Billy Traylor, Baroque oboe
Oboist, early music specialist, and musicologist Billy Traylor, a native of Denham Springs, Louisiana, is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. A former student in Indiana University’s prestigious Early Music Institute, he also holds diplomas in oboe and bassoon performance from the University of New Orleans (BA 2001) and Northwestern State University of Louisiana (MM 2004), where he was Adjunct Instructor of Bassoon and Early Music. His master’s document was entitled “Antoine Reicha’s Duo pour piano et basson: An Analysis and Urtext Performing Edition,” in which he presented a formal analysis and new performing edition taken directly from the composer’s original manuscript of this rarely performed duo sonata for piano and bassoon. In addition to doctoral early music studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, Mr. Traylor has also completed doctoral coursework in musicology at the University of North Texas (Denton, TX) and Louisiana State University (Baton Rouge, LA).
Mr. Traylor is the Artistic Director of the Austin Baroque Orchestra and Coro Settecento, a period-instrument orchestra and choir based in Austin, Texas, which he founded in 2011, and in which he plays harpsichord, baroque oboe, and recorder. He also performs regularly as a baroque oboist and recorder player with La Follia Austin Baroque. Previously, in 2003, he founded Collegium Musicum Novæ Aureliæ, at the time Louisiana’s only actively performing orchestral ensemble for seventeenth- and eighteenth-century music, based in New Orleans. He studied historical oboes with the late Washington McClain (Indiana University), and has studied modern oboe with James Ryon (University of North Texas, formerly of Louisiana State University) and Tony Smith (Northwestern State University, emeritus), and harpsichord and fortepiano with Elisabeth Wright (Indiana University). He has performed with both modern- and period-instrument chamber ensembles and orchestras in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Indiana.
His primary research interests as a musicologist include the history and development of the oboe and its repertoire, the music of colonial New Orleans and Mexico, music at the courts of Louis XIV and Frederick the Great, the music and lives of Louis Moreau Gottschalk and Antoine Reicha, and the traditional musics of Greece and the Aegean islands. He is currently completing a modern performing edition of François Chauvon’s Les Charmes de l’Harmonie, a long-ignored pastorale héroïque. He has also done extensive work with the Manuscrit des Ursulines, the only extant music manuscript from 18th-century New Orleans, and has edited several other forgotten chamber and orchestral works from the 18th century.