Fernand Gillet was one of the new members to join the Boston Symphony in 1925. He is at home and at ease anywhere; but there is something about Gillet that leaves you wondering if he really likes being away. His parents were both French and both musical, his father a well-known composer and ‘cellist. Despite his French origin, he has an Anglo-Saxon air which unquestionably comes from having been brought up in an English school. In the [First] World War, he served for four and a half years as an aviator.

M. Gillet is reticent and the meaning of his words is very often oblique. When he was asked what instrument he thought the best, he replied: “A great artist.” His uncle was Georges Gillet, the teacher of oboe at the Paris Conservatory. Although young Gillet had started off as a pianist, the opportunity of learning the oboe at the Conservatory presented itself—and his destiny was settled.

Source: The Boston Symphony Orchestra