Originally from Naperville, Illinois, oboist Nora Anderson Lewis is a versatile musician and passionate educator. As a chamber musician, Nora particularly enjoys her work with the Western Wind Quintet, the faculty quintet at Western Michigan University, and the PEN Trio, where she frequently collaborates with composers and performs new music, as well as traditional repertoire, throughout North America and around the world. Recent highlights include teaching and performing in Cuba, Costa Rica, Panama, Guatemala, China, and Hong Kong. PEN Trio’s debut CD: Found Objects was recently recorded in New York with Boston-Based SoundMirror with a release planned for 2018.
Equally passionate about teaching in the studio and in the classroom, Nora has developed a unique breadth of experience. She teaches core courses in music history and music theory as well as classes that she has designed, to focus on multiple dimensions of creativity and learning, such as collaboration, improvisation, composition, and community building.
As a scholar, Nora is currently working on Notes for Oboists, for Oxford University Press, as well as a graphic novel, A Week in the Life of a Reed Maker, which will be available in English and Spanish versions. Ongoing projects include studying ways that traditional Asian double reed instruments and performance practices have influenced specific works in the oboe repertoire, issues of performance practice in the music of Heitor Villa-Lobos, and a new approach to oboe pedagogy for future music educators. Nora has presented her scholarship at conferences in Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and throughout North America, including the Midwest Clinic in Chicago.
Some of Nora’s favorite musical experiences include performing a program of Baroque music with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, collaborating with classmates in a course at Northwestern that became Ensemble dal Niente, giving a recital with longtime friend and bassoonist Peter Kolkay at the IDRS conference in Appleton, Wisconsin, and finally convincing her parents to let her play the oboe by asserting, “the reed thing probably isn’t THAT big of a deal.”
Nora is based in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where she is Associate Professor of Music at Western Michigan University and lives with her husband Gordon and their standard poodle, Chloe. Her full bio can be found here