Geoffrey Deemer, Principal Oboe
Geoffrey Deemer has been the Principal Oboe of The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia and the Academy of Vocal Arts orchestra since 2001 and Principal Oboe of Opera Philadelphia orchestra since 2009. He began performing with The Knights, a New York-based chamber orchestra, in 2014.
A graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music where he was a student of Richard Woodhams, Geoff is a consummate professional who is equally at home in a variety of settings. In addition to his regular performances with The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, the Academy of Vocal Arts, and Opera Philadelphia, he is a member of two chamber music ensembles, the Amerita Chamber Players and the Dolce Suono Ensemble. He has performed four concerti with the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, including Vaughan Williams’ Oboe Concerto. The Philadelphia Inquirer called his performance “bold” and “detailed.” He has also performed concerti with the Pennsylvania Ballet and Schola Nova. He is an active substitute with the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Geoff has performed with the world’s best conductors including Yannick Nézet-Séguin, Christoph Eschenbach, Kurt Mazur, Simon Rattle, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Mstislav Rostropovich, André Previn, Sir Neville Marriner, David Zinman, Robert Spano, Hans Vonk, Otto Werner-Muller, Ignat Solzhenitsyn, Marin Alsop, Yuri Temirkanov, and Jahja Ling.
Geoff has also performed with many stars of the popular music world, including Julie Andrews, Elvis Costello, Ben Folds, Linda Ronstadt, Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull, Béla Fleck, Sufjin Stevens, and Gabriel Kahane. Geoff can be heard on multiple recordings online, most recently Golijov: Azul by The Knights, featuring Yo-Yo Ma.
Geoff has taught at Franklin & Marshall College, Haverford College, and Settlement Music School. He has a small studio of private students.
Geoff was born and raised on Cape Cod. He is an alumni of the Longy School of Music, the New England Conservatory, the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Verbier Festival, in Switzerland.
In his spare time, Geoff enjoys cooking, fly fishing, traveling, reading, and playing video games. He is a Boston Red Sox fan. He lives in a suburb of Philadelphia with his wife, Christina, and cats, Luna and Pickles.
Q&A with Geoffrey Deemer
1. How long have you been playing Oboe?
I started playing the oboe when I was eleven. I had played the clarinet for four years before that, and had a few years of piano.
2. Who/What gave you the passion to pursue it as a career? Why? How?
I didn’t decide to apply to conservatories until the summer before my senior year of high school, when I was participating in the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. The program gave me the opportunity to interact with professional musicians and I got to see that it was a viable career option for me.
3. Outside of music, what do you love about Philadelphia?
I like that it is a very walkable city.
4. Do you have a favorite Philadelphia restaurant?
There are so many great restaurants in Philly, it would be difficult to pick just one. Some of my favorites are Barbuzzo, Pizzeria Stella, and Dizengoff.
5. Favorite Philadelphia attraction?
The farmer’s market at Headhouse Square and the Philadelphia Zoo.
6. Favorite Philadelphia food?
The apple fritters at Beiler’s Donuts, at Reading Terminal Market.
7. Describe your perfect day off.
Spending a quiet day at home with my wife and cats.