Nice story:

A musical instrument purchased for $40 at a garage sale in Lacombe, Alta., three weeks ago turned out to be an $8,000 oboe that had been stolen two years ago from a musician with the Red Deer Symphony.

“I was in tears when I found out because I really never thought I would see it again,” said Melody McKnight, who was reunited with her instrument this week.

“Every concert, I get complete strangers that come up and ask, ‘Whatever happened to your oboe? Did you ever get it back?’ Now I can smile and say, ‘Yes, I did.’ ”

The oboe she played for 10 years was snatched from her vehicle while she was getting her young children into the house.

“I was assuming someone hoped they were grabbing a computer and when it wasn’t, they just threw it in the garbage dump.”

When she got the oboe back, McKnight immediately began to play it — in part to see if it had been damaged. Luckily, the result was sweet music.

“I pulled out a reed. I put it together and I played it for the police,” McKnight said with a laugh.

“I gave them a really short performance. I wanted to see if it worked and it’s still in fantastic condition.”

The hand-made instrument was a product of A. Laubin Inc. in New York.

McKnight said when she got a call from the company recently, she thought it was because she was on a six-year waiting list for another oboe.

Instead, the company told her it had been contacted by a woman who bought the oboe at a garage sale and wanted to know its value. Company officials checked the serial number and quickly determined it was McKnight’s stolen instrument.

I love happy endings!

14. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: News

The Met announced that they won’t be doing The Ghosts of Versailles after all. It was scheduled for next season.

I’m sure we haven’t heard the last of the cuts in the opera world. I just hope the operas I’ve heard are coming to San Francisco are still on. Dan and I were talking about how much we are enjoying going to the opera. We plan on continuing unless we end up having to make major cutbacks as well.

Here’s a much longer article.

… because classical music customers are never dishonest:

Classical music may not command the column inches of Amy Winehouse or U2, but it is, at least, not in decline, helped by a generally honest customer base who do not download operas illegally, ….

I read it here.

I attempt to get students to understand that doing things legally is the right way to go. I don’t allow copies of sheet music — they need to purchase the music or use a library copy. And I remind them that downloading music illegally affects even yours truly; anyone who’s been on a recording in the past “x” years (I’m not sure of the number) receives an annual check based on the percentage of sales of all music. But I certainly hear about illegal downloads of classical music and I see copies of sheet music everywhere. What always surprises me most is that I see a number of colleagues doing this. It’s difficult to complain about the general public doing things illegally if we are going to do things illegally as well. Or at least it seems that way to me. But I’m just an oboe player.

14. November 2008 · Comments Off · Categories: Huh?, News

Hearing news of canceled operas or complete seasons, and groups that are folding completely is depressing. I don’t know why, but this sort of depressed me too:

ANDRE Rieu is in town this week complete with 500 dancers, musicians, singers, ice skaters and stage hands. All displayed on his own portable 700-tonne, $6 million set.

I read it here.