Neil Black

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Neil Cathcart Black OBE (28 May 1932 – 14 August 2016) was an English oboist. He has held the post of principal oboe in four London orchestras, and taught at the Royal Academy of Music and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

Life and career[edit]

Black was born in Birmingham. He starting playing the oboe at the age of 11,[1] and played in the National Youth Orchestra between 1948 and 1951.[2] He attended Exeter College, Oxford between 1952 and 1956, and took a degree in history.[1]

In 1956–57 Black studied the oboe with Terence MacDonagh.[2] From 1958 to 1960 he was principal oboist of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Later in his career, he was the principal oboist of the Academy of St Martin in the Fields, the English Chamber Orchestra and the London Mozart Players.[2] He is described by The Oxford Dictionary of Music as a "frequent soloist with chamber orchestras" and a "specialist in Baroque and pre‐classical repertoire".[2]

From 1960 to 1970 Black was a professor at the Royal Academy of Music, London.[2] He later taught at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama.[3]

Black was appointed OBE in 1989.[3] At 2013 he was musical director of the Kirckman Concert Society,[4] which was formed in 1963 to promote young artists of exceptional talent.[5]


  • For a Girls' Night In'. Decca (028947610427). (Features Black in Vivaldi's Oboe Concerto in F.)
  • Mozart and Beethoven: Quintets for Piano and Winds. Sony Classics (074644209921).
  • Mozart: Clarinet Quintet, Horn Quintet, Oboe Quartet. (ASIN B00000411T) (Features Black in Mozart's Oboe Quartet in F.)
  • Mozart, Strauss, Weber: Wind Concertos. Sony. (ASIN B0000029S9) (Features Black in Richard Strauss's Oboe Concerto in D major.)
  • Vaughan Williams: Concerto For Oboe; Concerto For Tuba; The Lark Ascending. Deutsche Grammophon (B0017IAUOK).


  1. ^ a b The Double Reed, International Double Reed Society, 2006, vol. 29, p. 103
  2. ^ a b c d e "Black, Neil", The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 2nd edition, ed. Michael Kennedy, Oxford Music Online, Oxford University Press, accessed 5 June 2013 (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b "Neil Black", Allmusic, accessed 4 June 2013
  4. ^ "The Society's board", Kirckman Concert Society, accessed 5 June 2013
  5. ^ "About the Society" Kirckman Concert Society, accessed 5 June 2013