Joined the RPO in 2007
Erik Behr was appointed principal oboe of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra in May 2007. Prior to joining the RPO, he was principal oboe of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet. Behr has performed as guest principal with the San Francisco Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, and as a guest with the Seattle and Houston symphonies. During the summer, he performs alongside his wife, RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde, at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony and the Mainly Mozart Festival. Other festivals appearances include the Casals and Spoleto festivals.
In addition to numerous concerto appearances with the RPO and Houston Ballet, Behr has recorded Honegger’s Concerto da Camera with the RTV Slovenia Orchestra. Along with his wife, he was appointed artistic director of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester in 2013. He has given chamber recitals nationally and internationally at the Edinburgh International Festival, Kilkenny Festival, and Maribor Festival. His playing has been praised by critics as “bold and graceful” (Washington Post), “immaculate” (Sunday Tribune), for its “tremendous musicianship and sense of style” (Irish Examiner) and “ease and eloquence” (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle).
Behr has served on the oboe faculty at the University of Houston and was a visiting lecturer at Cornell University. He is presently adjunct professor at Roberts Wesleyan College. He received his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) at Arizona State University, his master’s from Temple University, and doctorate from Rice University. His principal teachers have been Robert Atherholt, Richard Woodhams, and Martin Schuring.
Photo credit: Kate Lemmon