Stephen Hammer

Stephen Hammer plays and teaches oboes of all periods, recorders, and Renaissance reeds, and is active as an instrument-maker and music administrator. He is especially interested in the musical rhetoric of the Baroque period, and also enjoys tennis, playing jazz, and making web sites.

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Performing affiliations and activities

The Bach Ensemble (founding member, 1978-present)
Boston Handel and Haydn Society (principal oboe and recorder, 1986-present)
Concert Royal (principal oboe and recorder, 1978-present)
Clarion Music Society (1984-present)
The New York Collegium (principal oboe 1998-present, artistic director 1998-2000)
Aston Magna festival (1977-present)
American Bach Soloists (1999-present)
Neptune Philharmonic jazz trio (wind synthesizer, 2006-present)
Smithsonian Chamber Players and Chamber Orchestra (1981-2001)
Amadeus Winds (founding member, 1983-94)

Solo, chamber, recital, and orchestral appearances playing baroque, classical, early romantic, and modern oboes and recorders in Europe, North and South America and Australia, solo performances with the above ensembles and the Academy of Ancient Music, the Metropolitan Opera, Great Performers at Lincoln Center, Boston and Berkeley Early Music Festivals, and the Bruges, City of London, London Proms, Regensburg, Ravinia, Blossom, Tanglewood and Mostly Mozart festivals. Ad-hoc orchestral and chamber performances in the Boston and New York areas and elsewhere, 1972-present, with ensembles including the American Classical Orchestra, Calliope Renaissance Band, Clarion Music Society, Boston Baroque, Boston Pops, Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra, Berkshire Bach Society, Berkshire Opera, Columbia Festival Orchestra, Dinosaur Annex, Philharmonia Virtuosi, Amor Artis, Dallas Bach Society, Ars Lyrica Houston, and many others.

Teaching affiliations (modern and early oboes, coaching, performance practice, rhetoric, chamber music, Baroque and Renaissance ensembles)

  • Bard College (2003-present)
  • Longy School of Music (1988-present)
  • Indiana University (Visiting instructor, 1997-1999)
  • Mannes College of Music (1984-96)
  • Boston University (1990-96)
  • New England Conservatory (1978-84)
  • Mount Holyoke College (1978-82)
  • Five Colleges Early Music program (1978-82)
  • Smith College (1978-82)
  • Wellesley College (1976-78)

Courses and workshops

  • The Rhetoric of Baroque Performance, performance seminar at the Longy School of Music (2005-present)
  • Aston Magna Academies (1979-present)
  • Musik und Kirche academies, Brixen, Italy (1990-97)
  • Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute (1993-96)

Lectures, lecture-recitals, and masterclasses

Stephen Hammer offers masterclasses, lecture-recitals, and performance practice coaching. These have been presented by The Juilliard School, Peabody Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Yale University, Cornell University, Rutgers University, Indiana University, University of North Texas, University of California, Wake Forest College, Cleveland Institute of Music, Case-Western Reserve University, Montclair State University, Barbirolli Oboe Festival and Competition (Isle of Man), University of Houston

Private lessons are also available at reasonable rates

  • Conceived and co-founded the New York Collegium, a period orchestra and choir based in New York City, 1998. Served as its first Artistic Director and as a member of its founding board of directors and secretary of the corporation. Artistic planning and supervision of presented and contract performances with up to sixty musicians, hired and prepared its professional chorus, organized and directed its first recording, and helped the organization grow to an eleven-week season in 2000-2001 with a $1.2M budget and eleven concert reviews in the New York Times during its first two seasons.
  • Directed concerts and/or recordings by the Boston Handel and Haydn Society, New York Collegium,.and other groups
  • Music consultant and personnel manager for productions of the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Academy of Music, 1996-present. Engaged and supervised both modern and period orchestras and choruses
  • Collaborated with instrument-makers Philip Levin, Joel Robinson, and Jonathan Bosworth in research and design of reproductions of historical woodwinds. Supervised the development and construction of more than fifteen models of oboes and shawms. Many significant discoveries, improvements and contributions to present-day understanding of historical instrument and double-reed design (1975-present)
  • Fellow, Bard Conductors Institute, 2001
  • Recital, masterclass and panel, Barbirolli International Oboe Festival and Competition, Isle of Man, 2005
  • Articles and reviews published in Historical Performance, Early Music America, program notes and other articles for concerts and recordings
  • Organized and directed several programs and workshops for International Double Reed Society conferences
  • Cited in discography of important oboe recordings in Bruce Haynes and Geoffrey Burgess, The Oboe, Yale University Press, 2004
  • Assistant to the artistic director and personnel manager, Castle Hill Festival (1977-82), organized and directed several wind-band programs, including the Musick for the Royal Fireworks and equestrian ballet programs
  • Member, board of directors, Early Music America (1986-94)
  • Experimented with computers and musical applications, played wind synthesizers and keyboards since 1989. Experimented with various applications including high-level scripting and MIDI programming, sequencing, notation and audio applications (Reaktor, Finale, CoolEdit, Unisyn), analog, FM and wave-table synthesizer programming (Yamaha, Oberheim, Kurzweil). Performed and recorded the Six Metamorphoses after Ovid of Benjamin Britten using a Yamaha WX7 wind controller and synthesized sounds created for the performance. Performs on the WX7 with Neptune Philharmonic, a jazz trio based in the Hudson Valley
  • Administrative work for the New York Collegium, 1998-2000. Created mission statement, group name, and logo. Prepared incorporation documents, budgets and financial statements, helped recruit board of directors, set up networking, accounting (QuickBooks) and database (Access) systems, and performed other administrative tasks needed by a new organization including marketing, graphic and web site design, payroll, ticket sales, stage management, and supervision of staff.
  • Web site development for Game Face Web Design and Beehive Media, webmaster for the Town of Clermont, NY, experience in HTML, PHP, Javascript, ExpressionEngine, and Drupal.
  • Avid amateur tennis player
  • Married, five grown children and five grandchildren
    Resident of Tivoli, NY since 2002

