Max Blair joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as Associate Principal Oboe in 2016. He has performed as guest Principal Oboe with The Cleveland Orchestra, The San Francisco Symphony, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. For two seasons, he also served as Principal Oboe of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in New York City. Blair has spent recent summers at the Marlboro, Verbier, Aspen, and Spoleto USA music festivals. Blair joined the faculty of the Mary Pappert School of Music in the fall 2019 semester.

In addition to his orchestral focus, Mr. Blair also enjoys playing in chamber music and solo settings. Some recent highlights include performances of Pärt's Passio with the esteemed vocal ensemble, Seraphic Fire, Schönberg's chamber reduction of Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde in Carnegie Hall with the Blue Period Ensemble, and Vaugh-Williams' Blake Songs in Trinity Wall Street Church.

Mr. Blair received his master's and bachelor's degrees from the Juilliard School as a student of Elaine Douvas and Nathan Hughes, respectively. While a student at Juilliard, Blair performed as a substitute with the Metropolitan Opera. He went on to spend two seasons as a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, where he worked closely with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.

Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Blair began playing the oboe at age 14. Prior to Juilliard, he studied with Oregon Symphony members Karen Wagner and Marty Hebert. In his free time, Blair plays the strategy game Go, is a member of an adult ice hockey league, and spends time with his Siberian Husky, Artemis.


M.M., The Juilliard School
B.M., The Juilliard School

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Member, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra