NYO Canada Remembers Beth Orson

We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Beth Orson. A member of the NYO’s faculty since 2005, Beth was revered by a generation of Canadian musicians, for her dedication, creativity, and insight as a coach and teacher.

Her beautiful chamber music playing at our summer sessions gave great joy to her colleagues and provided a shining example of extraordinary musicianship to our students. We were privileged to have known her at NYO, and she will be greatly missed by all of us.

Our thoughts are with Beth’s family, friends and colleagues, please know that we are thinking about you all at this difficult time.

In the coming weeks, NYO will share the family’s plans to honour Beth’s memory and lasting legacy as they become available.

Contributions in Beth’s memory may be made to BC Cancer Foundation or to the Order of St. John Palliative Care Foundation. https://www.providencejournal.com/obituaries/ppvp0381997


Beth Orson played Assistant Principal Oboe and English Horn with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra since 1990. Sessional faculty at the UBC School of Music since 1993, she also taught a number of students at the Vancouver Academy of Music and was appointed Oboe Coach at the National Youth Orchestra of Canada in 2008. As a chamber musician, Ms. Orson appeared with the Turning Point Ensemble and in recital at the University of British Columbia and at NYOC. Principal Oboe of the NY Symphonic Ensemble from 1988-2005, she completed 19 tours to Japan with this renowned chamber orchestra, performing in every major concert hall in Japan, often as oboe soloist. As an English horn player Ms. Orson’s solo performances include the world & Canadian premieres of VSO Music Director Bramwell Tovey’s “The Progress of Vanity” for English horn and small orchestra at the 2012 International Double Reed Society Conference held at Miami University (Ohio) and with the VSO in 2014; Rodney Sharman’s “Songs Without Words” with the VSO, the North American premiere of James MacMillan’s “The World’s Ransoming” with the VSO, the solo English horn part to Dan Seguin’s Leo Award-winning score for the CBC feature film “Murder Unveiled,” Brian Cherney’s “In the Stillness of September 1942” with the VSO, the Kraus/Ferlandis Concerto for English horn and Orchestra with the Sinfonia-Orchestra of the North Shore and numerous performances of Sibelius’s “The Swan of Tuonela” with the VSO, which she is scheduled to play again in 2015.

Ms. Orson recorded for CBC Records, Deutsche Grammophon, Essay, New World, Parnassus and Technics Records. A graduate of the Oberlin Conservatory and winner of the Oberlin Concerto Competition, Ms. Orson’s principal teachers were Laurence Thorstenberg, James Caldwell, and Elaine Douvas. Before moving to Vancouver, Ms. Orson worked as a freelance musician in New York City where she often performed with the orchestras of the Metropolitan & New York City Operas, the Orchestra of St.Luke’s, Philharmonia Virtuosi, and on Broadway.