On the Record - Erin Hannigan

Principal Oboe (Nancy P. & John G. Penson Chair) Erin Hannigan shares her love of animals and delves into the intricacies of reed making.

J.S. Bach: Oboe D’Amore Concerto in A Major, BWV 1055



“This is my favorite piece in the entire world.  It’s incredible.  It was originally a concerto for two harpsichords, and then later arranged for oboe d’amore and orchestra, and it’s just the most glorious piece.  From the very beginning, just oboe d’amore and strings, it’s very lightweight and very happy, and the middle movement is so vocal.  The oboe d’amore just soars above the strings, and then the last movement, it’s like unbridled joy encapsulated in a piece of music.”


Stravinsky:  Pulcinella Suite


“I just absolutely adore this music.  From the very start, it’s just this beautiful dance music, and of course it’s a piece that I’ve studied forever with huge beautiful oboe solos.  The Serenata, in particular, is one.  The rhythm is kind of mesmerizing to me, and then going into the Gavotte and variation, I love the oboe part, and I love the interplay with the other instruments.  It’s a beautiful solo line, but you’re constantly in conversation with the horn, for instance…. I just find it to be masterful in how it’s orchestrated, in how the rhythms work together; it’s just truly incredible music.”


Adele Linton - Hallelujah (cover)


“I don’t listen to that much of [popular music], but I’ve found that in the morning as I’m getting ready, or the evening as I’m winding down, it’s such a great thing to have playing, because it doesn’t grab my full attention.  If I put Pulcinella on, I’m sorry, I’m going to be listening to that oboe part and I’m going to be thinking about playing it.  If I put on some popular music, it just is playing and I’m not pulled into it.  I can relax while it’s on… I was listening to Pandora, the Adele station, and it came on and I just thought ‘oh my gosh that’s so beautiful.’  It’s just one of the songs that pulls me in every time it comes on.”


Brahms: Symphony No. 1


“I love Brahms in general, but the first symphony speaks to me because it feels just like life.   I don’t know how to put it any simpler, but it just feels like breathing to me.  It’s just so heartfelt and warm and glorious. That piece has come up in some very big moments for me during my career, not the least of which when I went to play with the New York Philharmonic a couple years ago.  That’s what I did with Jaap van Zweden… it just sort of solidified that piece in my mind as a landmark.” 

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