Stephen Caplan’s personal journey toward understanding breathing and its effect on musical performance began when he moved from Louisiana to attend college in Chicago. There he studied oboe privately with Ray Still, who was Principal Oboe of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and was known for his effortless breath control. Dr. Caplan also took private breathing lessons with the CSO’s Principal Tuba player Arnold Jacobs, a recognized authority on the subject. Afterward, in London, Caplan received tips on breathing from Lady Evelyn Barbirolli, a prestigious oboe soloist and author of the three volume Oboist’s Companion. But it wasn’t until many years later, when he studied with the creator of Body Mapping, Barbara Conable, that he began to fully understand breathing. “Body Mapping demystified breathing, and made every aspect of oboe playing easier for me,” says Dr. Caplan.
Oboemotions: What Every Oboe Player Needs to Know About the Body, Dr. Caplan’s book applying Body Mapping to oboe playing, is published by GIA Publications and is also available in a Japanese translation. It has been praised internationally as “indispensable reading,” “a definitive manual,” and “heartily recommended.” Dr. Caplan has also written articles published in The Double Reed, Reeding Matter, and Rohrblatt. He has given workshops and masterclasses for the International Double Reed Society and at music schools throughout the world.
Dr. Caplan received a Master’s degree and Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Oboe Performance from the University of Michigan, after completing his Bachelor of Music at Northwestern University. He is an active performer of solo, chamber and orchestral music, and is a Buffet Group USA Performing Artist. He can be heard on numerous recordings, including an acclaimed solo recording, A Tree in Your Ear, and several recordings with the wind quintet Sierra Winds. He currently serves as Professor of Oboe at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, and as Principal Oboe of the Las Vegas Philharmonic. More information can be found at: www.oboemotions.com