In demand as a performer on historical oboes, Margaret Owens appears with many of North America’s period-instrument ensembles, including American Bach Soloists, Apollo’s Fire, Ars Lyrica, the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado, Mercury Baroque, North Carolina Baroque Orchestra, Tafelmusik, and Tempesta di Mare. Recent concerts include solo appearances with Arcanum, Berkshire Bach, Chatham Baroque, Four Nations, REBEL Baroque Ensemble, and the Sebastian Chamber Players. Her recent performance with REBEL of Bach’s Concerto in A major for oboe d’amore was hailed as “a beautiful interpretation” for its “technical precision and overall sensitivity” by Tom Marks of KCMetropolis.org (Kansas City’s Online Journal of the Arts). At home in the Washington, D.C. area, Owens plays with Opera Lafayette, the Folger Consort, the National Cathedral Baroque Orchestra, the Washington Bach Consort, the Friends of Fasch, and Modern Musick. On the other end of the performance practice spectrum, she enjoys playing modern and contemporary chamber music for woodwinds, and has premiered a number of new works featuring oboe and English horn. She has recorded for the Naxos, Koch International Classics, and Eclectra labels.
Hailing from eastern North Carolina, Owens earned degrees in oboe performance at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the Manhattan School of Music, in the studios of James Prodan and Joseph Robinson. In the studio of Ronald Roseman, she earned the Doctor of Musical Arts degree at the City University of New York, where she began her work on the oboe band tradition at the courts and chateaux of Louis XIV. Subsequently, she has lectured on and led recreations of dramatic masquerades by the Philidor family of wind players. Her study of baroque oboe with Randall Cook and Washington McClain began at the Amherst Early Music Festival.