the way to the finished product that makes the sounds you hear at concerts. It’s a skill that takes years to master, and I’m still learning.

What would you be doing if you weren’t a professional musician?
Math and Science were my strongest subjects in high school besides music, so probably a scientist. My father has a doctorate in Chemistry, my mother a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, and my brother has a doctorate in theoretical Physics, so I would have followed a similar path.

What do you do in your spare time (other than practice!)?
I enjoy watching Dr Who episodes, occasional reading, and following sports. I’m also pretty busy with the San Marco Chamber Music Society that my wife Ellen and I started in 2008 www.sanmarcochambermusic.org . I also keep myself pretty involved at St Mark’s Lutheran Church.

What is your favorite thing about being a professional musician?
I enjoy playing some of the best music ever written. During a performance, we get to bring to life what the composer wrote, and it will be different every time.

What sport(s) do you participate in?
None currently. I do like to get out for a walk though.

Do you have a favorite team?
Not really, although I do follow the Jacksonville Jaguars.

What is your favorite food?
I enjoy a good lasagna and carrot cake.

Who is your favorite composer?
Mozart! I usually try to make the pieces I am performing my favorite. Being immersed in the music always brings out the best in any piece.

What’s currently on your Ipod?
Do people use I-pods now? I can’t keep up with all the tech to know if that is the latest device. I still have a turntable, cassette player, and cd player. I usually listen to the music we are working on in orchestra and any chamber music that I need to learn. I also download music to my computer to listen.

Education
Northwestern University