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    Koledo-DeAlmeida, Cynthia

    English horn player and oboist who attended the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and Temple University, from which she earned a Master’s degree in music.  She also earned the Henri Kohn Memorial Prize from the Berkshire Music Center in Tanglewood, California, on the merit of her work in their Fellowship Program.  In 1986, she performed in Carnegie Recital Hall in the final round of the Lucarelli International Oboe Competition.  (She had already won the Temple University Soloists Competition and the University of Michigan Concerto Competition.)


    In 1987, she appeared on the Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia album, Gloria!  Gloria!.


    Her winning streak continued when she was dubbed Associate Principal Oboe for The Philadelphia Orchestra and then Principal Oboe for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, a chair she has occupied from 1991 to the present.


    One of her first concerts with them would have been at Carnegie Hall in October 1991, an all-Sibelius affair for which she was specifically mentioned as a highlight in the New York Times review.  It would not be the last time. 


    On 5th November 1993, she helped premiere Leonardo Balada’s “Music for Oboe and Orchestra:  Lament from the Cradle of the Earth” and later recorded it with the PSO on a CD entitled Balada/Lees/Zwilich:  Wind Concertos, which was released in 1997.  Accompanying it on the shelves was 25th Anniversary International Double Reed Society, on which Cynthia, Nancy Goeres and Andre Previn premiered Andre’s “Trio for Oboe, Bassoon and Piano”. 


    In 1999, Cynthia and Nancy reunited for Nancy Galbraith’s “Incantation and Allegro”, a piece written specifically for them, on the album, Galbraith:  Four Chamber Works.  She released her first solo effort, Classic Discoveries for Oboe, on Boston Records, a mixed bag of works by Arthur Bliss, Frederick Delius, Paul Dukas, and Pietro Antonio Locatelli.


    Do you believe in the healing power of music?  Cynthia does, and so does Brian Simpson, a longtime asthmatic who was told by a doctor that he had between six and nine months to live after undergoing respiratory arrest.  Bed-ridden, Brian took comfort in an article he read about an English asthmatic who improved his lung performance by playing the oboe.  This, coupled with a copy of Classic Discoveries for Oboe, inspired him to start playing the instrument, which he had played while in college.  He went from playing minutes at a time to about three hours per day and has managed to rehabilitate himself, although he still requires the use of an oxygen tank.  Brian has a full-time job, working as an asthmatic and respiratory therapist at Elk Regional Health Center in St. Mary’s, Pennsylvania.  He also got to meet Cynthia, who gave him some quick pointers, and attend one of her concerts with the PSO.


    On 12th March 2005, the PSO performed the first symphony of Johannes Brahms at Heinz Hall under the baton of Charles Dutoit, and once again, Cynthia was acknowledged in a review for her easy-on-the-ears, technically brilliant solos. 


    She released her second compact disc, Mist over the Lake, in 2006, another eclectic collection featuring music by Arthur Bliss, Jan Freidlin (who wrote the title track), Amilcare Ponchielli, and others. 


    On 13th February 2007, she offered up a freebie master class at West Virginia University’s Bloch Learning and Performance Hall, located in the Creative Arts Center.  She has also helped out at the Mazeroski Sports Camp/Notes for the Heart Music Camp, a unique events that affords children an opportunity to meet athletes and musicians from the Pittsburgh area. 


    In February 2009, she soloed on a rarely performed oboe concerto attributed to Franz Joseph Haydn, which shared an unusual double bill with Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana. 


    The PSO went on a tour of Europe in the summer of ’09 and have posted something of a photographic scrapbook online.  (A link is listed below.)


    In February 2010, the Pittsburgh Symphony Pops presented an evening of show tunes with Marvin Hamlisch wielding the baton and you-know-who getting a pretty nice write-up in the Post-Gazette.  She also garnered kudos for her solo work during the second movement of Brahms’ violin concerto, no small feat when the violinist was Anne-Sophie Mutter.


    As you can probably tell, Cynthia Koledo-DeAlmeida is popular among colleagues, critics, listeners, and students.  She teaches at Carnegie Mellon University, where she also serves as Coordinator of the Woodwind Department.


    Concerto Soloists Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia recordings

    Adeste Fidelis (Frederick Oakely/John Francis Wade)

    RCA 6559-2-RC (Gloria!  Gloria!)

    Soprano – Benita Valente

    The Philadelphia Singers

    Conductor – Michael Korn



    1. http://www.pittsburghsymphony.org/pghsymph.nsf/bios/Cynthia+Koledo+DeAlmeida
    2. http://www.nytimes.com/1991/10/22/arts/classical-music-in-review-131691.html
    3. http://www.newworldrecords.org/liner_notes/80503.pdf
    4. http://catalog.ebay.com/International-Double-Reed-Society-25th-Anniversary-International-Double-Reed-Socie-CD-Jan-1997-/71531030
    5. http://www.idrs.org/multimedia/
    6. http://www.amazon.co.uk/cynthia-koledo-dealmeida-Classical-Music/s?ie=UTF8&keywords=Cynthia%20Koledo%20DeAlmeida&rh=n%3A697386%2Ck%3ACynthia%20Koledo%20DeAlmeida&page=1
    7. http://www.andrew.cmu.edu/user/ngal/ngbio.htm
    8. http://www.idrs.org/events/conference/2001.conf/index.01conf.html
    9. http://www.amazon.com/Classic-Discoveries-Cynthia-Koledo-Almeida/dp/B000083ENU
    10. http://www.postgazette.com/pg/03272/226820-114.stm
    11. http://www.elkregional.org/
    12. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2005-03-12/lifestyle/0503110257_1_charles-dutoit-american-orchestras-pittsburgh-symphony-orchestra/2
    13. http://www.alibris.com/search/classical/composer/Pierre%20Max%20Dubois
    14. http://www.amazon.com/Mist-Over-Lake-Cynthia-DeAlmeida/dp/B000E5KTTI
    15. http://www.amazon.com/Mist-Over-Lake-Cynthia-DeAlmeida/dp/samples/B000E5KTTI/ref=dp_tracks_all_1#disc_1
    16. http://wvutoday.wvu.edu/n/2007/2/13/5360
    17. http://www.woodlandsfoundation.org/documents/WoodlandsSummer2009Newsletter.pdf
    18. http://www.zoominfo.com/people/DeAlmeida_Cynthia_62815414.aspx
    19. http://www.flickr.com/photos/javadoug/3299629075/
    20. http://picasaweb.google.com/qedmorningshow/PittsburghSymphony2009EuropeanTour#
    21. http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10058/1038943-388.stm?cmpid=newspanel0
    22. http://newyorklawschool.typepad.com/leonardlink/2010/02/pittsburgh-symphony-orchestra-at-carnegie-hall.html

















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