Oboist Gabe Young, a student of Linda Strommen, has been named the winner of the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) Summer Music Institute’s (SMI) concerto competition. He will perform the Marcello Oboe Concerto with the SMI Orchestra on Saturday, July 25, at 7 p.m. EDT on the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage. He will be also playing the principal oboe part on Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 on the second half of the program.
The NSO Summer Music Institute, now in its twenty-second year, is a four-week intensive music program located at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. Approximately 60 students between the ages of 15 and 20 from across the United States and Canada are accepted each year to attend the program, free of cost.
The students participate in private lessons taught by members of the NSO, receive chamber music coaching from NSO members, attend master classes and seminars, rehearse side-by-side with the NSO, perform two full orchestra concerts under the baton of Elizabeth Schulze, and more. They also all have the opportunity to compete in a multi-round concerto competition, with the winner being selected to perform with the SMI Orchestra at its final concert.
At age 19, Young has been performing professionally for more than half of his life. From busking on the street corners of Southern Oregon as a small child to performing sold-out concerts in world-class venues across the United States, Russia, and England, he has continued to develop his musical prowess in a variety of styles, including classical, jazz, Klezmer, and Celtic.
Born and raised in Ashland, Ore., Young began playing saxophone at a very early age. A member of a musical family, he picked up the oboe in the fifth grade, excited by the opportunity to play in an orchestral setting. He spent eight years in the Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon, and while studying at Ashland High School, was named to numerous all-state and regional ensembles.
He was the four-time Oregon State Solo Competition champion and was named to the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America (NYO-USA) in both 2013 and 2014. It was on consecutive tours with the NYO-USA that he had the honor of performing under the batons of famed conductors Valery Gergiev and David Robertson, and alongside renowned violin soloists Joshua Bell and Gil Shaham.
Young’s classical solo career includes guest solo performances with the Rogue Valley Symphony, Second Street Baroque Orchestra, and Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon. He has been interviewed and has performed on National Public Radio, Sirius/XM Satellite Radio, and BBC Radio and Television.
He is a sophomore Wells Scholar at the Jacobs School of Music.