Roy Carter Oboe Reeds

I began playing the oboe at 10 years of age under the tutelage of Margaret Eliot. I was awarded a Junior Exhibition Scholarship to The Royal Academy of Music two years later and at 16 I was granted an Open Scholarship to the Royal College of Music. There I studied under Terence McDonough. I won the Joy Boughton Memorial Prize for oboe and was appointed Principal Oboe in the RCM Chamber Orchestra in my second year of study.

Subsequent to leaving college, I embarked on a freelance career across the UK, before joining the Philharmonia Orchestra. In 1978 I was appointed Principal Oboe of the Orchestra of the English National Opera and in 1986 Principal Oboe of the London Symphony Orchestra, a position I held for 19 years.

During that time I toured the world, working under great conductors such as Sir Colin Davis,  Bernard Haitink, Michael Tilson Thomas, Valery Gergiev and André Previn. On Christmas Day 1989, I performed at The Berlin Celebration Concert, commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall, as Principal Oboe of an international orchestra hand-picked and conducted by Leonard Bernstein. It was broadcast live to 22 countries.

Dominic Muldowney was commissioned to write an oboe concerto for myself and the LSO to world première and record in 1992. Four more CDs followed between 1995 and 2002, this time as a member of the Deutz Trio; Alongside Paul Edmund-Davis and John Alley, then the LSO's principal flautist and pianist respectively, I gave masterclasses and performed internationally. To hear some of my recording of the Muldowney click here.


In my teaching career, I have been a visiting professor at the Royal Academy of Music and Royal College of Music, and between 1990 and 1995 I was Professor of Oboe at Guildhall School of Music and Drama, during which tenure I edited the solo-pieces book series The Oboist’s Collection.

In popular music, I have personally recorded with Sir Paul McCartney, Sir Elton John, Lindisfarne, Phil Collins and Nancy Sinatra, while my film recordings include Star Wars, Harry Potter and Braveheart, among many others.

In 2005 I joined the Northern Sinfonia as Principal Oboe, where I remained until 2009. Since then I have played as a freelance Principal Oboe in orchestras including The Academy of St Martin in the Fields, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and the English Chamber Orchestra while perfecting my reeds for the use and enjoyment of all oboists. I am currently Professor of Oboe in the Talent Music Master Courses in Brescia, Italy.

Orchestras in which I've played Principal Oboe:

  • London Symphony Orchestra
  • London Philharmonic Orchestra 
  • Philharmonia Orchestra 
  • Royal Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Orchestra of The Royal Opera House
  • Orchestra of English National Opera
  • The Academy of St Martin in the Fields
  • English Chamber Orchestra
  • Festival Ballet Orchestra
  • Scottish National Orchestra
  • Scottish Opera
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra
  • London Sinfonietta
  • Ulster Orchestra
  • BBC Symphony Orchestra
  • BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra
  • Welsh Opera
  • Kent Opera 
  • Scottish Ballet
  • Royal Ballet
  • New Cantata Orchestra of London
  • London Mozart Players
  • Northern Sinfonia
  • English Opera Group
  • City Of London Sinfonia
  • BBC Concert Orchestra   
  • Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra
  • Opera Brava
  • Orchestra of St John's, Smith Square
  • L'Orchestre du Monde
  • Oxford Philomusica


My Teaching, Masterclass and Coaching Experience:

 In Britain -

  • Professor of Oboe at Guildhall School of Music and Drama (1990 – 1995) 
  • Visiting Professor at Royal College of Music
  • Visiting Professor at Royal Academy of Music
  • Master Classes and Orchestral Coaching
  • Recorded for Great Musicians of the World
  • Glasgow Royal Academy of Music and Drama
  • Royal Northern School of Music, Manchester
  • Birmingham Conservatoire
  • Durham University
  • The Purcell School
  • Cheathams School of Music
  • National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain
  • Malvern College Oboe Professor in Woodwind Courses
  • LSO Shell Scholarship panel

 Internationally -

  • Pacific Music Festival – Sapporo, Japan
  • Florida International Festival
  • Brisbane Conservatoire
  • Hong Kong Academy of Performing Arts

... The Press