Russell Bajer, Oboe and English Horn

Russell started his musical life with clarinet lessons at age 8 in Calgary Alberta. After moving to Kelowna he heard the oboe being played by a talented student and was immediately drawn to the instrument. He began lessons with Walt Burton of the OK Symphony and later with Jerry Domer (former principal oboe of the CBC Orchestra). At UBC and the Vancouver Academy of Music he studied with Roger Cole and later masterclasses with Ray Still and further studies with Fred Korman (principal Oregon Symphony). Russell spent a number of years pursuing other interests, including studying psychology, politics and even hypnosis. Russell freelanced in the Vancouver region and has played numerous times with the VSO, Vancouver Opera and the CBC Orchestra. He has toured as principal oboe with the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, and as oboist with the Aventa Ensemble he has performed in Europe, across Canada and parts of the US. Russell particularly enjoys opportunities to solo and has performed with local orchestras in the concerti of Bach, Vivaldi, Albinoni, Marcello, Bellini and Donizetti. On the english horn, Russell was happy to premiere Rodney Sharman’s Songs without Words with Tania Miller and the VS in 2011.

Hometown: Edmonton, AB

First season with the VS: 1994/95

Most memorable VS experience: There have been quite a few in the last 21 years. Sibelius 5 with Kees Bakels, Enigma Variations with Yehudi Menuhin and with Yannick Nézet-Séguin. In fact, all concerts with Yannick were amazing.

Hobbies and interests: Love cooking, hiking, camping,swimming,reading, yoga and spending time with my loved one.

Favourite things to do around the capital region: I love hiking in all the great parks we have in the region—East Sooke, Thetis Lake and particularly Mount Douglas. We are truly blessed to be living in this great part of the world and play in this wonderful orchestra.

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