Recording labels

Decca L'Oiseau-lyre
Dorian, CBS Masterworks, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi,
EMI, Sony Classics, Nonesuch, Pro Arte, Smithsonian

Solo, obligato, and chamber music recordings

Bach, J.S. - Concerti for oboe in Eb/d, oboe d'amore in A
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin
Pro Arte/PAD 153, 1983

Bach, J.S. - Concerto for oboe and violin in c minor
Academy of Ancient Music/Hogwood (with C. Mackintosh)
L'Oiseau-lyre/421-500, 1989

Couperin, François - Concerts Royaux
Smithsonian Chamber Players
EMI, 1994

Handel, George Frideric - Concerti Grossi, Opus III
Boston Handel and Haydn Society/Hogwood
L'Oiseau-lyre/421-729, 1989

Mozart, W.A. - Divertimenti, KV 213, 240, 252, 253, 270
Amadeus Winds
L'Oiseau-lyre, 1989

Mozart, W.A. - "Gran Partita" Serenade, KV 361
Amadeus Winds/Hogwood
L'Oiseau-lyre/421-437, 1989

Mozart, W.A. - Quartet for oboe and strings, KV 340
Academy of Ancient Music Chamber Ensemble
L'Oiseau-lyre/421-429, 1988

Mozart, W.A. - Serenades in Eb, KV 375 and c-minor, KV 388
Amadeus Winds
L'Oiseau-lyre/417-249, 1986

Telemann, Georg Phillip
Concerto for oboe and strings in c
Concerto for flute, oboe d'amore, viola d'amore and strings in A
Concerto for flute, recorder and strings in e
The New York Collegium / Hammer, 1998

Vivaldi, Antonio
Oboe concerti in a, F, d, C
Academy of Ancient Music/Hogwood
L'Oiseau-lyre, 1993

Virtuoso Wind Music from the Dresden Court
Zelenka, Jan Dismas - Sonatas for two oboes, bassoon and continuo
Vivaldi, Antonio - Sonatas for oboe and continuo
Members of The Bach Ensemble / Hammer
Dorian (recorded 2001-2002)

Bach, J.S. - Orchestral Suites
Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra / Parrott
EMI, 1993

Bach, J.S. - Cantatas BWV 171, 12
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin
Dorian, 2001

Bach, J.S. - Cantatas BWV 8, 78
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin
L'Oiseau-lyre, 1989

Bach, J.S. - Cantatas BWV 106 (Actus Tragicus), 131
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin
L'Oiseau-lyre/417-323, 1987

Bach, J.S. - "Ich habe genug," BWV 82, with BWV 56
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin (Jan Opalach)
L'Oiseau-lyre, 1991

Bach, J.S. - "Wachet auf," BWV 140
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin
L'Oiseau-lyre/417-616, 1987

Bach, J.S. - Cantatas BWV 147, 80
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin
L'Oiseau-lyre, 1986

Bach, J.S. - "O Holder Tag" BWV 210
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin (Judith Nelson)
Nonesuch, 1981

Bach, J.S. - "Weichet nur, betrübte Schatten" BWV 202
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin (Baird)
L'Oiseau-lyre/421-424, 1989

Bach, J.S. - Mass in B-minor, BWV 232
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin
Nonesuch, 1982

Bach, J.S. - St. John Passion
Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra / Slowik
Smithsonian, 1991

Bach, J.S. - Magnificat, BWV 243
Bach Ensemble/Rifkin, (Bryden, others)
Pro Arte/ PAD 185, 1984

Bach, J.S. - Passion according to St. John
Bach Collegium / Newman (Baird, Thomas, etc.)
Newport Classics, 1988

Handel, George Frideric - Acis and Galatea
Amor Artis Ensemble/Somary (Baird, Hurst, Ostendorf)
Newport Classics, 1988

Handel, G.F. - Terpsicore
Concert Royal/Richman
recorded 2005

Mozart,W.A. - Concertone KV 190
Smithsonian Chamber Orchestra/Schröder
EMI, 1988