About John Mack
John Mack was appointed to the principal oboe chair at the Cleveland Orchestra by George Szell in 1965; during his tenure, which lasted until 2001, he also played under music directors Lorin Maazel, Christoph von Dohnányi and, Franz Welser-Möst. In his later years, Mack served as a member of the Cleveland Orchestra board of directors until his death in 2006.
Mack was born in Somerville, New Jersey, where he received his early musical training, studying with Bruno Labate and Marcel Tabuteau in high school. Friends urged him to study science or physics, but he was determined to continue with music, and went on to train at the Juilliard School with Harold Gomberg and with Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia.
His professional orchestral career began in the Sadler's Wells Ballet Orchestra in1951 and was followed by eleven seasons (from 1952-63) as first oboist with the New Orleans Symphony. He then had a brief stint with the National Symphony in Washington, D.C. Mack was also a founding member of the Plymouth Trio and a regular chamber music performer.
A renowned teacher, Mack was chairman of the woodwind division at the Cleveland Institute of Music since 1965. Many of his former students hold positions with major orchestras, including the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra and Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. He was also a faculty member of the Kent/Blossom Music program since its founding in 1968, and beginning in 1976, he taught and performed at the John Mack Oboe Camp in North Carolina.
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