Judy Christy, Principal Oboe
Louise and Henry Leander Chair
Judy Christy played with the New World Symphony as principal oboist prior to joining the Naples Philharmonic. She also performed with the Houston Symphony and the Houston Grand Opera. Judy earned her bachelor’s degree at Oberlin Conservatory, where she studied with James Caldwell and Alex Klein. While at Oberlin, she was awarded the Artistry in Oboe Performance Award. She then earned her Master of Music degree at Rice University, studying with Robert Atherholt. Judy has performed as principal oboist of the Grand Teton Music Festival; the Breckenridge Music Festival; the Des Moines Metro Opera; the Colorado Music Festival; and the Peter Britt Music Festival. Other festivals include the Tanglewood Music Center; National Repertory Orchestra; Blossom Music Festival; Sarasota Music Festival; Aspen Music Festival; Pacific Music Festival; and National Orchestral Institute. Her solo appearances with the Naples Philharmonic have included the Vaughan Williams concerto; the Strauss oboe concerto; the Mozart oboe concerto; the Bach concerto for oboe and violin; the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante; the Vivaldi concerto for two oboes; and Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 2. Judy is on the faculty of Florida Gulf Coast University’s Bower School of Music, where she teaches oboe and chamber music. With her siblings and her husband, Naples Philharmonic Assistant Principal Cellist John Marcy, Judy performs in the Christy Oboe Quartet, which recorded a CD of music by Mozart, Britten, J.C. Bach and James Stephenson. She and her husband have two children. Judy has been principal oboist of the Naples Philharmonic since 1996.
I was born in Bethesda, Maryland, and moved to Winter Park, Florida, when I was 10. I went to Oberlin Conservatory for my bachelor’s degree and got my master’s degree at Rice University. I spent one year playing in the New World symphony in Miami Beach. I joined the Naples Philharmonic in 1996.
What has been your most memorable moment with the orchestra?
One of my most memorable moments in the orchestra was getting to play chamber music with members of the Vienna Philharmonic.
What inspired you to become a musician?
I grew up in a family of musicians. I started playing the violin at age 3 and the oboe at 8. I knew soon after that I wanted to be a professional oboist.
What is the most enjoyable part of your job?
Something I enjoy about my job is that I get to play some of the most beautiful solos in the repertoire. I sit in the very center of the orchestra which allows me to hear the orchestra in surround sound.
I also really enjoy the company of my colleagues both on and off the stage.
What’s challenging about playing your instrument?
The biggest challenge with playing the oboe is the reedmaking. I spend hours each day preparing cane and scraping the reeds with special knives. I have about 30 reeds in my case at a time, and I choose which reed to use based on the piece we are playing.
What are your favorite compositions?
Some of my favorite compositions are by Bach, Mozart, Dvořák, Strauss and Mahler.
Are there other musicians in your immediate family?
My father is a trumpet player and music educator, and my mother is a performer and a Suzuki violin teacher. My brother plays violin in the Atlanta Symphony, and my sister is a violist in the Charleston Symphony. My husband is a cellist in the Naples Philharmonic. Our children both study violin, and my daughter sings in the Youth Chorus.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Outside of work, I enjoy cooking, playing with our cockatiel, Kiwi, and traveling with my family.