Bennie Cottone


Oboist Bennie Cottone’s association with the Santa Rosa Symphony began around 1982. His first concert was the last one performed at the Santa Rosa High School. He filled in as needed in the oboe section, then became English Horn. He won a position at another orchestra in 1988 and resigned from the Santa Rosa Symphony in 1990. Since then, he has been a tenured member of the Santa Cruz Symphony, the Monterey Symphony and the Berkeley Symphony, and continued to perform as a substitute with the Santa Rosa Symphony, as well as the San Francisco Symphony and, for 20 years, with the San Francisco Ballet Orchestra.

Shortly before the opening of the Green Music Center, Cottone auditioned and won third oboe in the Santa Rosa Symphony. Since then, he has also, on occasion, played English Horn, Oboe’d’Amour and Principal Oboe. Performing in Weill Hall is a major highlight of his life. Cottone’s oboe instructors were Raymond Duste, Marc Lifschey and John DeLancie, and chamber music with Laszlo Varga.

Cottone is a native of San Francisco and lives there with his Dachshund, Gino.

A portrait of Bennie Cottone and his instrument