Elaine Douvas

“Very clever and useful, these work perfectly to prop open the keys so they air dry. Swabs miss condensation inside tone holes; I am delighted that Key Leaves keeps my oboes clean, dry and safe from cracking." - Elaine Douvas (Principal Oboe The Metropolitan Opera, The Juilliard School, Mannes College, Bard College Conservatory)

Elaine Douvas is an institution in the oboe world, having served as principal oboe of the Metropolitan Opera since 1977 and oboe instructor at The Juilliard School since 1982.  She has been an artist/faculty member of the Aspen Music Festival and School since 1997 and also teaches at Mannes College of Music and at the Bard College Conservatory of Music.  Among her career highlights, Ms. Douvas has performed the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the MET Orchestra in Carnegie Hall, James Levine conducting, and Dutilleux’s “Les Citations” with the MET Chamber Ensemble.  During her long career at the Met, she has participated in hundreds of live broadcasts, DVDs, and studio recordings. 

One of the most influential teachers in the USA, Douvas’s pupils hold positions in numerous American orchestras and university faculties, and she was appointed Chairman of the Woodwind Department at Juilliard in 1997.  In the summer she teaches intensive, one-week oboe seminars in several locations, the Hidden Valley Music Seminars in Carmel, CA, the Interlochen Center for the Arts, and Le Domaine Forget Academie in Quebec.  She has given master classes at the Curtis and Cleveland Institutes of Music, Interlochen, the Manhattan and Eastman Schools of Music, the New World Symphony, the Royal Academy of Music in London, and the Conservatories of Beijing and Shanghai.  

Ms. Douvas’s CDs include a solo recital and her quartet project “Pleasure is the Law”, issued by Boston Records, and “Oboe Divas” with oboist Emily Pailthorpe, which is available from the Oboe Classics label.  Her three albums of demonstration and written commentary for Music Minus One are used by teachers and students across the country.

Originally from Michigan, Douvas trained at the Cleveland Institute of Music with John Mack and at the Interlochen Arts Academy.  Her previous positions include four years as principal oboe of the Atlanta Symphony under Robert Shaw, several summer seasons as guest principal oboe in the New York Philharmonic, the Grand Teton, Marlboro, Angel Fire, and Bravo!Colorado Festivals.  For many years she has devoted her spare time to figure skating and has passed eleven USFSA tests in free-style and “moves”.