Meet Ron Cohen Mann: 2016 Ima Hogg Competition Semi-finalist

Ron Cohen Mann, oboe

Ron Cohen Mann, oboe

Meet Ima Hogg Competition Semi-finalist Ron Cohen Mann! This talented 25 year old oboist is currently an Artist Diploma candidate at the Yale School of Music, studying with Stephen Taylor. We recently got a chance to ask Ron a few questions about his life in music.

Houston Symphony: Where did you grow up and how did that community affect who you have become?

Ron Cohen Mann: I grew up in Israel, the Netherlands, and in Vancouver, Canada. It was fun to move around as a kid and I am fortunate to have had so many opportunities to travel.

HS: Are there other musical people in your family?

"I played Mozart's Symphony No. 35 "Haffner"; I had a huge smile on my face throughout the first rehearsal."

“I played Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 “Haffner”; I had a huge smile on my face throughout the first rehearsal.”

RCM: I’m the only musician in my immediate family. My parents always asked me to practice less and I guess it didn’t work! My family has been incredibly supportive and I can’t thank them enough.

HS: At what age did you begin playing your instrument and what memories do you have of your first rehearsals or performances?

RCM: I started oboe at the late age of 14! I’ll always cherish my first experience playing in orchestra a year later. I played Mozart’s Symphony No. 35 “Haffner”; I had a huge smile on my face throughout the first rehearsal.

HS: What has been the most exciting event for you in your musical career?

RCM: My Weill Hall debut at Carnegie Hall was in April, which I shared with my dear friend and colleague, harpist Noël Wan. Other highlights include performing Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite in India, and touring to China with the Manhattan Symphonie.

Wynton Marsalis. Photographer: Luigi Beverelli

Wynton Marsalis. Photographer: Luigi Beverelli

HS: Do you have any pre-performance habits or rituals?

RCM: I like to stay very relaxed on performance days: sleeping in if I can, watching Netflix and making reeds to keep my mind off of the performance.

HS: Who are some of your most profound influences and what is the impact they have had on you?

RCM: My biggest influences are my oboe heroes and teachers: Stephen Taylor, Sherry Sylar, and Beth Orson.

HS: Who is the most famous person you have met or worked with?

RCM: Wynton Marsalis, Valery Gergiev or John Adams.

HS: What are the “top five” pieces or songs on your playlist or iPod?

RCM: Bach Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Schumann Konzertstück, Ravel Gaspard de la Nuit, Megan Trainor “No”, Beyoncé “Love on Top”

HS: What is your favorite TV show?

RCM: RuPaul’s Drag Race.

HS: What is your favorite place to eat?

RCM: Chipotle Mexican Grill.

HS: Do you have a favorite city or travel destination?

RCM: New York City.

HS: Do you have any hobbies or interests outside of music?

RCM: I’m an avid photographer.

See Ron Cohen Mann perform Mozart’s Oboe Concerto in C major and Strauss’ Oboe Concerto in D major for FREE at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music on Thursday June 2. And don’t forget to get tickets to the Finals Concert!

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