Principal Oboe of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra since 2007, Erik Behr was previously Principal Oboe of the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet. Behr has performed as guest principal with the San Francisco Symphony, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, the Atlanta Symphony, the Nashville Symphony, and as a guest with the Seattle and Houston symphonies. During the summer he performs with his wife, RPO Concertmaster Juliana Athayde, at the Sun Valley Summer Symphony as principal oboe and at the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra. Other festival appearances include the Edinburgh International, Casals, and Spoleto festivals.
In 2018 he performed the world premiere of Allen Shawn’s oboe concerto, commissioned for Behr and the RPO. In addition to numerous other concerto appearances with the RPO and Houston Ballet, Behr has recorded Honegger’s Concerto da Camera with the RTV Slovenia Orchestra. Together with his wife, he is Artistic Director of the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester and in 2017 he performed the world premiere of 2017 Guggenheim Fellow Adam Roberts’ oboe quartet, commissioned for Behr and SCMR. He has given chamber recitals nationally and internationally for venues including the Edinburgh International Festival, Mainly Mozart Festival, Kilkenny Festival, and Maribor Festival. His playing has been praised by critics as “bold and graceful” (Washington Post), “immaculate” (Sunday Tribune), singled out for “tremendous musicianship and sense of style” (Irish Examiner), and for “ease and eloquence” (Rochester Democrat and Chronicle).
Currently Adjunct Professor at Roberts Wesleyan College, he also been a guest oboe teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Rice University, and the National Orchestral Institute. Behr has served on the oboe faculty at the University of Houston and was a visiting lecturer at Cornell University. He received a B.M. (cum laude) at Arizona State University, M.M. from Temple University, and D.M.A. from Rice University. His principal teachers include Robert Atherholt, Richard Woodhams, and Martin Schuring.