The son of an important opera conductor and one of five highly talented siblings, Leon Goossens (1897–1988) was the most important oboist of his generation. After training at the Royal College of Music (RCM) from 1911–1914, he became the principal oboist of the Queen’s Hall Orchestra at just 17.

He played in several other major orchestras during his career, including the orchestra of Covent Garden and the London Philharmonic Orchestra; and was a professor of oboe at the RCM and the Royal Academy of Music until the late 1930s. As an internationally acclaimed solo performer he performed widely and had many works written for him, particularly by British composers including Bax, Britten, Bliss, Vaughan Williams and Elgar.


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