Althea Talbot-Howard
Oboe, Oboe d'Amore & Cor Anglais Soloist

Legal Notification of Change of Name

On 22nd October 2008, Althea changed her surname legally from 'Ifeka' to 'Talbot-Howard', dropping her African patronymic in favour of her maternal English family names and thereby solving the ongoing problem of pronunciation difficulties in her professional career.

Althea has taken her family name, Howard - the last of the middle names on her birth certificate - and added to it the surname of her great-great-great-grandfather, Major Henry Charles Fitzroy Talbot (d.1901). She decided to hyphenate her surname in order to avoid confusion: i.e. to distinguish herself from other Howards in the music profession, and other individuals called Althea Howard. All her other names remain the same.

NEW!! - YouTube Video Clips

In May 2009, Althea and Dominic gave a concert at West Road Concert Hall in Cambridge for the New Europe Society, entitled Paris 1811-2006. The dress rehearsal was videoed by Power Visual, and clips of six of the pieces were later posted on YouTube. They contain music for oboe, oboe d'amore and cor anglais and piano. You can watch the videos here.

Africans and Classical Music 1: Recent Commission with World Premiere in USA

In February 2009 Althea travelled to St. Louis, Missouri, to perform as a guest artist at the Festival of African and African-American music. She gave two recitals, one of which was at Powell Symphony Hall. The music included works for oboe and piano by William Grant Still and the world premiere of The Rooster's Dance by Fred Onovwerosuoke, part of a set of six pieces written for her in 2008. The complete work is entitled Six Sketches for Oboes and Piano, is based on Vice-President Al Gore's book Earth in Balance, and features the cor anglais and oboe d'amore as well as the oboe. She was accompanied by the American pianist, William Chapman Nyaho.

Africans and Classical Music 2: Article in The Observer

In 2008 Althea was interviewed by journalists from the national newspaper, The Observer, for an article they were writing about the presence of musicians of African descent in British orchestras. Read the article here.

Royal Performances

In March 2007, Althea played Principal Oboe with the Freedom 200 Chamber Orchestra at the Westminster Abbey service to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Parliamentary abolition of slavery. Present were Her Majesty the Queen, HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, the Prime Minister (Tony Blair) and members of the Cabinet. The Orchestra performed symphonies by the eighteenth-century French composer Joseph Bourgoyne - the Chevalier de St. Georges - and was directed by double-bassist Chi-chi Nwanoku. The service was broadcast live on BBC1.

In the summer of 2002, Althea played Principal Oboe at two events connected with Her Majesty the Queen's Golden Jubilee Celebrations. Firstly she performed for Her Majesty the Queen and HRH the Duke of Edinburgh during their Royal Progress in east London in May. The second performance was a concert at the Theatre Royal, Stratford, in the presence of TRH the Earl and Countess of Wessex, in June.

In July 2002, Althea performed in Radio 3's In Tune, broadcast live from the ballroom of Buckingham Palace. The broadcast, which is believed also to have been the first public concert given in the ballroom since the palace was built, celebrated the restoration of the organ after many years of disuse, and featured Thomas Trotter in one of Handel's organ concertos, alongside other works for orchestra by Handel and his fellow-composers. The announcer was Sean Rafferty.