Interview with Clara Dent-Bogányi solo oboe at Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.

We want to thank Clara Dent for her collaboration for this wonderful interview she has given us. We hope you enjoy reading the interview. You can read other interviews on our blog.

Clara Dent-Bogányi – oboe.


How were your beginnings in music or with the oboe? Were there more musicians in the family?

Both my mother and father are musicians and growing up in a musical family meant a lot of music around me during my childhood.

When I was six years old I listened to a concert of Prokofjew‘s “Peter and the Wolf“ and felt so sorry for the poor duck… That’s when I decided to play the oboe- to rescue the duck!


Which teacher has influenced you the most? How do you remember the time were you studied in the Musik Hochschule?

I had great luck with all of my teachers; besides my father, my first teacher Prof.Jensen was the most patient and tasteful teacher to start with.

Then I was really privileged to study with Prof.Passin at the “Hochschule für Musik” in Munich. There I was integrated in a fantastic oboe-class, we pushed and helped each other and it felt like a big family. We all still keep contact and feel very connected.


What type of oboe do you play and why did you choose it?

Since I am 19years old I played on a Marigaux 901 Oboe. I never had a reason to search for anything else, because it has all the abilities I like: power, round sound and very good mechanic.

But as I am a curious person I couldn‘t resist when the German Oboe maker Ludwig Frank asked me if I would like to develop a new Oboe Model together with him. We worked on it for over two years and my aim was to create an oboe with a very unique sound, very even throughout the whole scale, a lot of projection for the big hall and the flexibility to play whatever Repertoire. And now we are more than happy about the result- the new “CD Model” is on the market and seems to impress oboists all over the world!

Clara Dent-Bogányi – The New LF oboe: Model CD.


What is the repertoire in the orchestra with which you feel most identified / the one you like the most? If you had to highlight an oboe repertoire, what would it be and why?

Playing in the orchestra it would definitely be R.Wagner’s operas, A.Bruckner’s Symphonies and (as an Austrian) of course all the Mozart repertoire. All these composers loved the sound of the oboe and used it in a very emotional way.
Surely one of the greatest pleasures for Oboists is also to play works of J.S.Bach! The “father of music” as my first teacher used to say.

To play Contemporary music means a special way of working with our instrument and finding out new colours, effects and ways to express ourselves; always joyful to perform music of L.Berio, H.Holliger, Jörg Widmann, Dirk-Michael Kirsch…

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You played already with the most renowned musicians in the world, What director or soloist has made the most impression on your work in the orchestra or chamber music?

Maestro Zubin Metha is surely one of the most important conductors in my life. He keeps the musical tension by just looking; he forces you to feel what you play and as a result everybody is playing beautifully together.

In Chamber-music I love to play with very “open” musicians who enjoy working together and finding new musical aims and interpretations, like Irena Grafenauer, Leonidas Kavakos, Radek Baborak, Bence Bogányi…


As principal oboe of Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin since 1999 you had played large numbers of concerts with orchestra, do you remember some funny history that happened on stage?

I remember that once during a concert (of course recorded by DeutschlandRadio) I wanted to wipe through my oboe before a big solo…the cloth got stuck, I couldn’t get it out anymore. So I put my music on the stand of our principal flutist and said “play!” and left the stage… I will never forget the face of the conductor while I went out! But afterwards we all had a great laugh!


How is working at the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin?

It’s a joyful work, because we have a “working mentality” in our orchestra. A lot of young players who are idealistic and longing for a good result. I love the sound of my orchestra. It’s a traditionally warm orchestra sound, not only in the strings but also in the winds. That makes the Ensemble blending very well and besides high quality solo playing we always care about our common result.


At 2005 you recorded the wonder full CD with works from. Bach, Marais and Couperin and 10 years later at 2015 you recorded another awesome CD “La Primadonna” with Arias and a song arranged for oboe by Andreas N Tarkmann.
How did you feel when recording this new album and how do you think you have evolved with the oboe in 10 years?

My first CD “L’Folies D’ Espagne” somehow was a Hommage to my teachers and my mother (who accompanied me on the harpsichord and organ!). It was repertoire I played in several competitions and this version of the J.S.Bach Partita was even composed by my first teacher Prof.Jensen.

With my CD “La Primadonna” a dream came true, as I so much love the opera! I knew that Andreas Tarkmann would be the best to realise my idea to be a singer on the oboe and then to finally play and record these arias was just pure pleasure and joy! I love singing on my instrument…


In addition to an extensive performing schedule, you also are one of the most influential teachers in Germany at the HFM Nürnberg and also giving frequent master classes at conservatories and summer festivals around the world.  What are some of the most important lessons and values you like to pass on to your students?

If you want to become a musician you need to be passionate about it, if you want to become an Oboist you need to be passionate and fanatic about it. No other way to succeed- and if you do, there’s nothing better!

You have a very much busy time table but, do you have some ritual for oboe reed making or for oboe practicing?

For me reed making is like meditation. I truly enjoy scraping reeds and its always the calmest time of the day, mostly in the evenings.
If I need to practice, it will be the first thing in the morning: with fresh energy and clear brain!


What advice would you give to oboe students?

Work hard on the technical skills on your instrument to be able to show your personality in the end!


What are your future projects (upcoming concerts, classes …)?

I will have the joy to play the Mozart Oboe Concerto in beginning of December, then I will also play the Haydn Concertante with my orchestra (RSB) in the same month and on the first of January I will play Strauss Oboe Concerto in the big Festspielhaus in Salzburg.

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[Original Interview in English]

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