Lydia Dempsey (b. 1993) is a composer, oboist, and private lesson teacher. Since her completion of a collaborative ballet project titled The Wishing Well, her music is increasingly shaped by the concepts of movement and gesture. Dempsey is interested in how time and memory can alter a listener’s perception of sound. As an oboist, she is particularly drawn to performing contemporary and lesser-known works.
Dempsey’s piece Passage was read in the 2015 Toledo Symphony Orchestra Reading Session. The chamber ensemble version of Passage was awarded honorable mention in the International Alliance for Women in Music’s 2014 Search for New Music Competition, Ellen Taaffe Zwillich Prize. She is the recipient of the President's Award for Academic Achievement at Bowling Green State University (BGSU), the Center for Undergraduate Research and Scholarship at BGSU’s Glass Award, the Presser Foundation Scholarship, the Bernice Ely Coulon Award, and several research and travel grants. Dempsey received first prize in the 2015 BGSU Double Reed Day Solo Competition and has recently performed with the BGSU Philharmonia as principal oboist, the BGSU New Music Ensemble, and the Defiance College Choral Union.
In 2014, Dempsey began to teach private oboe lessons at The Studio Connection. Soon after, she started teaching piano lessons at the Black Swamp Fine Arts School. In addition to oboe and piano, Dempsey now teaches composition lessons, oboe reed making classes, and creative movement classes.
Dempsey graduated summa cum laude from Bowling Green State University with a B.M. in Music Composition and Oboe Performance in 2016. She has studied composition with Marilyn Shrude, Mikel Kuehn, Christopher Dietz, Andrew Martin Smith, and Christopher Rutkowski. Her oboe instructors include Nermis Mieses, Lynne Mangan, Diane Dickson, and Joan Wright. She has received further instruction at summer festivals, such as the fresh inc. festival, the Summer Composition Intensive at St. Mary's College, the soundSCAPE Composition and Performance Exchange, and the Charlotte New Music Festival.