Famed Oboist Ray Still Has Died At 94

Oboist Ray Still passed away on March 12 at the age of 94 in Woodstock, Vermont surrounded by his family and listening to Bach’s St. Matthew Passion.  He was the principal oboe for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra from 1953 to 993. During his long career, he played there through the reigns of  Fritz Reiner, who hired him, through Jean Martinon, Georg Solti and Daniel Barenboim, plus numerous famous guest conductors.

This evening on Symphony @ 7, we’ll feature a couple of fine recordings of performances on which Ray Still can be heard.  First, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, recorded in 1955, just two years after he was hired, and more prominently in  Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C, from 1983 with Claudio Abbado conducting the Chicago Symphony.

Join us for some fine music making with a great musician in two eras of a long and distinguished career.


  • Trish Callis

    I didn’t get this until April 3 and so missed the program, but thanks for posting this as it’s not hit the New York Times site yet. Jim and I lived in the Chicago area until 1983 and we have many wonderful memories of hearing Ray, and Dale Clevenger, and Donald Peck, and the tuba player who had emphysema (!), the tympanist who used to teach math, as well as David Niwa’s father.