The Santa Fe Symphony’s Principal Oboist, Elaine Heltman, hails from Saddle Brook, New Jersey, and graduated from Ithaca College School of Music. While leading a high school marching band in New Jersey, she also studied with Joseph Robinson, former Principal Oboe of the New York Philharmonic.

In 1981, Heltman’s career as a professional oboist was ignited when she was appointed to the Filarmónica de Caracas, Venezuela. Greg Heltman joined her there on Valentine’s Day, 1981; they married in 1988 and have been inseparable ever since.

In 1982, the Heltmans moved to Israel to perform and teach. Elaine performed regularly with the Jerusalem Radio Symphony and Israel Chamber Orchestra, and taught oboe at the Beersheva Conservatory and at Kibbutz Ein Charod. In 1983 they moved to New Mexico with dreams of starting their own orchestra, a dream realized in 1984. With the help of some fellow musicians, they created the unique orchestral model that is the Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra.

In the more than 30 years since, Elaine has performed as Principal Oboe of The Santa Fe Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, with the Musica Cammerata Ensemble and in many other chamber ensembles. She played in Albuquerque for many years with the New Mexico Woodwind Quintet and was Principal Oboe with the Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque.

Elaine is the adjunct oboe teacher at the New Mexico School for the Arts and works by day as a Project Manager at the State Land Office in the Office of General Counsel. In addition to teaching online lessons, lately she’s been sewing masks for Operation Bandana New Mexico and tending a large backyard vegetable and flower garden.