Interlochen Center for the Arts mourns the passing of Daniel Stolper

  • Daniel Stolper (second to the left) with Metropolitan Opera principal oboist Elaine Douvas (far left) and the Interlochen Arts Academy oboe studio at the dedication of his Oboe Studio at the Music Center. (May 2019)

  • Stolper (right) with oboist Erik Nielsen. (1994)

  • L to R: Arts Academy student Tonya Franklin (IAA 85-86, AS 84), famed oboist Lady Evelyn Barbirolli, and Stolper. (1985-86)

  • Stolper (center) working with Arts Academy students during the 1992-93 school year.

  • Stolper (back row, second to the left) with students at Interlochen Arts Camp in 1978.

Interlochen Center for the Arts is sad to announce that longtime Arts Camp and Arts Academy Oboe Instructor Daniel Stolper (IAC Fac 70-14, 16, IAA Fac 72-17) passed away on June 8, 2020. He was 85.

Stolper first arrived at Interlochen Arts Camp as an instructor of oboe in the summer of 1970 and joined the Arts Academy faculty in 1972. He retired in 2017 after more than 45 years of service to the institution.

“The music world lost a giant today. Dan Stolper’s influence on generations of musicians through his work at Interlochen, Michigan State University, and the International Double Reed Society is truly inspirational,” said Interlochen Instructor of Bassoon Eric Stomberg. “His care for each and every student, interest in listening and learning throughout his career, and his true artistry on stage place him in a league of his own.”

At the close of his final year at Interlochen Arts Academy, then Interlochen Center for the Arts President Jeffrey Kimpton awarded him the President’s Distinguished Service Award, an honor given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions that have enriched and strengthened the mission and values of Interlochen Center for the Arts. The oboe teaching studio in Interlochen’s new Music Center, funded by Stolper's former students under the leadership of Metropolitan Opera Principal Oboist Elaine Douvas (AS 66, IAC/NMC 67-69, IAA 67-70), is also named in his honor.

“As a great musician and teacher, Dan possessed that rare wisdom to say not only the thing that needed to be said, but to say it in just the right way,” Interlochen Instructor of Oboe Dane Philipsen said. “To his students and colleagues, he gave warm support and could deliver critique without harm. Even the rich resonance of his voice and the gently poised cadence of his words were music and exemplified his dignity.”

Stolper’s greatest legacy is his students. During his time as a pedagogue at Interlochen, Stolper taught hundreds of students, many of whom have gone on to distinguished careers in music. His former students include William Welter and Lora Schaefer of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra; Keisuke Wakao of the Boston Symphony; David Matthews of the Dallas Symphony; Robert Stephenson of the Utah Symphony; Nicholas Stovall and Kathryn Wilson of the National Symphony; and Scott Bell of the Pittsburgh Symphony, among others.

In addition to his role at Interlochen, Stolper was professor emeritus of oboe at Michigan State University and maintained an active career as a performer. He held principal positions with the San Antonio Symphony, New Orleans Philharmonic, and Lansing Symphony. He studied under Robert Louis Sprenkle at Eastman School of Music with additional studies with John Mack and Marcel Tabuteau. Also a gifted writer, Stolper served for many years as the oboe editor of The Double Reed.

Stomberg said, “ His work is known around the globe and his legacy will live on through his students and all who had the honor of knowing this humble and beautiful soul.”

Information regarding funeral service arrangements are forthcoming.