Ricardo Castañeda, born in El Salvador, began oboe studies at The National Music School of El Salvador with oboists Francisco Martinez and Alan Julseth. Mr. Castañeda received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in music performance from Northwestern University, where he was a student of Ray Still.
Mr. Castañeda is currently Principal Oboist with The Chicago Sinfonietta, The Lake Forest Symphony and English Horn soloist with The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a member of the Chicago Ensemble and Barossa Woodwind Quintet. Previous positions include Principal Oboist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra and English Horn soloist with the Mexico City Philharmonic.
Having made his solo debut with the National Symphony of El Salvador at age fifteen, Mr. Castañeda has since appeared as soloist in Latin America, Europe and the United States, most recently with The Yamagata Symphony Orchestra in Japan.
An active freelance musician, Mr. Castañeda has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater and has been principal oboist for orchestras for The Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theater, San Francisco Ballet and Joffrey Ballet as well as numerous Broadway musical productions.
Mr. Castañeda is on the faculty at Northern Illinois University, Northeastern Illinois University, University of Illinois at Chicago and Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Door County, Wisconsin where he also serves as Program Director for the Symphony Session.