Oboist, Cor Anglais &
Oboe d'Amore Player

Stella Dickinson





Stella Jean Dickinson MSc ARAM LRAM FRSA trained at the Royal Academy of Music, as a post-graduate at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and at King’s College London. While at the RAM, she won the Harold Craxton Chamber Music Prize and many other awards. Her experience encompasses the full range of styles; as a renowned teacher she has mentored many oboists at various stages in their careers.


UK National Daily: The Independent:

Love’s Lore Stella Dickinson, Capital Virtuosi. Sixteen British folksongs are given virtuoso treatment by the string septet Capital Virtuosi, rounded off to mesmerising effect by Stella Dickinson’s plaintive oboe and cor anglais. Paul Hart’s arrangements are economical and fastidious, and there’s a wonderful glowing nostalgia throughout.  Early one Morning, Scarborough Fair, Blow the Wind Southerly and others are translucently captured and immaculately played.  (****  rating)

Double Reed News:

This is a successful ‘crossover’ between folk music and the art music which is more usually associated with the oboe … although these tracks are lightly scored, Stella Dickinson’s rich, dark tone fills them admirably. This is a very pleasant disc, recommended for relaxed atmospheric listening.

Hi-Fi News:

This is music-making for all occasions, centred around Stella’s wonderful range of timbres and instrumental technique. …a peach of a disc, and John Boyden’s marvellous recording makes it an immediate candidate for airplay on Classic FM  and BBC Radio 3. Bill Newman

Review By Robert J. Krause from ‘The Double Reed’ Vol. 30 No 4.  Spring 2008 : The International Double Reed Society www.idrs.com

Love’s Lore 16 Folk Melodies for Oboe and Strings.

Stella Dickinson and Capital Virtuosi.

Loves’ Lore gives the listener over an hour of beautifully arranged and beautifully performed contemporary settings of 16 Folksongs (from the British Isles). Paul Hart’s arrangements are imaginative, well crafted and so very charming. They are lightly scored but that makes the lovely playing of Stella Dickinson so much more prominent. She has a wonderfully versatile style that is a sensitive, warm, plaintive and yet very forward. The range of timbres that she is capable of presenting is almost mesmerising at times. This CD is just wonderful for everyone. It will be a very nice addition to the oboists library, but I really believe that anyone would be attracted to the disc. Listening to it is such a pleasant experience. Nice music and playing. I highly recommend it.

CD WHL 2118 White line label with ASV Sanctuary Classics. Please note that Sanctuary Records are now part of the Universal Music Group.

Love’s Lore can be purchased from Les Aldrich music shop www.lesaldrich.com

Email music@lesaldrich.co.uk or direct via Stella Dickinson using the email link at the top of the page.

Forthcoming engagements

International Double Reed Society ( IDRS) Conference http://www.idrs2009.org/general-information Venue: Birmingham Conservatoire United Kingdom.
Stella Dickinson’s Oboe Workshop for Worried, Wobbly or Wild Oboists. Friday July 24th.  2009
An opportunity to sort out playing problems that  you don’t understand, which are holding you back or letting you down.
This workshop is a mixed abilities ‘clinic’ for players of any standard from intermediate to post-graduate. There will be limited places for each session and we may also work as a group in sharing ideas. Sign up on the day. Each workshop will be of ninety minutes duration and will be supportive, enjoyable, developmental and non-judgemental. It will not be open to other delegates to enter once we start work.

Her oboes are made by Roland and Christophe Dupin.

Biography 2007

Stella began her musical career in the 1970s. Having studied at the Royal Academy of music she was invited to be a founder member of the contemporary music ensemble: ‘Lontano’.  As such she was a key player in both commissioning and performing radical new music that reflected the social, cultural and political issues of the time. Stella then moved on to enjoy herself as one of the few successful female session musicians of the 1980’s. As technology took over from live music in the recording scene, Stella focused on a serious musical career playing regularly with the BBC Symphony Orchestra including their Promenade Concerts; frequent runs as well as short notice appearances with the Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, and touring as the Principal Oboist with the renowned Rambert Dance Company. Such invaluable experience led her to continue to explore and extend her musical career but Stella was confronted by a life threatening health crisis. Having overcome this, three years later she and her creative partner Paul Hart collaborated to produce a highly acclaimed original CD of oboe music based on the north-country folksongs of Stella’s home culture. Having studied in depth and mastered the art of authentic orchestral style from the turn of the 20th century, Stella was simultaneously invited to join the newly formed New Queen’s Hall Orchestra. In 1993 she was awarded scholarships by the City Fathers to train as a music therapist at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. This led to astronomical developments leading to her appointment as Head of Arts Therapies at one of the UK’s three National High Secure Hospitals. Since then Stella has led clinical Arts Therapies service development in this field thereby enhancing the profile of the hospital as a site of international clinical excellence. 

Stella from her earliest days learnt to live life with a non-discriminatory philosophy of valuing difference. Her recent work has been recognised in the NHS as notable for her in-depth understanding and focus on the cultural needs of ethnic and other minority groups. Stella has presented developments in music therapy at national and international conferences on three continents. Having gained an MSc in mental health studies and then accreditation as a cognitive analytic practitioner at Guys and St Thomas’s Hospital medical school, she developed a major practice-based doctoral research project through King’s College London and the Institute of Psychiatry. This is a long term NHS based research project. Stella is also developing a private psychotherapy practice utilising arts psychotherapy approaches with an emphasis on psychological, holistic and healing aspects of treatment to help a whole range of common problems that are often encountered by performers in all branches of the arts.



Stella's teaching approach is based on years of experience and by learning from the great professors who taught her: Michael Winfield, Janet Craxton, Michael Dobson, John Barnett and Richard Simpson.She also played in Master Classes for Neil Black, Heinz Holliger and Maurice Bourgue.

From such an all encompasssing learning process Stella is able to offer top quality advice based on her experience as a soloist, as an orchestral player and from chamber music perspectives.

Time is spent to ensure that you develop strong and solid foundations of technique so that your oboe playing can become enjoyable and rewarding.

Stella provides customised, hand made reeds exclusively for her pupils, these are not retailed through music shops.She guides pupils to gradually learn how to become independent reed makers and well rounded musicians.

She ensures that effective practice skills are developed and she tailors each lesson according to the needs of the individual so that it is a rich and inspiring experience.

Stella has taught pupils as young as nine years; music scholars; preparation for music college; under graduate and post graduate students; and mature students who want to refresh their playing techniques.

Contact Stella by email with your questions and for further details.

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