British oboist John Anderson has a highly respectable career in classical music as well as a touch of the pop profile, appearing on Diana Ross and Joni Mitchell recordings and striking up material such as a Riverdance medley when leading the John Anderson Concert Orchestra. He began the oboe while at school in South Wales, and continued studying at the Royal College of Music. He had secured his first orchestral post by the age of 20 with Geneva's Suisse Romande Orchestra, and in the ensuing three decades went on to positions with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, the Philharmonia, the Royal Philharmonic and the English Chamber Orchestra.
The oboe player's schedule seems pretty busy, especially for instrumentalists who seem to spend two or three hours each day personally carving their reeds. But he does not have the time to create honky tonk music — that is a country singer of the same name with which he is often confused. The oboist is a professor at the Royal College of Music, more than a stone's throw from the honky tonks, and a freelance artist on film and television soundtracks including Grey Owl, Billy Elliott, and The Golden Bowl. His impressive classical discography includes Italian Baroque concertos and a pair of contrasting recordings of the Strauss concerto. He has also doubled up on Mozart's famous oboe feature "Sinfonia Concertante K297b", recording the work with the London Festival Orchestra and the Philharmonia. Anderson likes to work in a duo with guitarist Simon Wynberg; the two released an album on the excellent Chandos imprint. ~ Eugene Chadbourne