Say you opened up your newspaper and read an interview with your conductor. And right there, in print, he talks about the sections in the orchestra that are weak. Ouch! I think I’d be mighty upset. But I just read an article that did include that.

It also included this:

Well, I’m an oboist and the oboe players have this strange duality because many times they’re seen as sort of a leader of the woodwinds and they give the A to begin the concert, so they help tune the orchestra, so they’re sort of a leadership role. They also have some of the most beautiful solos that composers wrote in their repertoires, so there’s a kind of a quality, a little bit of a prima donna quality to a lot of oboists, but then that’s combined with the fact that oboists make their reeds and that is extremely frustrating, time-consuming aspect to oboe playing. So, a lot of oboists are very neurotic so they’re kind of a combination of a neurotic prima donna. Again, I can say this because I’m an oboe player, but I don’t want any oboe players to take offense. This is just sort of very generally speaking. It’s not across the board. It’s not directed at anybody specifically. (RTWT)

Now THAT doesn’t upset me at all. It’s fairly true. I think I’ll call us NPDs from here on out.

And now I’m off to opera. Me and my neurotic personality! 😉


  1. gosh, oboists really get the brunt of it all, don’t they? they get made fun of by everyone, including their own! 😛

  2. Very true, Jolene.

    I think it’s the only way we can handle the stress, to be honest. It’s not every instrument that has to make it’s own mouthpiece! (Yeah, those bassoonists have to do it as well … but for some reason they don’t seem as neurotic!)

    I think by self-mockery we sort of give ourselves excuses too. At least I know I do. 🙂