Assistant Principal Oboe
The Gilchrist Foundation Chair
Michael Henoch was appointed assistant principal oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra by Sir Georg Solti in 1972 while a student at Northwestern University, making him one of the youngest members in the history of the Orchestra to hold a titled chair. The assistant principal oboe chair is endowed by the Gilchrist Foundation. Henoch has performed as the principal oboe on more than 50 of the Orchestra’s recordings, many of them Grammy® Award winners.
Henoch earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in music from Northwestern University, both awarded with highest honors. His teacher was Ray Still, former principal oboe of the CSO. He also studied with Gladys Elliot in Chicago and with Rhadames Angelucci at the National Music Camp in Interlochen, Michigan. While a college student, Henoch was a regular member of the Lyric Opera of Chicago Orchestra for three years.
His Carnegie Hall debut as a soloist with the New York String Orchestra in 1970 led to an invitation from Rudolf Serkin to participate in the Marlboro Music Festival in Vermont, where he was the principal oboe in the orchestra under the baton of Pablo Casals. He has performed at many other prestigious summer festivals, including Lincoln Center’s Mostly Mozart Festival and the Carmel Bach Festival in California.
In 1996, Henoch was named the artistic codirector of the Chicago Chamber Musicians (CCM), an ensemble with which he has performed since its inception in 1986. Henoch is credited with the idea for CCM’s highly successful Music at the Millennium series, which celebrated 20th-century music in concerts at Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art presented each May from 1998 through 2002. In the development of this festival, he worked closely with Pierre Boulez, who served as music advisor.
In 2008, Henoch founded Dempster St. Pro Musica, a chamber music ensemble that performs at SPACE in Evanston. The organization is dedicated to presenting chamber music concerts of the highest quality in a casual atmosphere.
As a soloist, recitalist and chamber player, Henoch has toured extensively throughout North America and Europe. In September 1999, he was invited to perform as principal oboe of an international festival orchestra in Tokyo. This ensemble was composed of leading orchestral players from all over the world. He has performed as a soloist with many orchestras, appearing with such noted conductors as Sir Georg Solti, Daniel Barenboim, David Zinman and Alexander Schneider.