Donald Oehler – Artistic Director

Donald Oehler has drawn high praise as a clarinet soloist, chamber musician, conductor, and educator. He has performed and taught throughout the United States, Central America, Canada, Great Britain, Eastern and Western Europe, and the Middle East. Mr. Oehler focuses the greatest part of his energies on performing, directing, and teaching chamber music. Since joining UNC, he has performed regularly with St. Stephen’s Chamber Orchestra, the Mallarmé Chamber Players, The Carolina Wind Quintet, and Sonsa. He has also appeared with numerous string quartets: the Haydn Quartet; Chester Quartet; Ciompi Quartet; the North CarolinaString Quartet; and the North Carolina Symphony String Quartet. International chamber performances have included the Bartok Festival in Szombathely, Hungary, and the International Clarinet Festival in Ghent, Belgium. He has been heard on Belgium’s BRT I and BRT III and Canada’s CBC. He is founder/director of UNC’s University Chamber Players, past director of the UNC New Music Ensemble, and founder/member of the Canadian-US wind octet Q’Appelle Winds. He is also co-director and host of Clarinet Chamberfest, a clarinet chamber music performance workshop. He also serves as director of winds and featured performer for MusicFest in Aberystwyth, Wales, and on the faculty of the Utah State Music Festival. Mr. Oehler began his career as principal clarinet of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Teheran, Iran, and has studied with Joseph Allard, Bernard Portnoy, and Jack Brymer. Eager to explore all facets of clarinet performance, he was one of the earliest U.S. clarinetists to become active on classical instruments (including basset clarinet), and continues to perform new literature. He recently gave the world premiere of Peter Lieuwen’s Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano and the U.S. premiere of Peter Maxwell Davies’ Sonata for Clarinet and Piano. He has also appeared with the North Carolina Symphony, the Handel and Haydn Society (Boston), Banchetto Musicale (Boston), the 18th Century Players (New York), and Ensemble Courant. For over twenty-five years, Mr. Oehler has placed a priority on his role as educator. A graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, Professor Oehler joined the University of North Carolina faculty in 1971. He directs Chapel Hill Chamber Music, the Cours International de Musique, and coordinates the UNC Canterbury Christ Church University College exchange program in music. In addition to all his other activities, he has developed a highly respected clarinet studio; has been conductor of both high school bands and youth orchestras; and serves the community as conductor of the Village Orchestra.

Leah Peroutka - Workshop Coordinator

Violinist Leah Peroutka is known for her versatility as a performer of repertoire ranging from the 17th Century through music of today on both modern and baroque violin. She has performed with numerous ensembles across the country, including the Atlanta Baroque Orchestra, New Music Raleigh, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Bertamo Trio, and Ensemble Collina. With the latter she has recently recorded 17th Century chamber music works for violin, trombone and continuo (“Confluences”) on the Acis label. She also appears regularly with the North Carolina Symphony, North Carolina Opera, Magnolia Baroque, Mallarme Chamber Players, Raleigh Camerata and with colleagues at UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University. A lecturer in violin performance and chamber music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, she is also in demand as a private teacher in the Triangle area and serves as the coordinator for the Chapel Hill Chamber Music Workshop. Her instruments include violins by Jan Hus Bursík and L. Prokop as well as bows by Ole Kanestrom, Willem Bouman, Michelle Speller, and Harry Grabenstein.