Stephen Hammer enjoys an eclectic musical life playing and teaching oboes and recorders of all periods. Originally from Rochester, NY, he attended Oberlin College; his principal teachers were Robert Sprenkle, James Caldwell, and Fernand Gillet.
He has been principal oboist for Musica Angelica, the American Bach Soloists, Handel and Haydn, the Bach Ensemble, Concert Royal, Boston Early Music Festival, New York Collegium, and the Clarion Music Society, and principal recorder for the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Artistic director of Blue Hill Bach in Maine and a regular participant at the Corona del Mar and Aston Magna festivals, he has been a featured soloist with Great Performers at Lincoln Center and at the Mostly Mozart, Tanglewood, Ravinia, Bruges, Regensburg, City of London, and BBC Proms festivals. His more than two hundred recordings include Vivaldi oboe concerti, Handel concerti grossi, Bach cantatas, Mozart’s oboe quartet and complete Harmoniemusik on Decca l’Oiseau-lyre, the complete Bach oboe concerti on Pro Arte, and other solo, chamber, and orchestral works on these labels and EMI, CBS Masterworks, Dorian, Naxos, Smithsonian, Deutsche Grammophon, and Sony Classic. He was also a co-founder and artistic director of the New York Collegium and served as artistic consultant and personnel manager for projects with the Mark Morris Dance Group and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.
Stephen Hammer served on the faculties of Bard College, Longy School of Music, Indiana University, Boston University, the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute and the Aston Magna and Brixen (Italy) “Musik und Kirche” academies, and has given lectures, recitals and masterclasses at many distinguished musical institutions, including the New England Conservatory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brandeis University, Bard College Conservatory of Music, Yale University, Cornell University, The Juilliard School, New York University, Peabody Conservatory, Eastman School of Music, Rutgers University, University of North Texas, University of Houston, San Francisco Conservatory, University of California Los Angeles, University of Southern California, Wake Forest College, Cleveland Institute of Music, Case-Western Reserve University, the International Double Reed Society, Tafelmusik (Toronto), the Royal College of Music (London), and the Barbirolli Oboe Festival and Competition.
He collaborates with the instrument-maker Joel Robinson in designing and building replicas of historical oboes, enjoys building web sites, and is an enthusiastic tennis player. After living in the snowy northeastern US for many years he recently relocated to the beautiful San Fernando Valley with his wife Ruth and Jack the wonder dog.