Geoffrey Browne comes from a very distinguished medical family. HIs grandfather was a founder professor of University College Hospital, and his father was a professor at Hammersmith Hospital. Also his aunt Eileen presented children's programmes for the BBC Home Service. At the age of just twenty-one, he was a full member of the BBC Symphony Orchestra, playing in the oboe section with Terence MacDonagh and Sidney Sutcliffe. At that time, the orchestra was conducted by Colin Davis and Pierre Boulez. The orchestra specialised in twentieth century music, but also covered a wide range of compositions, occasionally conducted by such people as William Walton, Rudolph Kempe, and Nadia Boulanger.
Geoffrey has made solo broadcasts as an oboist, and there are many classical records that bear his name. In 1979 he recorded “Autumn Legend” by William Alwyn, for cor anglais and string orchestra; the London Philharmonic Orchestra was conducted by the composer. In 1980 he performed “Quiet City” by Aaron Copland at the Royal Festival Hall, also conducted by the composer. In 1985 he recorded Alban Berg’s “Chamber Concerto” with Peter Serkin and Isaac Stern.
It was the London Symphony Orchestra that dubbed him a cor anglais player when he recorded “La Damnation de Faust” by Berlioz, with Colin Davis conducting; but he also has much experience playing principal oboe, of playing the oboe d'amore, and the bass oboe. He spent many years as the principal cor anglais player of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and played co-principal oboe at Glyndebourne. Later he moved to the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra where he made major solo contributions to feature films such as “The Shooting Party”, and “The Return of the Native”.
His wide experience includes giving lectures on Wagner, and giving a broadcast talk for BBC Radio 3 on the subject of “The Cor Anglais”. He is the author of the book “The Art of Cor Anglais”, which over the last twenty years has become the industry-standard textbook worldwide. Now in its fourth edition, it is published by Emerson Edition.
More recently, after eight years working with English National Opera, Geoffrey Browne is now retired and concentrates on history.
He has a BA(Open), a Professional Certificate in Management, and a Certificate in Humanities, all from the Open University.