Heralded for the “exquisite liquid quality” of his solo playing (Gramophone), Charles “Chip” Hamann was appointed to the principal oboe chair of Canada’s National Arts Centre Orchestra in 1993 at the age of 22. Mr. Hamann has also served as guest principal oboe with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, London’s Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and Quebec’s Les Violons du Roy.
Mr. Hamann’s solo debut album, the double CD collection Canadian Works for Oboe and Piano with pianist Frédéric Lacroix, was released in 2017 on the Centrediscs label and his playing was lauded for “well-rounded tone, sensitive phrasing and…breathtaking sustained tones” (The Whole Note) and “exquisite musicianship.” (The Double Reed) With the NAC Wind Quintet, his performances of music for wind instruments by Camille Saint-Saëns with pianist Stéphane Lemelin for the Naxos label, including the op. 166 Oboe Sonata, won Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice award in 2011. Mr. Hamann was also featured in J.S. Bach’s Concerto for violin and oboe BWV 1060 with Pinchas Zukerman on NACO’s 2016 Baroque Treasury album for Analekta that earned him praise as a “superb colleague” (Gramophone) and for “a gorgeous, expressive sound.” (Ludwig van Toronto) Mr. Hamann has commissioned numerous solo works from leading Canadian composers and continues to champion new repertoire. He will record a CD of newly commissioned music for oboe solo and oboe with piano in 2021 with pianist Frédéric Lacroix.
Charles Hamann has appeared as concerto soloist with Les Violons du Roy, the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, Lincoln’s Symphony Orchestra in Nebraska, the Yamagata Symphony Orchestra, and Ottawa’s Thirteen Strings. He has appeared many times with NACO, both in Ottawa and on tour, in major concertos including Mozart, Strauss, and Vaughan-Williams. He has been a featured recitalist at the International Double Reed Society conferences and has presented solo recitals across Canada and the US.
Mr. Hamann is Adjunct Professor of oboe at the University of Ottawa School of Music and was on the faculty of the NAC Summer Music Institute for twenty years. He is a frequent faculty member at the Canada’s National Academy Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of Canada, and the Orchestre de la francophonie. Mr. Hamann has been a guest clinician throughout Canada and at leading conservatories in the US. Internationally, he has given clinics in Mexico, China and Japan, where he is a frequent guest artist at the Affinis Music Festival and has been a guest faculty member of the Hyogo Performing Arts Centre Orchestra, a prominent orchestral training institution.
Born in Lincoln, Nebraska, USA, Mr. Hamann pursued early study with Brian Ventura and William McMullen and later at the Interlochen Arts Camp and Interlochen Arts Academy with Daniel Stolper. He earned a Bachelor of Music and the prestigious Performer’s Certificate from the Eastman School of Music in 1993, where he was a student of Richard Killmer.