Diana Doherty

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Diana Doherty is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading oboists. Notable successes include performing Ross Edwards’ Concerto for Oboe with the New York, Liverpool and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras, appearances with Australia’s and New Zealand’s leading Symphony Orchestras, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, St. Lawrence String Quartet, Musica Viva, the Seymour Group, Four Winds Festival, Ensemble Kanazawa Japan, Australian Festival of Chamber Music Townsville, and at many international festivals, including Prague Spring Festival, MusicaRiva Festival Italy, Bratislava Music Festival and the ‘Young Artist in Concert’ Festival in Davos, Switzerland.

In addition to her performances as Principal Oboe with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra, Diana’s most recent performances as solo artist include both the Strauss and the Ross Edwards oboe concertos with the Sydney Symphony; appearances at Blackheath Chamber Music Festival and in recital at Ukaria, Bundanoon and the South Coast Music Society. In 2022 Diana completed a national tour for Musica Viva with the Streeton Trio and returned to the Queensland Symphony Orchestra, performing the Mozart Oboe concerto.

Canberra Symphony Orchestra’s 2019 ‘Artist in Focus’ saw Diana feature in recital, as concerto soloist, in their Australian Music series and in a performance in which she both played and directed the orchestra. Diana also curated UKARIA 24 (a weekend of chamber music specially programmed by Diana), returned to the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra, and performed the Nigel Westlake Spirit of the Wild concerto (composed for her) with both the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and with Sydney Symphony Orchestra. Diana’s recording of this concerto with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra was released in early 2019 on the ABC Classics label.

Diana has been Principal Oboe of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra since 1997, a position she had previously held with the Symphony Orchestra of Lucerne from 1990 to 1997. She was born in Brisbane and completed her Bachelor of Arts in Music Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts in Melbourne, where she was awarded the M.E.N.S.A prize for top graduating student. During this time, she also won the ‘Other Instruments’ section of the ABC Instrumental and Vocal Competition and was named ‘Most Outstanding Competitor Overall’ for 1985. Other awards and prizes include joint winner of the Young Concert Artists International Auditions in New York, first prize at Prague Spring Festival Competition, a MO award for Classical/Opera performer of the year and an ARIA for her performance of the Ross Edwards’ Oboe Concerto.

Diana has appeared in Martinu’s Oboe Concerto with Adelaide Symphony Orchestra; Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C Major and Messiaen’s Concert à quatre with West Australian Symphony Orchestra and Simone Young; Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in F major with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Strauss’ Oboe Concerto with the Melbourne and Christchurch Symphony Orchestras; with the Queensland Youth Orchestra in the world premiere of Australian composer/pianist Allan Zavod’s oboe concerto; at the Australian Festival of Chamber Music, Townsville; and in the Vaughan Williams Oboe Concerto with Sydney Symphony. In 2017, with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under the baton of David Robertson, Diana premiered Nigel Westlake’s Oboe Concerto, “Spirit of the Wild”, written especially for her, and repeated this performance with the Australian Youth Orchestra in Melbourne. She has also performed with the St Lawrence String Quartet in Toronto, Vancouver and San Francisco, and premiered the oboe concerto by Joe Chindamo, at the Queensland Music Festival.

Diana’s performances are featured on ten recordings to date: Spirit of the Wild (Westlake) with Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Concertos by Haydn, Mozart, Martinu and Zimmerman with the Symphony Orchestra of Lucerne (released in Europe on Pan Classics); Romantic Oboe Concertos with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra under Werner Andreas Albert; Blues for DD (a recital programme of folk and jazz influenced works with pianist David Korevaar); Souvenirs, Ross Edwards’ Oboe Concerto with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and Arvo Volmer; Carl Vine’s Oboe Concerto with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Bach’s Concerto for violin and oboe with Richard Tognetti and the Australian Chamber Orchestra; Works for oboe and oboe d’amore by JS Bach with Ironwood and Linda Kent (all for ABC Classics); and Koehne’s Inflight Entertainment (Naxos 2005).


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“Virtuoso oboist Diana Doherty is a force of nature. Her personal flair and energising engagement gives listeners an immersive experience that goes beyond mere excellence.”

Rodney Smith

“Gorgeous sound and incredible breath control combined with vivacity, beautiful phrasing – it doesn’t get any better than this.”

Stephen Whittington

“…Diana Doherty played it like an incarnation of an exotic woodland bird, a mercurial animal of alert and sometimes savage energy, and force of creation all in one. Doherty’s performance was a tour de force, interspersing cadenzas that wailed and shrieked like a trapped creature with dynamic virtuosity that flitted between chords as though her like depended on it.”

“…Doherty's shapely phrasing, pleasing tone and superb breath control balanced expressive warmth and refinement. By contrast, her impressive dexterity and clarity of articulation easily surmounted the finale's virtuosic challenges.”

“… guest artist Diana Doherty rendering Ralph Vaughan Williams' Oboe Concerto with sublime pathos, capturing the wartime work's equivocation between restless energy and weary introspection...the sound was superb, even tone and exquisite dynamic control combining with crisp fingering and faultless articulation to deliver rich expression and technical precision in equal measure.”

“Make no mistake, Doherty is oboe royalty. And with Bernadette Balkus providing piano accompaniment fit for a queen, Doherty responded with playing of majestic calibre.”

“But last night the public loved it; Ms Doherty was a wonder…”

Managed by Graham Pushee: Email Graham February 2024

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