Concerto a fitting finale for Principal Oboist
Principal oboist Celia Craig will perform Judith Weir’s Oboe Concerto, written especially for her, with the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra this week in what will be one of her last major performances with the orchestra before she joins the Sydney based chamber group Omega Ensemble in 2019.
Performing the Concerto written for her by Master of The Queens Music, Judith, who travels to Australia from London to witness the world premiere on October 12-13, she is set to move on from her role as principal oboist after seven years with the ASO in December.
Celia, who recently founded her recording company Artaria to showcase South Australia through music and landscape, will become a Principal musician in Omega Ensemble’s concert seasons at Sydney Opera House and City Recital Hall Angel Place and for their recordings.
Continuing to base herself in Adelaide with her husband Richard, whose internationally-renowned woodwind repair business is based in the CBD, she will keep strong links with the orchestra, supporting the ASO’s Professional Pathways scheme, and continuing her work with wind players of Adelaide Youth Orchestra and Australian Youth Orchestra.
In her role as Music Curator for National Trust of South Australia, Celia will present the Signature Series at Ayers House Museum, and continue to lecture in Oboe at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, where a significant new double reed Scholarship has been recently introduced.
She said: “It will be an amazing privilege to play Judith’s Concerto and play out on my seven years with the ASO on such a high.
“However, there’s a crisis in South Australia’s music education that I’d like to address; to rebuild current low student intake in oboe in this State and help to create more pathways for people to recognize and participate in classical music.”
“Without oboes, orchestras can’t even tune up. Our student crisis is real due to the lack of participation in certain ‘endangered instruments’ at the grassroots level Statewide. There are several programs in place to improve this and I will be glad to play my part.
“By leaving ASO now I will open the pathway for another player to enjoy living in our community and to teach, while I will enjoy building my recording company Artaria, supporting South Australian schools through free resources and creating accessible videos that bring classical music performance to a wider audience through our unique visual presentations and cultural tourism.”
In her time with the orchestra, UK-born Celia has performed solos by Albinoni, Strauss, Mozart and the famous ‘Gabriel’s Oboe’ with the composer, Ennio Morricone.
Norman Gillespie, Executive Director, The Orana Foundation, Board Chair, Pinchgut Opera, former CEO of Sydney Opera House and Unicef Australia, said:
“Australia is so fortunate to have welcomed to its shores one of the world’s leading oboists, Celia Craig.
“With such a distinguished background and pedigree she was always going to be an irrepressible and positive force on the Australian music scene.
“Celia is not only a passionate and inspiring person, but is a world class asset for South Australia and Australia in performance, and in the development of a generation of aspiring young musicians.”
Artaria’s debut release earlier this year received a five star review from the Weekend Australian and Album of the Week on Dutch website Native DSD, for whom Artaria is only the second Australian label in their extensive catalogue of super high quality audio.
Supporters of Artaria include celebrity South Australian Chef and music lover, Maggie Beer, who has said:
“…I was so delighted to meet Celia and to listen to her original idea that resonated so strongly with the story of the Barossa where immigrants from Silesia came to settle here and brought with them their food and music and meshed it with their new landscape …I have loved listening to it…”
Compiled by: Angela Cole, contact via email@example.com