Publication Date



Open access

Embargo Period


Degree Type

Doctoral Essay

Degree Name

Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA)


Instrumental Performance (Music)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Margaret A. Donaghue

Second Committee Member

Dale W. Underwood

Third Committee Member

Robert A. Weiner

Fourth Committee Member

Gary A. Wood


Gilles Silvestrini’s compositions for the oboe have been sought after because of their virtuosic nature, a good option to test advanced oboists technical abilities and can be used as an option for an unaccompanied programmatic etude in a recital setting. One of his most famous works is the “Six Etudes for Solo Oboe,” which is a set of concert etudes each inspired and named after a specific French impressionistic painting. Oboists often play these works in competitions and recitals, however they are not often presented with any representation of the paintings to which they correspond. Many of Silvestrini’s other works take inspiration from various composers, artists, and poets. On April 20, 2019 at the Frost School of Music, I presented and performed selected etudes from his “Six Etudes for Solo Oboe,” and two etudes from one of his most recent composition, “Six Romantic Studies for Solo Oboe,” with visual aide of the paintings and reciting of poetry that correlates to each of the compositions. Gilles Silvestrini is a living composer and oboist based in Paris, France, best known for his contemporary compositions for oboe. He also has written works for various other instruments, chamber groups and a few concertos. Silvestrini was born on June 4, 1961 in Givet, France, a commune in northern France close to the Belgian border. Silvestrini studied oboe at the National Conservatory of Music and Dance in Paris, where he won first oboe prize in 1985. He then went on to study composition from 1986 to 1988 at the Ècole Normale de Musique. His works for the oboe are often used for competition pieces, such as the International Double Reed Society Gillet Competition and entrance exams or auditions for some of the most prestigious universities and conservatories around the world including the National Superior Conservatory of Music and Dance of Lyon, and the Lynn University Conservatory of Music. Over the course of this project, I interviewed Mr. Silvestrini about some of his inspiration, studied the scores, and identified specific sections of each of the etudes that clearly represent the artwork in the music to present to the audience members. Much of this project was based on personal interpretation of the works, paired with details about inspiration Silvestrini had while composing these works. The goal of this project is to display to the audience and future performers a sense of my connection to these works, what I discovered within each piece of artwork and how they correspond to my interpretation of Silvestrini’s compositions. I hope to inspire future oboists who study or perform these works to look beyond these works as etudes, but to understand what each painting means, and how we as musicians can communicate that in a performance. This project can also serve as a performers guide to these works. It will show future performers what intricacies I have discovered within each etude that will help guide the performer to achieve an interpretation of the work that makes sense to them with the paintings and poetry. I explored and researched each piece of artwork to gain a deeper understanding of the artwork itself as a separate aspect before I went back to the notes from Mr. Silvestrini, so I could develop my own connection between these two components. I have always enjoyed and appreciated when any type of artist embraces cross genres and performs works with other types of art forms. In most classical training, we become accustomed to sitting on a stage and performing a piece of music for an audience who simply listens with nothing in front of them except for a program, which may include notes about the piece. I hope to bring a new appreciation and understanding for these selected works so that oboists in the future who study these works can have a deeper connection to these studies, beyond just their technically challenging nature. Following this project I hope that more musicians, composers and other artists become inspired to present and perform arts in cross genre situations.


oboe; music; silvestrini; french; etudes

Paul Chinen Lecture Recital_1.mp4 (2127055 kB)
Paul Chinen Lecture Recital