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Stephen West

Stephen West

Woodwind - Oboe Tutor

Stephen began his musical education as a chorister at Canterbury and then Guildford Cathedral where he was head chorister. Early musical highlights centered around his experiences as a boy treble, recording and performing frequently as a soloist in major festivals and concert halls in London and the South of England until he was 14.

Stephen is an Associate of the Royal College of Music. He studied oboe with Michael Winfield and singing with John York-Skinner. During his years as a student in London and after, Stephen won several awards, competitions and prizes including the R.C.M Latham Koenig Prize for Wind Playing, the Royal Overseas Chamber Music competition (runner up), Park Lane Group, South Bank Young Artists and 20th Century Music Series, Purcell room recital, ‘Live Music Now’,Yehudi Menuhin Scheme and BBC Radio 3 Solo Artist, specialising in 20th Century Music.

In 1985 Stephen was appointed Principal Cor Anglais and oboe with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra. He has played with most of the leading Chamber and Symphony Orchestras in the UK. Stephen has given solo recitals and Masterclasses in the UK and abroad and he is highly sought after as an examiner and adjudicator.

Stephen has been teaching Oboe and Cor Anglais in the Senior and Junior departments of the RCS since 1987.His roles in the Conservatoire include Chamber Music coaching, taking performance, technique and reed making classes, concert planning and directing, orchestral and sectional coaching and giving lectures in audition preparation and the techniques of teaching. He is a committee member on the Junior Conservatoire Artistic Advisory team.

Stephen has been a sectional and ensemble coach for the National Youth Orchestras of Scotland since 1988 and he is the Director of the NYOS Woodwind Training ensemble.

A lip injury in 2005 forced him to retire from the RSNO earlier than he had planned, but this meant that he could focus even more on his teaching. Stephen has encouraged and inspired countless musicians over the years and several of his Conservatoire oboists can be seen and heard playing professionally in Orchestras all over the British Isles.

In 2012 Stephen won the Classic FM Music teacher of the Year award for his “inspirational teaching at the RCS and for East Renfrewshire”

Stephen is a keen sportsman and an avid squash player and Tottenham Hotspur fan. He is married to his long suffering wife, Fiona, a violist and he has four children, three grand children, a dog and a parrot.