Bhavani Kotha’s debut album, Bhavani’s Oboe, was released earlier this year, and she has wasted no time promoting it while maintaining her busy performing schedule. Like many SYSO alumni, Kotha’s passion and commitment to music is second nature.
After graduating from SYSO in 2015, Kotha obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington, and later her Master’s degree from USC Thornton School of Music. Though she’s spent much of her adult life immersed in her craft, key musical experiences for Kotha took place in downtown Seattle.
“Getting to perform orchestral masterpieces like Scheherazade, Dvořák
8, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, and The Rite of Spring at Benaroya Hall was an incredible opportunity! These pieces are still some of my favorites.”
Kotha has performed with several ensembles, including The Sound Ensemble, Oregon Symphony, Boise Philharmonic, Boise Baroque Orchestra, and the Kingston Symphony, as well as many music festivals. Though the development of musical passion takes course over one’s lifetime, having opportunities to study music at advanced levels while growing up positively impacted Kotha’s professional trajectory.
“The training and exposure to classical music through [SYSO] provided me with the foundation and skills to become a professional oboist,” Kotha said. “I am grateful for many wonderful years in SYSO, as well as summers at MITC (now SYSO Summer Music) and Marrowstone.”
SYSO encourages students like Kotha by offering opportunities to grow through shared musical experiences, and by emphasizing commitment and collaboration as values important to one’s success.
“The SYSO conductors and coaches taught me to work hard to do my part, and also to work as a team to make the music come to life.” Kotha credits another influential SYSO figure for her work ethic: “A special shout-out to Janice, who instilled a sense of discipline and arriving on time (early)!”
And though she’s achieved much in her own right, Kotha pays it forward by composing etudes for oboists honing their craft, and aspiring to create new performance opportunities for Puget Sound-area musicians. Kotha readily shares a vision for classical music in the future: available to more people, with ensembles that reflect the uniqueness and diversity of our communities.
Bhavani’s Oboe is available through Crystal Records Catalog, Apple Music, and iTunes, and features works by Benjamin Britten, Antonio Pasculli, Madeleine Dring, and more.