Ian Shafer

Precollege Faculty:
Oboe, Theory, Ear Training (On Leave Fall 2020)

Ian Shafer is a passionate, multifaceted musician who has held positions as an oboist, conductor, and teacher. He has debuted at Carnegie Hall, given several world premieres of works written for him, created chamber music and youth orchestra programs, designed music theory and history courses, and played for delegates of the United Nations. His playing has been described as “sinuous, refined…refreshing, with facility.” He enjoys a very active freelance performance career in New York City as a soloist, recitalist, chamber and orchestral musician spanning a wide breadth of styles from the Baroque period to contemporary improvisation. He studied composition in Vienna with a student of Arnold Schoenberg; conducting in the Netherlands and the United States; and oboe repair in Philadelphia. He is also a published author through the International Double Reed Society.

Mr. Shafer has given the world premieres of several works: Locales (2014) for oboe and string trio, written on commission by Mohammed Fairouz, premiered at Carnegie Hall; Elegy and Impromptu (2013) for oboe and piano, written on commission by James Adler, premiered at Yamaha Studios 5th Avenue in Manhattan; Layers of Earth (2012) by Danish composer Lars Graugaard, which features the oboe, fifteen percussionists, and live-electronic processing, recorded on the DaCapo album Venus; Langanaich-Taragto (2010), a seven-minute improvised solo to Elizabeth Hoffman’s digital score, first presented at NYU’s Fredrick Lowe Theater and later expanded to a multilayered, multimedia improvisation with dance and added electronic components to become Improvisational Spirals (2014) at the NYSoundCircuit; and Exhalations (2009), a collaborative work, which through the use of pioneering internet technology simultaneously connected five universities around the globe for a groundbreaking concert, Pentalocust. Using the same technology, musicians from New York and Abu Dhabi presented Noor Al Salam (Light of Peace) (2009) and ResoNations (2008) in two “Concerts for Peace” for the delegates of the United Nations.

Mr. Shafer was the oboist at the world premiere of Michael Dellaria’s Secret Agent given by the Center for Contemporary Opera. He is also a frequent artist at Louise’s Classical Coterie, a private salon series on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and Andrea Clearfield’s Salon series in Philadelphia; a featured artist on the Bach’s Lunch recital series in Pennsylvania; and a featured soloist with the Sun City Chamber Players in Florida. He has performed with many ensembles in New York as a freelance musician.

Mr. Shafer has been an artist faculty at the New York Summer Music Festival–Double Reed Institute, the Crescendo Chamber Music Camp, and with Florida West Coast Symphony’s Summer Winds. He has served as Artistic Director/Conductor of the Greater Philadelphia Honors Orchestra and as Assistant Conductor of the Northern Ohio Youth Orchestra.

Mr. Shafer received his Master of Music degree in oboe performance from New York University and his Bachelor of Music in composition from the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. He has studied oboe with Bert Lucarelli, Patricia Stenberg, and Ray Still, and additionally with Jonathan Kelly, Nathan Hughes, and Jonathan Blumenfeld. He has studied composition with Randolph Coleman and Richard Hoffmann and conducting with Robert Spano, Louis Lane, and Jorma Panula. His composition Russian Games was premiered by the Oberlin Wind Ensemble and his Dreams for woodwind quintet by the Florida West Coast Symphony Quintet; his Fugue for trombone quartet was played by the trombone section of the Chicago Symphony.

Manhattan School of Music Precollege faculty since 2013.