Oboist. Teacher. Food Blogger.

Oboist Mary Riddell’s many solos were supple and smooth.
— Daniel Hautzinger, Cleveland Classical
Cleveland, OH  Photo by Kevin Inthavong

Cleveland, OH

Photo by Kevin Inthavong

Mary Riddell is a freelance oboist, currently working and teaching in the Washington, D.C. area and Northeast Ohio.  She received a Masters degree in Oboe Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in 2013 where she was awarded the Gilbert M. Brooks Dean's Award for achieving the highest academic standing in her class.  She also holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Northwestern University.  Her primary mentors include Jeff Rathbun and Elizabeth Camus, of the Cleveland Orchestra, and Scott Hostetler and Michael Henoch, of the Chicago Symphony.  She has also performed in master classes with Frank Rosenwein, Nathan Hughes, Ray Still, Alex Klein, Hansjorg Schellenberger, and John Anderson.  

Recently, she served as principal oboe on Ravel's Le Tombeau de Couperin, performed by the Kent/Blossom Chamber Orchestra at Blossom Music Center under the direction of Brett Mitchell, assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, to positive reviews from ClevelandClassical.com.  

Currently, she plays with the Washington Chamber Orchestra and the Go-Go Symphony in and around Washington, D.C. and subs regularly with the Alexandria Symphony, Akron Symphony, Canton Symphony, and soon the Cleveland Orchestra. Formerly, she was the 2nd oboist for Opera Circle Cleveland's production of Rigoletto  in the summer of 2013.  Mary has a particular passion for opera, chamber music, and performances of classical music in unlikely places.  Her playing can be heard on Northwestern Symphonic Wind Ensemble's 2012 recording, Rising (Summit Records), on which she served as principal oboe.  

Mary's love of music is paralleled by a passion for food.  She began cooking around the same age she picked up the oboe (age 11), when she decided there had to be a better-tasting alternative to frozen chicken pot pies.  She has been cooking and creating recipes ever since.  In 2011, while in Chicago, she began an amateur food blog called The Finer Things  to document her recipes and her discoveries in drinking and dining.  

Fascinated with the similarities and overlap between the two art forms, she is drawn to events which highlight both music and food, and advocates that the future of classical music relies on this intersection.