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Pamela Ajango
(United States / Estonia)


Professor - Butler University

 Oboe/English Horn - Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra

Pamela Ajango is a Professor of Oboe at Butler University, a recording artist, and an oboe/solo English horn with the Indianapolis Chamber Orchestra (ICO). She has been a member of the ICO and the Circle City Wind Quintet for over 20 years. As a full-time freelance oboist, she regularly performs for national tours of Broadway shows and artists, as principal oboe with the Indianapolis Opera and Ballet orchestras, and as the top call for recording studio work for music
publishers Hal Leonard and Alfred, including work for Disney, John Williams, and others. Recent performances include appearances with artists as varied as Johnny Mathis, Stewart Copland of the band Sting, and the musical Wicked, in addition to her regular orchestra and quintet concerts. She will appear as a soloist with the ICO on the recently discovered Ulysses Kay's work Pieta for English horn and strings in April 2024. The composer Miho Sasaki is writing a new trio
(oboe, bassoon, piano) for Ajango and colleagues, to be premiered in July 2024.

From 1996-2002, Ajango was a freelancer in New York City. While there, she played with many of the area’s renowned orchestras, on Broadway, and for commercial recordings. Highlights include hundreds of performances in the pit orchestra of Les Miserables, Cats, and Ragtime on Broadway; recording for alternative rock ensemble HEM; recording the Beauty and the Beast commercial with Angela Lansbury; performing alongside her teachers in the New York Philharmonic, the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and the Orpheus Ensemble; and being invited to teach at her alma mater as an assistant to both her New York pedagogues.

Before her appointment at Butler University, Professor Ajango taught at the University of Indianapolis, Anderson University, Earlham College, University of Virginia, and as an oboe studio assistant at her alma mater, the Manhattan School of Music. Her students, both private and university level, have been accepted to such prestigious institutions as Indiana University, Cincinnati Conservatory, Mannes, Eastman, the Manhattan School of Music, the New World
Orchestra, and many more. Former students are currently performing in orchestras and teaching around the United States and abroad.

Ajango has been on faculty at numerous summer music festivals over the years, including IU Music Clinic, Saarburg Festival (Germany), InterHarmony Festival (Italy), and Butler University Woodwind and Double Reed Camps, and has performed at the International Double Reed Society (IDRS) conferences since 2008. In 2025, Ajango will host the IDRS International Conference at Butler University.

Ajango plays Laubin instruments. She studied with Malcolm Smith (Indianapolis Symphony), Ralph Gomberg (Boston Symphony), Joseph Robinson (New York Philharmonic), and Stephen Taylor (NYC solo artist). She earned her degrees from Boston University and the Manhattan School of Music, and completed doctoral work at SUNY Stony Brook. She resides in Indianapolis with her husband, an orthopedic doctor, and one son, who is studying video/sound design at Indiana University.

Of special note for Classical Hugs: Professor Ajango’s father is an Estonian-American whose family fled Estonia during World War 2, yet has retained close ties to Estonian relatives over the years. Her uncle was renowned architect Helmut Ajango, who designed a monument in Tartu to commemorate Estonians who lost their lives there in 1941; her aunt Helle Martin is a published author who has written poetry (in both Estonian and English) and books about the family’s journey; and her grandmother, Irene Ajango, was a noted actress at the Kannel Theater in Voru, Estonia, before they were forced to flee their homeland. She is excited to return to her paternal homeland to teach and perform music!

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