John Ferrillo joined the Boston Symphony Orchestra as principal oboe at the start of the 2001 Tanglewood season, occupying the Mildred B. Remis Principal Oboe Chair, having appeared with the orchestra several times in previous seasons as a guest performer. From 1986 to 2001 he was principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Mr. Ferrillo grew up in Bedford, Massachusetts, and played in the Greater Boston Youth Symphony Orchestra. He is a graduate of the Curtis Institute, where he studied with John de Lancie and received his diploma and artist’s certificate. He also studied with John Mack at the Blossom Festival and has participated in the Marlboro, Craftsbury, and Monadnock festivals. Prior to his appointment at the Metropolitan Opera, Mr. Ferrillo was second oboe of the San Francisco Symphony, and was a faculty member at Illinois State University and West Virginia State University. A former faculty member of the Mannes School of Music and Juilliard School of Music in New York City, he has taught and performed at the Aspen and Waterloo festivals and currently serves on the faculties of the New England Conservatory, Boston University, and the Boston University Tanglewood Institute. His previous BSO appearances as soloist have included Ligeti’s Double Concerto for flute and oboe, with BSO colleague Elizabeth Rowe, which they will perform again on the final subscription concerts of the current season; Frank Martin’s Concerto for Seven Winds, Timpani, Percussion, and Strings, also with BSO colleagues; Richard Strauss’s Oboe Concerto; two collaborations with violinist Pinchas Zukerman at Tanglewood in music of J.S. Bach; Wayne Barlow’s The Winter’s Past, led by Leonard Slatkin in a 2014 Tanglewood program celebrating the conductor’s 70th birthday; Mozart’s Sinfonia concertante in E-flat for oboe, clarinet, horn, and bassoon, K.297b, with BSO colleagues on the opening program of the 2014-15 season; and, most recently, in May 2018, Marcello’s Concerto in C minor for oboe and strings with Moritz Gnann conducting. As principal oboe of the BSO, Mr. Ferrillo is also a faculty member at the Tanglewood Music Center and a member of the Boston Symphony Chamber Players, with whom he can be heard in BSO Classics recordings of Mozart’s Quartet in F for oboe and strings, K.370; William Bolcom’s Serenata Notturna for oboe and strings, and Dutilleux’s Les Citations for oboe, harpsichord, double bass, and percussion.
Suzanne Nelsen began her studies in Edmonton and instantly fell in love with the bassoon. She earned a bachelor's degree from McGill University and pursued further study at the Hague Conservatory in Holland, earning a UM degree. Early training included summers at the Banff Festival, National Youth Orchestra of Canada and Boris Brott Festival. In 1995, during post-graduate study at McGill, she won a position with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra. During that same year she joined the faculty of McGill University, both as chamber music coach and bassoon professor. She has performed throughout the world as a soloist and chamber musician and has recorded numerous CD's with the Montreal Symphony. In fall 2000, Ms. Nelsen joined the Boston Symphony and Boston Pops orchestras, and holds the John D. and Vera M. MacDonald chair.