Jillian Kouzel holds a position as 3rd Oboe/English Horn with the Lima Symphony Orchestra in Lima, Ohio and serves as the Adjunct Professor of Oboe at Saginaw Valley State University in Saginaw, Michigan. Residing in Ann Arbor, Michigan as a freelance musician with a private teaching studio, Jillian actively professionally performs with the Michigan Philharmonic, Southwest Symphony Orchestra, Dearborn Symphony, Adrian Symphony, Ballet Theatre of Toledo, and the University of Michigan Theatre Department Pit Orchestra.
Jillian won the principal oboe position with the prestigious New York String Orchestra Seminar in both December 2018 and 2019. She has performed four sold-out concerts at Carnegie Hall, one of which included playing the famous oboe solo in Brahms Violin Concerto accompanied by renowned violinist Joshua Bell, under the direction of Jaime Laredo. Additionally, Jillian has auditioned and participated in numerous summer music festivals including: The National Repertory Orchestra (2020), Sarasota Chamber Music Festival (2019), Roundtop Festival Institute (2018), Talis Festival and Academy in Saas-Fe, Switzerland (2018), Yale School of Music Chamber Festival at Norfolk (2017), and Eastern Music Festival (2016).
Jillian is an adjunct professor at Saginaw Valley State University, where she teaches Applied Oboe Lessons along with a Woodwind Methods course covering flute, oboe, clarinet, saxophone, and bassoon to twenty-five music education undergraduate majors. She is currently pursuing a Doctor of Musical Arts (DMA) degree from the University of Michigan. Jillian most recently completed a double Master’s degree in both Music Performance and Chamber Music at the University of Michigan, where she was a recipient of the coveted Earl V. Moore Award for outstanding achievement in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, along with Highest Honors Distinction with a 4.0 GPA. She is a Graduate Student Instructor, and studies under the direction of Nancy Ambrose King. While at Michigan, Jillian competed in the final round of the annual Concerto Competition- graduate division, performing the Strauss Concerto. She also soloed in the University’s annual Collage Concert, where she performed Gilles Silvestrini Etude no. 3: Boulevard des Capucines for 3,000+ concert attendees. Additionally, she holds a Bachelor’s degree in Oboe Performance from the University of Texas at Austin Butler School of Music. While at UT, Jillian studied under Rebecca Henderson and Andrew Parker and was a recipient of both the College of Fine Arts Student Excellence Scholarship and the Jack and Ginger Blanton Endowed Presidential Scholarship.
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Jillian always had a passion for performance and teaching. Additionally, as a former pre-med student, Jillian has always had an interest in the health field. In 2017, she professionally recorded biomedical music for patients with extreme neurological conditions including Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, etc. as part of the Movement Tracks Project with the Austin-based Center for Music Therapy. Jillian aspires to pursue a lasting career as a chamber music oboist, orchestral musician, and professor of music.