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Humbert Lucarelli (Oboe)

Born: July 20, 1936 - Chicago, Illinois, USA -

The American oboist, Humbert Lucarelli, Umberto Giovanni (Humbert John) Lucarelli, was performing professionally by the age of 19 as the principal oboist of the Chicago Lyric Opera and as a substitute musician with the Chicago Symphony. As a young musician, he attained additional positions as principal oboist of the Florida Symphony Orchestra and the Grant Park Symphony in Chicago. He toured with Igor Stravinsky and played English horn with the American Symphony Orchestra under the direction of Leopold Stokowski. For ten years, he played second oboe in the original Bach Aria Group.

Humbert Lucarelli, also known to audience members as Bert Lucarelli, has had a long and distinguished career. The New Groves Dictionary of Music and Musicians lists Lucarelli as one of America’s most renowned oboists. He has been hailed as “America’s leading oboe recitalist” (The New York Times). The New York Daily News wrote that he “has proven his preeminence among oboists today.” He has performed extensively throughout the USA, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and Asia. He has been featured in the numerous music festivals including: Angel Fire, Aspen, Chautauqua, Marblehead, Martha’s Vineyard, Music Mountain, Newport, Victoria International Music Festival and Il Festival Eleazar de Carvalho in Fortaleza, Brazil.

Humbert Lucarellii's wide range of musical activities includes solo performances with the American Symphony Orchestra, I Solisti Veneti, Lehigh Valley Chamber Orchestra, London’s Orchestra of St. John’s Smith Square, Royal Ballet, Manhattan Chamber Orchestra, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Orquestra Sinphônica Do Estado De Sâo Paulo, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Scranton Chamber Orchestra, and the North Eastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. He has had an extensive career as a chamber musician, most notably with string quartets. He has performed with Trio Bell’Arte, American, Amernet, Audubon, Biava, Cassatt, Chester, Colorado, Emerson, Lark, Leontovich, Manhattan, Miami, Muir, Panocha and Philadelphia string quartets and have brought a vast new audience to the oboe. Of his performance with I Solisti Veneti, Allen Hughes of the The New York Times wrote, “Mr. Lucarelli is a true virtuoso on the oboe.”

As an orchestral performer, Humbert Lucarelli has performed and recorded throughout his career with some of under the baton of some of the world’s most celebrated conductors, including Kazuyoshi Akiyama, Leonard Bernstein, Robert Craft, Arthur Fiedler, Lukas Foss, Kirill Kondrashin, Josef Krips, James Levine, Peter Maag, Jean Martinon, Dimitri Mitropoulos, Georges Prêtre, Fritz Reiner, Artur Rodzinsky, Julius Rudel, Tuillio Serafin, Robert Shaw, Sir Georg Solti, Leopold Stokowski, Igor Stravinsky and Alfred Wallenstein.

As a solo artist, Humbert Lucarelli has recorded a vast number of works on the following labels, Albany Records, Crown Publishers, Jonella Records, Heartland Music, RCA Victor, Crystal Records, Koch International, Lyrichord, MCA Classics, Musical Heritage Society, Newport Classics, Norada Lotus, Opus One, Pantheon, Stadivari, and Well-Tempered Productions. He has recorded hundreds of works and his recorded repertoire includes J.S. Bach, Baksa, Arnold Bax, Arthur Bliss, Benjamin Britten, Debussy, Paul Hindemith, Leclair, Lefebre, W.A. Mozart, Francis Poulenc, Rameau, Camille Saint-Saëns, as well as concerti of Strauss, Georg Philipp Telemann, Ralph Vaughan Williams and Wolf-Ferrari. His recording of All J.S. Bach was praised in The Gramophone as a “memorable recital that boasts a deeply expressive soloist”.

Humbert Lucarelli has commissioned and given American and world premieres of over one hundred works of contemporary oboe music by many well-known composers including, Robert Baksa, Luciano Berio, Michael Colgrass, John Corigliano, Edward Diamente, Arnold Franchetti, Stephen Gryc, Paul Moravec, Philip Ramey, Ned Rorem, Howard Rovics, Peter Schickele, Conrad Sousa, Ezra Sims, Robert Starer, and Francis Thorne. He is soloist in John Corigliano’s Oboe Concerto (RCA Victor), which was written for and premiered by him with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall.

As an educator, Humbert Lucarelli has been Professor of Oboe at the Hartt School of Music in West Hartford, Connecticut since 1968. He has taught oboe at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, City University of New York; Purchase College, State University of New York; Brooklyn College, City University of New York; and New York University. He has taught master-classes throughout the world including North America, South America, Europe, Australia and Asia. In 2001, he was the first American oboist to be invited to perform and teach at the Beijing Conservatory in the Peoples Republic of China. His impact in the world of oboe playing has been far reaching. Lucarelli’s prominence has attracted students from across the world many of whom became successful musicians.

Outside of performing, Humbert Lucarelli is involved with several professional organizations including, founder and president of Oboe International, presenter of the New York International Competition for Solo Oboe Players, member of the National Academy of Recording Artists, founder of the Lucarelli Oboe Master Class at Music Mountain and the South Shore Conservatory. He is the founder of the Lucarelli Winds Workshop at Music Mountain, and former chair of the woodwind and brass department at the Hartt School of Music. He is on the board of directors for Music Mountain Concerts, consultant for the National Endowment of the Arts; and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. He also served on several academic committees at the University of Hartford.

Humbert Lucarelli has been the recipient of many professional honors and grant awards including, a Recording Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Solo Recitalists Fellowship Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Consortium Commissioning Grant from the National Endowment of the Arts, a Commission Grant from the New York State Council of the Arts and the first woodwind instrumentalist to receive the Martha Baird Rockefeller Music Fund Grant.

Humbert Lucarelli has published many performance editions for the International Music Publishing Company. He has authored reviews for the American Record Guide and has been featured in articles in the Journal of the International Double Reed Society and The Instrumentalist. His recordings and performances have been extensively reviewed in The New York Times, American Record Guide, The Double Reed, and Gramophone Magazine.

Source: Humbert Lucarelli profile on Facebook; .M.A. Document by Bradley Michael Walsh (2011); Photo 01: © Michael Feidler
Contributed by
AryehOron (July 2017)

Humbert Lucarelli: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Humbert Lucarelli, oboist & teacher on Facebook
Woodwind Faculty: Humbert Lucarelli - Woodwind Studies (NYU)
Humbert Lucarelli: Oboe Artist - D.M.A. Document by Bradley Michael Walsh [PDF]

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