Today is Heinz Holliger’s 70th birthday. When I was in high school he was one of the oboists we all sort of watched. His sound isn’t what many of us in the states were aiming for, and his reeds, I’m sure, were not what we were striving for, but the guy could play anything, it seemed. Since then so many other oboists have popped up, and I rarely hear about him any more. But here it is, his birthday.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Holliger!

Here is a video from quite some time ago, I’m sure (considering the hair!):

Here is a 1993 video:

And this short clip is from 2005, and is what I think of Holliger more for:

Finally, a work that requires no good reed at all, from 1971:


  1. I wish I had that much hair now. *sigh*

    And that I could play like that.

    Either one (actually, I’ve kind of gotten used to the hair thing, so maybe the other instead, but with my own sound, because I’m vain).

  2. …not that my sound is anything to write home about…

  3. Well, he’s now known for a pretty interesting combover, Tim. You wouldn’t want that, I’m sure! 🙂

    I’ll bet you could play like that last video! If you wanted to. I can’t buzz on the oboe, but a former horn player? Surely …?

    But really, you know how it goes: practice, practice … oh yada yada yada … you hardly need to be told, eh? 😎

  4. Admittedly, the main point of my current haircut is the avoidance of apparent combover. Plus, it’s dead easy (although it’s really annoying when you can still get hat-head or bed-head with hair that’s only about a quarter inch long, trust me).

    Practize? Yah, I think I tried that practizificating thing once, didn’t care for it.

    Plus I think if I had the chops, reeds and time to practice maybe 23 hours per day I still wouldn’t be as good as Mr. Holliger after many months or years, even.

    I’ve been on a teleconference since 11:00am Pacific time *sigh*. I had to literally hang up one phone so it could recharge and use a different one…

  5. Ok, that parsed fine when I wrote it, but now it looks like I’m implying that the phone is using a different one…how about this:

    “…hang up one phone (so it could recharge) and use…”

    Does that parse better? I’m tired.

  6. That’s one long teleconference, Tim. Of course I’ve never even done ONE of those things, so what do I know?

  7. But I totally understood what you were saying, and that’s what counts. Yes?

  8. …I’m still on it (blargh!).

    And we’ve got plans to go fetch my van from the dealer up in Palo Alto (routine maintenance) and go out for an anniversary dinner (16 years tomorrow)…

    I must admit, it’s nice when one of the kids gets to be old enough to take care of the other(s) (particularly with Red Cross babysitting training).

  9. Congratulations on your anniversary! Celebrate well … hope you’re going to a nice place and not Micky Ds. 😉

  10. …er…of course not! Micky D’s! Not for an anniversary! Never! Or almost never! Or maybe almost never again? After just now, I mean?

    Side note: apparently supersizing does not come across as a romantical gesture to everyone, go figure.