Eugene Izotov, who joins the San Francisco Symphony as Principal Oboe, holding the Edo de Waart Chair, in the 2015-16 season, leads a multi-faceted career in orchestral, solo, teaching, and chamber music engagements. He was previously Associate Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony from 1996 to 2003, principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera, and, most recently, principal oboe with the Chicago Symphony. He is the first Russian-born musician in history to hold a principal wind position in any major American symphony orchestra. His numerous awards include top prizes at solo competitions in Saint Petersburg (1991), Moscow (1990), New York (1995), and at the Fernand Gillet International Competition (2001).
Mr. Izotov has appeared more than forty times as soloist with orchestras such as the San Francisco Symphony, Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, and he has collaborated with Bernard Haitink, Riccardo Muti, James Levine, Nicholas McGegan, Edo de Waart, Ludovic Morlot, Ton Koopman, and Michael Tilson Thomas performing works by Mozart, Strauss, Marcello, Haydn, Martinů, Vivaldi, Carter, Hummel, Krommer, and Bach. He has recorded for Sony Classical, BMG, Boston Records, Lisem Records, Elektra, CSO Resound, and most recently he was a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony under the baton of John Williams on the Oscar-nominated film Lincoln. A prolific chamber musician, Mr. Izotov has collaborated regularly with the MET Chamber Ensemble throughout its residence at Carnegie Hall, as well as with Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jamie Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, André Watts, and the Tokyo String Quartet.
One of the most sought-after oboe teachers in the US, Mr. Izotov presents regular master classes at conservatories across the nation and abroad, such as Aspen Music Festival, New World Symphony, Boston University, Juilliard School, Manhattan School of Music, San Francisco Conservatory, University of Michigan, University of Illinois, University of California at Berkeley, Huyndai Center (Seoul), Tanglewood Music Center, Domaine Forget (Canada), and Interlochen Center for the Arts. In 2003, at the invitation of James Levine, Mr. Izotov joined the woodwind faculty of the Verbier Festival Orchestra in Switzerland. Since 2005 he has served on the faculty of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, Japan. He also served as an oboe mentor for the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra led by Michael Tilson Thomas during its residency at the Sydney Opera House in Australia, which included a live internet simulcast to more than 30 million viewers worldwide. Recent and upcoming highlights include teaching engagements at New World Symphony, Music Academy of the West, Mannes College, Oberlin College, Pacific Music Festival (Sapporo, Japan), and McGill University (Montreal).
Born in Moscow, Russia, Eugene Izotov studied at the Gnesin School of Music with Ivan Pushechnikov and Sergey Velikanov and at Boston University School of Fine Arts with Ralph Gomberg.