Sad passing: Hollywood’s favourite oboe is gone

John Ellis, who died on Monday of cancer aged 70, was first-call oboe in the movie studio orchestras under such conductor-composers as John Williams and Jerry Goldsmith.

Los Angeles born, he moved to North Carolina and taught at UNCSA for 26 years which continuing to play with the Winston Salem Symphony. But he kept getting called back to play on soundtracks and in the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. John will be widely missed.

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    • It was most certainly NOT John Ellis. He was a very fine person and musician — PLEASE. I was there 1975-78. I don’t think Mr. Ellis arrived until the early-mid-80s, and although I spoke to him on the phone, I never even met him but admired his playing and heard only glowing reports of his character.

  • One of his most famous performances is the extended oboe and tuba duet in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Jim Self is the tuba player.
    “Jack” (as he was known to his friends) was a kind gentleman, and definitely NOT the teacher mentioned in Tindall’s memoir. He was not at the NCSA when she studied there.
    RIP, Jack.

    • You are correct indeed. Mr. Ellis was a person of stellar character, and I long admired his playing, too. I graduated high school NCSA in 1978. I believe John started in 1986 at NCSA, when I was already three years out of college at MSM, and eight years past NCSA. That statement made me incredibly angry — let’s give the good guys the credit they deserve and earn!

  • Point out one anonymous thing. If anything, I’m criticized for using people’s names. I was extremely clear that it was Joseph Robinson at NCSA, which you’d know if you’d bothered to read it. What on earth was anonymous in the book?

    • I know I’m late to this party, but I felt compelled to offer kudos for shunning anonymity in your comments. IMO, the ability to post without identifying oneself online has contributed to the decline of social discourse!

      Belated regrets for Mr. Ellis’ passing. He was one fine player.

    • man up?? what a mentality. I read the book, but it was ten years ago, and i recalled the oboe teacher going unnamed. I already acknowledged above that I had misidentified the subject of this thread.

      • I just searched the manuscript. Joe Robinson’s name appears 137 times, 53 of them in the chapter regarding NCSA. 🙂 Have a nice day.

  • !! Blair Tindall! This is a memorial announcement.
    This is not the place to clarify who boned you and this certainly is not a forum to discuss who sexually assaulted who. That is for the authorities to deal with.

  • I new John Ellis nice guy and a Amazing oboe player Hey Sound was so clear it was perfect I thought for Movie soundtracks RIP

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