Center Stage, November 2016: Lot Demeyer

Published November 1, 2016

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Lot Demeyer is steadily emerging as one of the West Coast’s leading historical oboe players. She regularly joins Los Angeles’ Baroque Orchestra Musica Angelica, Bach Collegium San Diego, and Bach Society Houston, and has also performed with such organizations as Philharmonia Baroque Orchestra and LA Opera. Lot holds a Master of Music Degree from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels and a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Southern California. She currently serves as a Lecturer in Baroque Oboe at the USC Thornton School of Music.

Baroque Oboist Lot Demeyer
Baroque oboist Lot Demeyer

How did you come to the field of early music?

I started studying modern oboe at USC in the Fall of 2005. About a year later, Early Music Director Adam Gilbert asked me to join the university’s Baroque Sinfonia for an upcoming concert. I had never played baroque oboe before, but decided to give it a try and totally fell in love with it. Soon after, I met Debra Nagy who supported my first professional gigs on period instruments: Bach’s Christmas Oratorio, with Debra as section leader in Portland, Oregon, and the same work again a week later with Los Angeles’ Baroque Orchestra Musica Angelica. Truly overwhelming and life-changing experiences! Funny enough, a decade later, after majoring in early music at the Brussels Conservatory (in my home country of Belgium), I am now back where it all started, at USC. I feel lucky and proud to teach baroque oboe at the USC Early Music Department now and direct USC’s blossoming baroque oboe band program.

Tell us about your most memorable concert experience?

One of my most favorite productions ever was a Dido and Aeneas by Purcell played on period instruments with LA Opera back in 2014: the staging, costumes, and singing were stunningly beautiful, the audiences were huge, and the venue was impressive. The show ran for about a month, and it was one of my first times doubling on recorder. Good memories!

Lot Demeyer (left) performing with the USC Thornton Baroque Sinfonia at EMA’s 2016 Young Performers Festival in Berkeley, CA.


You’re listening to music… what’s on your playlist that would surprise us?

There is a lot of rather unknown Baroque music on my playlist. One of my favorites is the quartet “O Haupt voll Blut und Wunden” by Polish composer Janitsch, a recording of Belgian oboist Marcel Ponseele and his ensemble Il Gardellino. I also love the unexpected and breathtaking “encores” on some of Il Gardellino’s CDs: Piazzolla’s Oblivion (also on YouTube!) and Mahler’s “Ich bin den Welt abhanden gekommen” in arrangements for baroque oboe/oboe da caccia and baroque ensemble. Real gems! Although I must admit: knowing Marcel Ponseele, the brilliant oboist and baroque oboe builder, as a wonderful and most humble person, may make me a little biased.

Unexpectedly, you have two hours of free time later today… what will you do?

If I am all on my own, I will probably resort to nerdy things like messing around with reeds and browsing obscure scores. Otherwise: drawing, graphic design, visiting friends, or doing something fun with my sweethearts, Robin and Ella (ages 6 and 4). I can also imagine my husband and me going out and simply enjoying a nice meal together.


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