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Libby Van Cleve

Guilford, CT   

Described as “expert” by the Washington Post, “dazzling” by the San Francisco Chronicle, and “absolutely exquisite” by Paris Transatlantic, Libby Van Cleve’s most extreme epithet was from the Hartford Courant which dubbed her “the double reed queen of the new music world.” Libby Van Cleve is recognized as one of the foremost interpreters of chamber and contemporary music for the oboe. Her solo playing is featured on the New Albion, CRI, Aerial, and Centrediscs CD labels. Her solo English horn and oboe d’amore performances are featured on the internationally acclaimed CD Dark Waters, music by Ingram Marshall.  Compact discs featuring her chamber playing have been released on the Tzadik, New World, OODisc, Braxton House, What Next?, CRI and Artifacts labels. 

Van Cleve is the author of Oboe Unbound, a book on contemporary oboe techniques published by Rowman and Littlefield Press. She is co-author, along with Vivian Perlis, of the award-winning book/CD publication, Composers’ Voices from Ives to Ellington, Yale University Press. She also created an oboe performance edition of the first five of Bach’s cello suites, available through T.D. Ellis Music Publishing, ASCAP. 

Ms. Van Cleve received her DMA from Yale School of Music, her MFA from California Institute of the Arts, and her BA, Magna cum Laude, from Bowdoin College. She is the oboe teacher at Connecticut College and Wesleyan University, and Director of Yale’s Oral History of American Music project. Her former teachers have included Ronald Roseman, Allan Vogel, and Basil Reeve.

Ms. Van Cleve currently resides in Guilford, Connecticut, with her husband, Jack Vees, and daughter, Nola.

Jo Ha Kyu by Eleanor Hovda

Me and my evil twin play Jo Ha Kyu by Eleanor Hovda

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Prelude to Bach’s Suite #2 for cello, edited for oboe and performed by Libby Van Cleve

I’ve been just about as obsessed by Bach as by contemporary music. One of my projects has been to create oboe performance versions of Bach’s cello suites. Some movements work surprisingly well. This profound prelude always feels a bit like playing a Mahler symphony.

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NewMusicBox Articles

Headlines July 30 2019 | By Libby Van Cleve
A Few Things You Might Not Know About Vivian Perlis (1928-2019)

Most NewMusicBox readers probably already know that Vivian Perlis founded Yale’s Oral History of American Music (OHAM) and was the co-author of Aaron Copland's biography as well as an award-winning...

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