Lora Schaefer joined the Chicago Symphony Orchestra in July 2009, the first musician appointed by the current music director, Riccardo Muti. Ms. Schaefer is currently on the faculty of Roosevelt University in Chicago. In addition to an extensive performing and teaching schedule, Lora serves on the Executive Committee for the International Double Reed Society.
Prior to joining the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Lora was principal oboe of the Kansas City Symphony since 1996. She has also performed with the New York Philharmonic, the San Francisco Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. Ms. Schaefer received a Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music where she studied with the legendary John Mack, the former principal oboe of the Cleveland Orchestra. She pursued graduate studies at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University in Houston, under the tutelage of Robert Atherholt, principal oboe of the Houston Symphony. She left after a year upon winning the principal oboe audition with the Kansas City Symphony. In addition, she played with the Grand Teton Music Festival Orchestra in Jackson, Wyoming from 2000-2009. Lora has participated in many festivals including Tanglewood, the Blossom Music Festival, the National Orchestral Institute.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Schaefer began playing the oboe in third grade. She attended high school at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Among many influential musicians in her career, her early teachers include Florence Meyers, John Dee and Daniel Stolper.
Lora and her husband Will share a passion for rescuing senior basset hounds, volunteering for a local basset rescue, and at any one time, usually have three bassets of their own.