Eugene Izotov joined the San Francisco Symphony as Principal Oboe, occupying the Edo de Waart Chair, in the 2015-16 season. He previously served as principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony, Metropolitan Opera, Kansas City Symphony, associate principal oboe of the San Francisco Symphony, and as guest principal oboe with the Boston Symphony and Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Izotov 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 fifty times as soloist with the Chicago Symphony, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Pacific Music Festival Orchestra, and has collaborated with Bernard Haitink, Nicholas McGegan, Edo de Waart, Ludovic Morlot, Ton Koopman, and Riccardo Muti, performing works by Mozart, Strauss, Marcello, Haydn, Martinů, Vivaldi, Carter, Hummel, Krommer, and Bach. He has recorded for Sony Classical, BMG, Boston Records, Elektra, and CSOResound, and was a featured soloist with the Chicago Symphony and John Williams on the Oscar-nominated recording for the film Lincoln. He was recently heard on MPR’s Live from Here with Chris Thile. A prolific chamber musician, Mr. Izotov has performed regularly with the MET Chamber Ensemble, and with Yefim Bronfman, Pinchas Zukerman, Jamie Laredo, Yo-Yo Ma, Emanuel Ax, André Watts, and the Tokyo String Quartet. One of today’s most active teachers, Mr. Izotov serves on the faculties of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Pacific Music Festival (Japan), and Music Academy of the West. He regularly presents masterclasses at conservatories across the US and abroad, such as the Juilliard School, Aspen, Oberlin, New World Symphony, Cleveland Institute of Music, Boston University, Manhattan School of Music, Vanderbilt, University of Michigan, Tanglewood, Verbier, Domaine Forget, and Interlochen, among others. He served as the oboe mentor for the 2011 YouTube Symphony Orchestra during its residency at the Sydney Opera House, which included a live internet simulcast to more than thirty million viewers worldwide. 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. For more information on Eugene Izotov, visit sfsymphony.org/eugeneizotov.
James Button was appointed Associate Principal Oboe of the San Francisco Symphony in September 2017. A native of Australia, he made his solo debut with the Melbourne Symphony at the age of seventeen. He later attended Temple University and the Juilliard School under the tutelage of Jonathan Blumenfeld and Eugene Izotov, respectively. He has also studied with John Mack, John de Lancie and Joseph Turner. Mr. Button was previously a member of the Nashville Symphony, Seoul Philharmonic, Santa Fe Opera Orchestra, New World Symphony, and has appeared as guest Principal Oboe with the Chicago Symphony and the Philadelphia Orchestra. He has performed at the Verbier, Edinburgh, and Tanglewood music festivals, as well as Italy’s Spoleto Festival dei Due Mondi and the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival. His recording of the Higdon Oboe Concerto with the Nashville Symphony won a Grammy in 2018.
Pamela Smith, occupant of the Dr. William D. Clinite Chair, studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Belgium and at the San Francisco Conservatory. Upon graduation, she joined the newly formed San Francisco Ballet Orchestra. She has served as assistant principal oboe in the Atlanta Symphony and principal oboe in the Honolulu Symphony. She first played with the SFS in 1980 and became a permanent member in 1988.
English horn, Joseph & Pauline Scafidi Chair
Russ deLuna joined the SFS as English horn player in 2007 and is occupant of the Joseph & Pauline Scafidi Chair. He was previously principal oboe of the Atlanta Opera Orchestra and the Columbus (Georgia) Symphony; he played English horn in the Atlanta Ballet and the Alabama Symphony. A graduate of Boston University, he has performed on the Noe Valley Chamber Music Series as well as with the Gold Coast Chamber Players. He is currently a coach for the SFS Youth Orchestra.
Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Ave
San Francisco, CA 94102
Mon - Fri: 10am - 6pm
Sat: Noon - 6pm
Sun: 2 hours prior to concerts
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