Richard Woodhams served as principal oboe of the Philadelphia Orchestra from 1977 until his retirement in 2018, and has taught on the faculty of the Curtis Institute of Music since 1985. His students hold many orchestral and teaching positions in the United States and abroad, and he has given Master Classes in Great Britain, Japan, China, Brazil and Israel in addition to America.
Woodhams has performed over his long career with many outstanding soloists, chamber musicians and Conductors, including, most recently, the Dover String Quartet and also as soloist with Yannick Nezet Seguin. He began his career as principal oboe of the St. Louis Symphony under Walter Susskind and Leonard Slatkin and has participated over the years in many music Festivals including the Marlboro Festival, Sommerfest in La Jolla, Ca. and the Aspen Music Festival where he played and taught from 2000 until 2015.
He has played many concerts throughout the world with the World Orchestra for Peace, founded by Sir George Solti, served on the jury of the Munich International Oboe Competition, and was a frequent soloist with the Philadelphia Orchestra with five different Music Directors. He continues to teach, play, and enjoy his life in music.
A native of Palo Alto, California, Woodhams studied there with Raymond Duste, Charles Price, and Jean Louis Le Roux before attending Curtis where his teacher was Berkeley native John deLancie, who preceded him in the Orchestra.