The Oboe Concerto was commissioned by the BBC for the 1996 BBC Proms. The first performance was given by Nicholas Daniel and the BBC Symphony Orchestra conducted by Matthias Bamert in the Royal Albert Hall, London on 14 August 1996. All concertos are built from a mismatch of forces: the individual against the crowd, solo against tutti. Many composers have intensified this discrepancy by banishing the solo instrument from the orchestra, so that the colour of the solo and the tutti are as different as possible. In this concerto, rather than isolating the oboe, Woolwich has filled the orchestra with the mournful noise of its singing: the soloist is surrounded, figuratively in the music and literally on the stage, by the attendant group of three oboes and their more extravert second cousin, the soprano saxophone. But the oppositions are still there - the drama and the poetry of the work flow from the contrast between the fragile keening of the oboe and the brutal power of a large symphony orchestra.