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Marcel Tabuteau

Marcel Tabuteau was born on July 2, 1887 in Compiegne, France, and died January 4, 1966. He is perhaps the most influential oboist in the United States ever.

At the age of only 11, Tabuteau was given a post with the orchestra of his home town, and then went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire.

In 1915, he was appointed principal oboist of the Philadelphia Orchestra where he stayed until retirement in 1954.

Tabuteau taught Oboe, Woodwind Ensemble, Orchestral Winds and Percussion Class, and String Classes at the Curtis Institute of Music from its founding in 1924 until his retirement in 1953.

Through his teachings and experimentations, he was responsible for creating the "American" or "Philadelphia" sound that is so common in the US.

Because his teaching method relied on a student hearing what was happening, there are no written methods that Tabuteau himself created. The closest thing that we have is a doctoral dissertation by James Morgan Thurmond called

Note Grouping: A Method for Achieving Expression and Style in Musical Performance

There are, however, some incredible recordings of Tabuteau that you can hear.

If you would like to know more about this important musical figure, here are some articles about him.


Reed Making and the Philadelphia Oboe Legacy

Marcel Tabuteau by Lyla Storch

Tabuteau From a Different Angle

An Article from Time Magazine

Here are some interesting pictures of him

A Great Article About Tabuteau and Hans Meonnig



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