Beth Orson

Assistant Principal Oboe, English Horn

Chair in Memory of John S. Hodge (English Horn)

Beth Orson


Beth Orson has played Assistant Principal Oboe and English Horn with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 1989. She joined the faculty at the UBC School of Music in 1993 and has served as Oboe Coach at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada since 2008. As a chamber musician, Ms. Orson appears regularly with the VSO Chamber Players, Trio Con Brio, and in recital at both UBC and at NYO. Principal Oboe of the NY Symphonic Ensemble from 1988-2005, Ms. Orson completed 19 tours to Japan with this renowned chamber orchestra, performing in every major concert hall in Japan, often as oboe soloist.

As an English horn player Ms. Orson’s solo performances with orchestra include the US and Canadian premieres of Bramwell Tovey’s “The Progress of Vanity” composed for her; Christopher Nickel’s EP “Tranquility,” Rodney Sharman’s “Songs Without Words,” the North American premiere of James MacMillan's "The World's Ransoming,” the Ferlandis-Kraus Concerto for English horn, Copland’s “Quiet City,” as well as numerous performances of Sibelius’s “The Swan of Tuonela.” Ms. Orson can also be heard playing both solo oboe and English horn on Jeffrey Ryan’s CD “My Soul Upon My Lips.” A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and winner of the Oberlin Concerto Competition, Ms. Orson's principal teachers were Laurence Thorstenberg, James Caldwell, and Elaine Douvas. Before moving to Vancouver, she worked as a freelance musician in New York City where she regularly performed with the orchestras of the Metropolitan & New York City Operas, the Orchestra of St.Luke’s, Philharmonia Virtuosi, and on Broadway.