Julia Simpson, raised in Southeast Wisconsin, recently graduated from The Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, Texas in May, 2020. She received a Bachelor of Music degree in Oboe Performance, with an additional minor in Politics, Law, and Social Thought. She was a student of Robert Atherholt, retired principal oboist of the Houston Symphony. This Fall, Ms. Simpson will begin her graduate studies at The Cleveland Institute of Music with Frank Rosenwein, principal oboist of The Cleveland Orchestra.
During high school, Julia studied with Katherine Young-Steele, principal oboist of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Julia was the winner of the Stars of Tomorrow Young Artists Auditions with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and soloed on their Youth Concert Series in 2015. Additionally, she performed Mozart’s Oboe Concerto as a guest soloist with the Wisconsin Philharmonic, and Bach’s Concerto for Oboe and Violin with Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra’s Chamber Orchestra in the Fall of 2016. Ms. Simpson was a longtime member of the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra and held principal positions in both the Senior Symphony and Chamber Orchestra for three years.
Recently, Julia was a 2020 NYSOS participant, and a 2019 fellow at the Sarasota Music Festival in Sarasota, Florida. She has also spent summers at the MPulse Oboe Institute at the University of Michigan, Kinhaven Music School, Interlochen Arts Camp, the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, the Eastern Music Festival, and the Southern Oboe Intensive.
In addition to her studies as an oboist, Ms. Simpson is passionate about the sustainability of arts nonprofit organizations. She recently completed a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and will continue to work towards completing a Masters in Nonprofit Management. In response to the digital shift happening within the classical music world, Julia founded The Content Composer, a social media management service for artists and arts, culture, and humanities organizations.
Outside of rehearsing, Julia enjoys honing her oboe reed making skills, cooking and baking, and following the latest fashion trends. She is also often looking at and sharing pictures of animals and marine wildlife on social media.