Skip Navigation
Event Announcements

Enter your email to subscribe to our music events listserv.

Increase font size
Decrease font size

    Donald L. Oehler


    “Oehler’s performance was outstanding. The technical work in fast passages was flawless. The subtle use of dynamics in phrase structure indicated not only a fine understanding of the instrument, but a real love and respect for the score.”
    Dr. Jim Smith, Longview Symphony opens with near-perfect performance. Longview News-Record, Texas

    Donald Oehler (Professor), clarinetist and Professor of Music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has drawn high praise as a soloist, chamber musician, and conductor.  His performing activities have taken him throughout the United States, Central America, Canada, Great Britain, Eastern and Western Europe, the Middle East and Asia.  He began his career as principal clarinetist of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Teheran in Teheran, Iran before moving to North Carolina to join the University of North Carolina music faculty.  Mr. Oehler was a charter member of the St. Stephen’s Chamber Orchestra and has been performing for over 30 years with the Carolina Wind Quintet. He is principal clarinet of the Opera Company of North Carolina and performs with the Trio Sonsa, the Mallarmé Chamber Players and the chamber ensemble “27514.” On numerous occasions he has been a featured artist in the Encounter Series - Music of Our Times at Duke University.  Additionally, Mr. Oehler has appeared with the North Carolina Symphony, the Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), Banchetto Musicale (Boston), the 18th Century Players (New York), and Ensemble Courant. For 14 years Mr. Oehler was principal clarinet with the Saskatchewan Summer School of the Arts Faculty Wind Ensemble in Canada.

    Eager to explore all facets of clarinet performance, Mr. Oehler was one of the first American clarinetists to become active on classical or period instruments, including performance on the basset clarinet.  Additionally, he has sustained activity in the performance of new literature for the clarinet having given world premiers of Peter Lieuwen’s Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano and T.J. Anderson’s work “Huh, What Did You Say?” for Clarinet and String Quartet.  He also gave the US premier of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Sonata for clarinet and Piano and gave one of the firsts US performances of John Adams’ concerto, Gnarly Buttons. He has recorded for the BRT I and BRT III in Brussels, the CBC in Canada and for the Centaur Records label.

    “Throughout the years our few contacts and mutual students have re-enforced my admiration for your work, your investigation of new music and the knowledge and inspiration you give to your students.” Leon Russianoff, Clarinet Faculty, The Juilliard School

    Throughout his career Mr. Oehler has placed a priority on his roll as educator.  In addition to his many performance activities, he has developed a widely-respected studio during his tenure at the University of North Carolina.  He has been a conductor of professional ensembles, high school bands and youth orchestras, and presently serves the community as conductor of the Chapel Hill Philharmonia.  The demand for his conducting, chamber music coaching, teaching skills in the studio and in clinics continues to grow. Mr. Oehler has presented master classes in England, Wales, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Iran, Israel, Italy, Haiti, Hong Kong, Canada, and across the United States.  He has served as academic resident director for the University of North Carolina London Honors program in 2001, 2007 and 2010.

    “We might have been in another century as our senses were lulled by the dream-like purity of Mozart’s Clarinet Quintet performed by Donald L. Oehler and the Haydn String Quartet.” Gordon Lewin ClarFest at Ghent, Collected Impressions, Clarinet & Saxophone Society of Great Britain

    It is in chamber music, both as performer, teacher, and director that Mr. Oehler focuses a great part of his energies.  He is founder/director of the University Chamber Players, past director of the University New Music Ensemble and founder/member of the Qu’Appelle Winds, a Canadian-American wind octet.  Mr. Oehler founded and directs Chapel Hill Chamber Music and the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop and was co-director and host of Clarinet Chamberfest.  He is artistic director of the Corso Internazionale di Music da Camera in Tuscania, Italy and served on the faculty of the Cours International de Musique in Morges, Switzerland for over 16 years. He served as director of winds for MusicFest International in Aberystwyth, Wales and also as faculty member of the Utah State University Summer Music Festival. Other chamber performances have included the Bartok Festival in Szombathely, Hungary, and the International Clarinet Festival in Ghent, Belgium.    Mr. Oehler has appeared as guest soloist with the Bela Quartet, Haydn Quartet, Chester Quartet, Ciompi Quartet and the North Carolina String Quartet.

    Mr. Oehler is a graduate of the Juilliard School. He studied with Orville Matthias, Bernard Portnoy, Joseph Allard, Robert Listokin, and Jack Brymer.

    Donald L Oehler
    411 South Fifth Street
    Mebane, NC 27302                                                                        
    Tel. 919 563-5264 // FAX 919 563-5092  //

    Visit the Woodwinds Area page

    Document Actions