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Julia Simpson

Julia Simpson, raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is an orchestral oboist and arts administration professional. Ms. Simpson graduated with her bachelor’s degree from the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas, where she was a student of Robert Atherholt, retired principal oboist of the Houston Symphony. She has also started her graduate studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music with Frank Rosenwein, principal oboist of The Cleveland Orchestra.

Recently, Ms. Simpson has performed with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and The Cleveland Orchestra—under the baton of John Adams and Alan Gilbert. This past summer, Ms. Simpson was a 2022 Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra Fellow, as well as the Oboe Fellow at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. While in Charleston, South Carolina for the Spoleto Festival USA, she premiered Omar—a new opera production by Rhiannon Giddens and Michael Abels that was listed among the “Best Classical Music Performances of 2022” by the New York Times. Ms. Simpson was a 2020 fellow at the New York String Orchestra Seminar, and a 2019 fellow at the Sarasota Music Festival in Sarasota, Florida. She has also spent several summers at the Kinhaven Music School, the Interlochen Arts Camp, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, and the Eastern Music Festival. 

In addition to her studies as an oboist, Ms. Simpson is passionate about the sustainability of arts nonprofit organizations. She is completing coursework towards a Masters in Nonprofit Management and Leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.