Russel Walder

Waiheke Island


Russel Walder’s range of scores, sounds, and film music covers the musical landscape with a unique originality. As a musician and oboist his sound has been described as mesmerising, transforming, haunting, profound, and astonishingly beautiful. 

Walder has gained international distinction for his virtuosity, musicianship and profound interpretation of improvised musical forms. The oboe is little known outside of classical music and rarely played to its full potential: in the hands of Walder it has become recognised for its haunting spiritual sound and expressive range.

His brilliant performance combines breathtaking virtuosity with emotional depth and pure melody that has resulted in performing around the world in many of the great Halls and Stages. Walder’s ability to create memorable music that stays with the listener long after listening, has resulted in a Grammy nomination, multi platinum sales & global fans.

Walder has performed with such diverse groups as Afro-Celt Sound System, Urban Tap from New York, and shared the evening with such world talents as Real World recording artist Yungchen Lhamo from Tibet.

Originally from Chicago, Walder started playing oboe at 10 years old and quickly excelled, touring Europe at 16 with the United States Youth Symphony. Walder went on to study at Boston Conservatory and California Institute of The Arts, ultimately getting his first record deal at 19 with Windham Hill Records.

Walder’s music for film is breathtaking and has resulted in best documentary nominations as well as three best producer nominations and an award for Best Instrumental Music video.