Department of Music

John L. Walker: oboe

A native of Iowa, John L. Walker received a bachelor’s degree from Drake University. He continued his musical studies at Temple University in Philadelphia as a student of Philadelphia Orchestra member Louis Rosenblatt. In 1995, he graduated with a doctor of musical arts degree from the University of Nebraska after completing a dissertation on Latin American chamber music for the oboe.

Walker has held many professional positions, including principal oboe of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Guadalajara, United States Air Force Heritage of America Band, andOrquesta Sinfónica Nacional del Ecuador. While in Ecuador, he performed the world premiere of Desafio X, a concert piece for solo oboe and string orchestra by Brazilian composer Marlos Nobre, and was recognized as an “American Cultural Specialist” by the United States Embassy. He was also on the faculty of the National Conservatory, where he taught oboe and other courses. In the United States, Walker has maintained a prominent profile as a soloist and recitalist. He performed the Mozart Oboe Concerto with the University City Symphony Orchestra and a Bach concerto for oboe d’amore with the St. Louis Chamber Orchestra. Walker has published articles about Latin American and Ecuadorian music in both English and Spanish in several well-known music journals, such as Latin American Music Review and Pauta, and has presented papers at international conferences in Quito, Montreal, Rio de Janeiro, and Puerto Rico. The recipient of a Fulbright award, Walker spent the summers of 2008 and 2009 in Ecuador, where he researched the role of Italian immigrant musicians to the early history of the Ecuadorian national conservatory.

Walker joined the faculty of Virginia Tech in 2011 after serving eight years as associate professor of music and instrumental music program coordinator at St. Charles Community College. He was also the director of the SCC Concert Band and on several occasions has been engaged as a guest conductor with the University City Symphony Orchestra, Banda Sinfónica Provincial de Tungurahua, and Banda Sinfónica Metropolitana de Quito.

Walker is the recipient of many professional distinctions, such as his election to a directive body of the Latin American Studies Association. His biography appears in several publications, including the Enciclopedia de la música ecuatoriana, in recognition for his contribution to the development of music in that country.

John L. Walker