Meet the Musician: Donald Baker


There’s no doubt that music, and the oboe, are at the top of the list of things that Don Baker loves. After all, he has held the position of Principal Oboe of the DSO since 1973, which translates to many thousands of concerts and more than 30 solo performances. He has played and taught at the Aspen Festival, the Santa Fe Opera, the Grand Teton Music Festival and the National Music Camp at Interlochen. Baker is also active in the Detroit area as a soloist and chamber musician, appearing with the Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings and on a wide range of recordings, both with the DSO and many other artists and ensembles. He was twice the recipient of a Motor City Music Award for Outstanding Classical Instrumentalist and Best Chamber Ensemble.

However, Baker has other loves as well. A long time model train enthusiast, he has amassed a remarkable collection over the years, with trains dating back to 1948, and even has an extensive number from the large and coveted New York

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Central Railroad line.

In addition, Baker is a big time animal lover. He and his wife Sally share their Detroit home with two dogs and have rescued many cats over the years, often taking them in until finding them new homes. Chez Baker is something of a magnet for homeless city cats, who seem to know they’ll find a meal, affection and a warm place to sleep there. Or maybe they just like the sound of the oboe coming from Baker’s practice room.

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2 Responses to “Meet the Musician: Donald Baker”

  1. avatar Carole Enwright on April 7th, 2010 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Don,
    I went To Oberlin College with you and enjoy watching you at the concerts I attend althought I miss seeing Erv Monroe. I always enjoy your solos.

  2. I love hearing Donald play with the DSO! Thank you.
    When I was in junior and senior high school I studied oboe with the late Arno Mariotti and later his son David. Do you know if David is still living in Royal Oak or how I might contact him? Thanks.

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