Lora Schaefer joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in July 2009, the first musician appointed to the Orchestra by Riccardo Muti. Prior to that, she served as principal oboe of the Kansas City Symphony since 1996.
Schaefer received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with John Mack, former principal oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra. She pursued graduate studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, under the tutelage of Robert Atherholt, former principal oboe of the Houston Symphony. Lora left Rice after a year upon winning the principal oboe audition with the Kansas City Symphony.
Schaefer is on the faculty of Roosevelt University Chicago College of Performing Arts. In addition, she has played with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Jackson, Wyoming, since 2000.
Lora and her husband Will, a photographer and custom picture framer, enjoy traveling together in search of perfect photo spots, hiking and cooking. They share their lives with three perfect rescue dogs: Watson and Sophy, the basset hounds, and their beagle Elsie.