Ricardo Castañeda

Born in El Salvador, Ricardo Castañeda began oboe studies at the National Music School of El Salvador with oboists Francisco Martinez and Alan Julseth. Mr. Castañeda received his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music Performance from Northwestern University, where he was a student of Ray Still, former principal oboist of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He is a winner of the Northwestern University Concerto Competition and a recipient of the Wade Fetzer Award for Excellence in Performance.

Mr. Castañeda is currently principal oboist with the Chicago Sinfonietta and the Lake Forest Symphony; he was also recently appointed to English Horn with the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a member of the Chicago Ensemble and Barossa Woodwind Quintet. Previous positions include principal oboist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra, and English Horn with the Mexico City Philharmonic.

Having made his solo debut with the National Symphony of El Salvador at age fifteen, Mr. Castañeda has since appeared as soloist in Latin America, Europe and the United States, most recently with the Lake Forest Symphony performing Richard Strauss's Concerto for Oboe and Small Orchestra.

Mr. Castañeda has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and the Chicago Opera Theater; he has acted as principal oboist for the Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet, and Joffrey Ballet, as well as for numerous Broadway musical productions. In addition to being on the faculty at Northern Illinois University and Benedictine University, Mr. Castañeda has been on the faculty at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin since 1998, where he has served as Symphony Program Director since 2001.