Max Blair joined the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra as associate principal oboe in 2016. He has performed as guest principal oboe with the Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco, Baltimore, and Detroit Symphonies, and the Buffalo Philharmonic. For two seasons, he also served as principal oboe of the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra in New York City. He spent previous summers performing at the Marlboro, Verbier, and Aspen music festivals. In 2019, Max was the only woodwind player from the United States selected to compete in the Tchaikovsky Competition, held once every four years in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
Max received his master’s and bachelor’s degrees from The Juilliard School as a student of Elaine Douvas and Nathan Hughes, respectively. He went on to spend two seasons as a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami Beach, where he worked closely with conductor Michael Tilson Thomas.
Also a passionate teacher, Max is a faculty member of Duquesne University and maintains a private studio. He has been a guest teacher for the Juilliard Summer Winds program, and has given master classes across the country.
Born and raised in Portland, Oregon, Max began playing the oboe at age 14. Prior to Juilliard, he studied with Oregon Symphony members Karen Wagner and Marty Hebert. In his free time, he plays the strategy game Go, is a member of an adult ice hockey league, and spends time with his Siberian husky, Artemis.