Ari Cohen Mann (they/them) brings brightness and optimism through their popular Instagram and YouTube channel. Ari has been hailed as the "Jonathan Van Ness of the oboe" (CBC Music) and proudly projects their queer identity as a role model for LGBTQ youth. Ari is a frequent recitalist, new music proponent, orchestral musician, and teacher based in Toronto. Ari was recently named on CBC’s 30 Hot Canadian Classical Musicians under 30. Ari is a Howarth Artist and plays on a Howarth LXV-VT oboe.
Inspired by the variety of sounds and colours of the oboe, Ari is passionate about advancing the instrument as a solo voice in recitals and chamber music. Ari's solo debut at Carnegie Hall was with harpist Noël Wan, as featured artists in the Yale in New York series. As a winner of the Yale Chamber Music Competition, Ari performed the monumental Prokofiev Quintet on the subscription Oneppo Chamber Music Series. At the Orford Festival, they shared the stage with Alex Klein, James Campbell, and Stéphane Lévesque. At the Brott Music Festival, Ari was a featured soloist for J.S. Bach’s Brandenburg Concerti Nos. 1 & 2.
Ari was a prizewinner at the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal Manulife Competition, and the winner of the Yamaha Young Performing Artists Competition and Ben Steinberg Musical Legacy Award. They were a semi-finalist in the Houston Symphony Ima Hogg Competition.
A champion of new music and lesser-known solo music for the oboe and English horn, Ari has been fortunate to premiere pieces by Jocelyn Morlock, Nicky Sohn, Matthew Emery, and Liliya Ugay. Ari has fostered a partnership with the Yarilo Contemporary Music Society in Vancouver, BC as both a featured recitalist and ensemble member for Steve Reich’s Tehillim. Ari has served as guest principal oboe with the Esprit Orchestra.
Feeling equally at home within the orchestra, Ari cherishes performing with ensembles in Canada and abroad. In Ontario, Ari has appeared with the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra, Hamilton Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Symphony Orchestras of Toronto, Kingston, Kitchener-Waterloo, Niagara, and Windsor. Their festival appearances include The National Repertory Orchestra (Breckenridge, Colorado), L’Orchestre de la Francophonie, The National Academy Orchestra of Canada, and The National Youth Orchestra of Canada where they received the Award of Excellence. Outside of North America, they have toured to India, China, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, and Portugal.
Ari is a recent addition to the Faculty of Music at Wilfrid Laurier University as Oboe Instructor. Ari has previously held positions as an Oboe Instructor at Yale College and as a Teaching Artist at the Yale Music in Schools Initiative. They proudly serve as a Mentor for the National Academy Orchestra of Canada. Ari is a frequent clinician at arts high schools in the Greater Toronto Area. For information about online oboe lessons including free trial lessons for prospective Laurier students, click here.
Ari is a graduate of the prestigious Artist Diploma program at the Yale School of Music. They completed their Master of Music at Mannes School of Music and their Bachelor of Music at the University of British Columbia where they were awarded the UBC Medal in Music. Ari’s teachers and mentors include Sarah Jeffrey, Stephen Taylor, Sherry Sylar, and Beth Orson.
Now offering online oboe lessons via Zoom!
My philosophy in teaching is to foster a great love of music and to set the highest standards possible for students. Studying music is a powerful way to connect with one of the great artistic disciplines and provides an opportunity to grow intellectually and spiritually.
My former students have succeeded in their competitions, festivals, auditions, and exams because of a commitment to excellence and a solid comprehension of efforts invested and practical application in performance.
I put a lot of emphasis on a foundation-based approach and make sure that students build requisite technique to excel in their performances. I tailor lessons to each student’s needs in order to best guide them in their playing career. I also offer reed-making lessons for more advanced students.
If you're a new student, please fill out this form prior to our meeting.
“I studied with Ari for about 2 years and it was really a cornerstone in my journey as a musician. Ari's teaching methods are really helpful because they pinpoint what you need to change within a phrase or in your embouchure. They also give little secrets or tips to improve your technique. In these 2 years, my tone has improved immensely, I practice more effectively, and most importantly, Ari has motivated me to play more than ever before. Ari was a critical part in my getting into the Manhattan School of Music Precollege Division. Ari is an amazing teacher and I would recommend studying with them to anyone, especially those who want to go far with music.”
Sophia, 17, student
“As the parent of a music student, you look for a teacher who is not only knowledgeable and skilled on the instrument, but you look for patience and an instructor who holds the student accountable. Ari fully embodies all of these attributes. What’s more is that my daughter wanted to work for them and impress them with how hard she had worked since the last lesson. Ari was always on time, flexible when lessons needed to be rescheduled, easy to talk to, and a consummate professional at all times.”
“From the very first lesson it was clear that, in addition to being a talented musician, Ari has an excellent teaching style. They manage to both praise the positive and to provide constructive feedback. Ari has been teaching my daughter for over one year and has provided a lot of technical exercises and pieces and helped her to prepare audition pieces for camp and band; Ari has also helped her improve school pieces. The oboe is a rare instrument so having a dedicated teacher outside of school has been very valuable. We consider ourselves lucky to have found such a great teacher. Thanks Ari!”
“I was Ari Cohen Mann's pupil for two years, and am happy with the progress I made. Ari is a very patient and considerate teacher. They have a great knack for spotting a pupil's particular weaknesses and assigning exercises to help overcome them. Their optimistic outlook was very helpful as I tried to tackle some long-standing problems in my playing. I hope my next teacher will have some, at least, of Ari's excellent qualities.”
I've been working on some online tutorials in order to help guide young oboists, particularly those without access to regular lessons. It goes without saying that the oboe is a demanding instrument, and I feel passionately about expanding the resources available to young players.
Please help support me in this initiative by subscribing to my YouTube channel. Thanks so much for watching!