Barbara Hodgkinson was born in suburban Chicago in 1955. She began studying oboe at age 10 and competed in annual state wide music competitions during middle and high school. Math and music were always her favorite academic subjects. She attended Stanford University on full scholarship from 1973 to 1977. There Barbara majored in music and took private oboe instruction from Ray Duste, of the San Francisco Symphony. Another high point of her Stanford music education was studying with John Chowning, the inventor of FM synthesis and founder of CCRMA, the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. Inspired by computer music technology, she took multiple electrical engineering and computer language courses to develop her programming skills. Barbara received her Bachelor’s Degree in Music in 1977.
Immediately after graduation she embarked on a 36 year career in information technology. Initially she was an engineer, specializing in infrastructure design and performance. She then progressed into management and eventually held executive positions at several companies including Bank of America, Charles Schwab, JP Morgan, Yahoo, and Nationwide Insurance.
Since retirement, Barbara has been working to improve her neglected oboe skills. She studies chamber music performance at the Crowden School in Berkeley and performs with the Solano Symphony, the Oakland Community Orchestra, The Temple Hill Symphony, the Contra Costa Chamber Orchestra, and the Prometheus Symphony. Barbara is proud to serve as Board President of the California Symphony, supporting the Symphony’s mission to present the music of American composers, feature performances by world class artists, and provide education outreach programs for the children and adults of our community.
Barbara’s leisure activities include European travel and cooking large feasts for family and friends!