David Weiss and Alpha Hockett Walker, who are husband and wife, began performing together as a duo in 1982 — David on oboe, English horn, and musical saw (occasionally oboe d’amoré and bass oboe) and Alpha on piano and electronic keyboard (occasionally oboe). They have developed a repertoire of great variety, and have performed in Japan, Western Europe, Israel, Alaska, Hawaii, Costa Rica, continental United States, and on several cruises.
David, who recently retired as principal oboe of the Los Angeles Philharmonic (1973-2003), previously held first chair posts with the Metropolitan Opera National Company, the Pittsburgh Symphony, National Symphony, and the West Point Military Academy Band. As an oboe soloist, he has played at New York’s Caramoor Festival, Lincoln Center, Kennedy Center, Hollywood Bowl, Carnegie Recital Hall, and at the Los Angeles Music Center. His first of many solo performances with the Philharmonic was in 1962 when he was fifteen years old. David is a faculty member at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, and has also taught at Vassar College, Duquesne University, and the Sarasota Music Festival. He is in demand as a clinician and judge for such notable events as the American Oboist, New York Oboe International Competition, Gillet Competition, and has given master classes at the Manhattan School of Music and New England Conservatory. 2002 marked his first year on the faculty of the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara, California.
David is also an internationally recognized master of the musical saw. He has been featured on the Tonight Show, Prairie Home Companion, at the Hollywood Bowl, and in television commercials and movies, including the Grammy-winning sound track to "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" His recording "Virtuoso Saw" met with high critical acclaim, and is distributed world-wide. For more information about "Virtuoso Saw" visit cdbaby.com.
Alpha has performed as soloist and chamber player on the oboe and piano with musicians in the United States and Europe, including members of the Cleveland Orchestra, Boston Symphony, San Francisco Symphony, Sequoia String Quartet, Vermeer String Quartet, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. She performed as an oboist and/or keyboardist with the Philharmonic numerous times at the Music Center, and during each of the 1991 through 1997 Hollywood Bowl seasons. She also performed on several foreign and domestic tours under Esa-Pekka Salonen and Kurt Sanderling, and participated in a number of Philharmonic Chamber Music Series concerts. Alpha is the composer of the 1977 Off-Broadway Musical "The Great America Singing Commercial." In great demand as a teacher, she maintains a full schedule at her music studio in West Los Angeles. She is well known for her innovative teaching methods effective for both children and adults, as well as her practical course for piano teachers.