Philip West |

Philip West

Eben Harrell

Philip West, a longtime artist-faculty member at the Aspen Music Festival and School and renowned oboe and English horn soloist, died June 26. West, of Newburgh, N.Y., had been an artist-faculty member at the festival and school since 1972, where he taught oboe. He also played oboe and English horn with the Aspen Festival Orchestra and Aspen Chamber Symphony.At a concert earlier this summer, festival trumpet player Lou Ranger remembered West as a man who embraced the beauty of life and his instrument with equal mastery.”Phil was not only passionate about music-making but about education, politics, art, humor; in short, all the things that contribute to the best in the human experience,” Ranger said. “It was a joy and an education to collaborate with Phil and a privilege to be his friend.”West was professor emeritus of chamber music at the Eastman School of Music. He prepared many arrangements of solo and chamber music, including those for the final recordings of his late wife, Jan DeGaetani, featuring songs of Mahler and Berlioz. Earlier in his career he was a leading freelance performer in New York and a member of the Contemporary Chamber Ensemble, the Boehm Quintet, the Festival Winds, and the New York Pro Musica under Noah Greenberg. He performed often with the New York Philharmonic, Symphony of the Air, the Mostly Mozart Festival, and orchestras of the New York City Ballet and Opera.West is survived by his wife, Carole Cowan, also a longtime member of the artist-faculty of the Aspen Music Festival and School; his daughter and son-in-law, Francesca and Nicholas Watson; son C. Mark DeGaetani; and granddaughter Danica Watson.Contributions in his honor may be made to the Philip West Annual Scholarship Fund at the Aspen Music Festival and School, 2 Music School Road, Aspen, 81611.Eben Harrell’s e-mail address is

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