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Eileen Whalen


Eileen Whalen has been Principal Oboe with the DPO since the 2001–2002 season.

She fell in love with  the sound of the oboe at a very young age after hearing Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf narrated by Leonard Bernstein. Eileen did not have her first oboe lesson, however, until she was a senior in high school.

She earned a Bachelor of Music from UC’s CCM and a Master of Fine Arts from California Institute of Arts, and she also did additional course work at Rice University. In addition to her DPO assignment, Eileen is Principal Oboe for the Glimmerglass Summer Opera Festival and the Dayton Bach Society.

She has been Principal Oboe with the Honolulu Symphony and Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic and has played with the  New Jersey, Colorado, and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestras. Eileen is a member of the DPO’s Woodwind Quintet, participates in the SPARK program, and since 2008 has been on the faculty at the University of Dayton.

One of her very best musical memories is playing for Leonard Bernstein at the Tanglewood Festival.

This past May, Eileen traveled to Paris to visit the internationally known Lorée oboe factory, where she hoped to purchase a new oboe.

Eileen’s hobbies include decorating and restoring her 1888 home, spending time with friends and family,  and reading all genres of fiction. And yes, the new oboe, after a break-in period, will be on stage this winter with Eileen.

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