BSO: Beranek chair, endowed in perpetuity
Robert Sheena has been the English horn player of the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Boston Pops Orchestra since 1994, during which time his uniquely vocal style of playing has garnered accolades from audience members and the media alike. In his more than twenty years as a member of the BSO, Mr. Sheena has performed as soloist with the orchestra on several occasions, most notably in the world premiere performances of George Tsontakis's Sonnets-a BSO commission composed specifically for him-at Symphony Hall in February 2016 with Andris Nelsons conducting, followed by a Tanglewood performance that August. He has also been featured in BSO performances at Tanglewood of André Previn's Reflections and Aaron Copland's Quiet City. With the Boston Pops Orchestra he has been featured at Symphony Hall in Quiet City and Michael Daugherty's Spaghetti Western.From 1987 to 1991 Mr. Sheena was the assistant principal oboe and English horn of the Hong Kong Philharmonic. Since then he has made numerous trips to perform in Asia, not only with the BSO, but also to perform in Japan as a guest English hornist with the Super World Orchestra (2001), Affinis Music Festival (2009), and Seiji Ozawa's Saito Kinen Orchestra (2014). From 1991 until joining the BSO he was assistant principal oboe and English horn with the San Antonio Symphony. From 1984 to 1987 he was a freelance oboist in the Chicago area, playing in the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and frequently as a substitute oboist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Sheena is an instructor of both the oboe and the English horn at Boston University's School of Music and Tanglewood Institute, at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee, and at the Longy School of Music of Bard College. An alumnus of the Tanglewood Music Center, he works with the fellowship oboists there every summer as a TMC faculty member, coaching them in chamber music and giving English horn master classes. Mr. Sheena occupies the Beranek Chair in the woodwind section of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.