Ricardo Castañeda received his Bachelorʼs and Masterʼs degrees in music performance from Northwestern University, where he was a student of Ray Still, former principal oboist of The Chicago Symphony. Mr. Castañeda is a winner of the Northwestern University Concerto Competition and a recipient of the Wade Fetzer award for excellence in performance.
Having made his solo debut with the National Symphony of El Salvador at age fifteen, he has since appeared as a soloist in Latin America, Europe and the United States.
Mr. Castañeda is currently Principal Oboist with the Lake Forest Symphony Orchestra and Chicago Sinfonietta and solo English Horn with The Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra. Mr. Castañeda is also a member of the Chicago Ensemble and Barossa Woodwind Quintet. Previous positions include Principal Oboist with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, Elgin Symphony Orchestra and solo English Horn with the Mexico City Philharmonic.
An active freelance musician, Mr. Castañeda enjoys performing all genres of music. He has played with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra, Grant Park Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Chicago Opera Theater and has been principal oboist for orchestras for The Bolshoi Ballet, American Ballet Theater and Joffrey Ballet as well as numerous Broadway in Chicago shows. In addition to being on the faculty at Northern Illinois University, Mr. Castañeda maintains a teaching studio at home and is the oboe teacher and Program Director for the Symphony session at Birch Creek Music Performance Center in Wisconsin.