LOS ANGELES — David Weiss was a world-renowned oboist who spent 30 years with the Los Angeles Philharmonic.

But that’s not what got him featured appearances on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and “Prairie Home Companion.” In an unlikely pairing for a classical musician, Weiss also played the musical saw. Using a violin bow across a Stanley Handyman cross-cut saw bought at Sears for $7, he played folk songs, Beatles tunes and Igor Stravinsky pieces.

“I shall never forget his wonderful interpretation of the oboe part in Richard Wagner’s ‘Tristan und Isolde,’ ” longtime Philharmonic music director Zubin Mehta said, “nor will I forget seeing him play the musical saw on a street corner in Vienna during one of our European tours.”

Weiss, 67, died Saturday while surfing off Pacific Palisades, said his wife, Alpha Walker. He collapsed near shore after riding a wave; the exact cause of death has not been determined.

In addition to being the principal oboist with the Philharmonic from 1973 to 2003, Weiss taught the instrument at the University of Southern California and the Music Academy of the West in Santa Barbara. He was also a highly respected photographer; his pictures of players and conductors have appeared in books and other publications.

It was his love of the saw, however, that set him apart from other orchestra musicians.