Nathan Hughes


Nathan Hughes is principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera and serves on the faculties of The Juilliard School, Rutgers University, and the Verbier Festival in Switzerland.

He previously served as principal oboe of the Seattle Symphony and holds the distinction of having made guest appearances as principal oboe with numerous leading American orchestras, including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Los Angeles Philharmonic, New York Philharmonic, and San Francisco Symphony. The Seattle Symphony showcased his talent in more than two dozen performances of eight different concertos during just a three-year period—a feat that the Seattle Times attributed to his “spectacular technical finesse.” He was praised by the Chicago Tribune for his “superb solo playing” and ability to produce “soaring phrases” with a “sweet cushioned sound.” His caliber of performance was described by the New York Times as simply “excellent.”

An avid chamber musician, Hughes regularly performs with the MET Chamber Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with such artists as Yefim Bronfman, Jeremy Denk, James Ehnes, Richard Goode, James Levine, Gil Shaham, and Mitsuko Uchida, among others.  He has made appearances with the Philadelphia and Seattle Chamber Music Societies, as well as at the Aspen, Bridgehampton, Lucerne, Mainly Mozart, Marlboro, Pacific, Salzburg, Santa Fe, Sarasota, Spoleto, and Tanglewood music festivals.

Hughes has many students who have earned positions in top orchestras, including appointments to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, Seattle Symphony, and Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He has presented master classes at institutions such as the Cleveland Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music, New World Symphony, National Orchestral Institute, Oberlin Conservatory, Toronto’s Royal Conservatory, Poznań Academy in Poland, and the Seoul National University in Korea.    

Born in St. Paul, Minnesota, Hughes had early training in voice and piano. He has earned degrees from The Juilliard School and the Cleveland Institute of Music, from which he was awarded the Alumni Achievement Award. His teachers included John Mack, Elaine Douvas, and John de Lancie.

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