29. July 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

the oboe does not sound like a dying duck.

29. July 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Ballet

I just ran across this video (it’s about an hour long … this isn’t YouTube!). I hadn’t heard of it before. What fun to see familiar names and now see faces that go with them.

I’m not sure when this was made, but I believe it was put up just a few days ago.

(You’ll see my boss, Andrew Bales, from Symphony Silicon Valley, a little over 49 minutes in.)

All of this is news to me; I had no idea how the ballet wound up here. I just had heard that at some point Cleveland Ballet came to San Jose, and I understood they called themselves “San Jose Cleveland Ballet” when they were here, and “Cleveland Ballet” when they were there. That was about all I knew. And I knew I had work in December for as long as they were (are!) here.

I’m still waiting to hear what this coming season will bring for .

29. July 2010 · Comments Off on Once A Mother … · Categories: Read Online

… always a mother!

I just read this online:

My son,aged 32 is a professional oboist in a major orchestra. Last Tuesday he had 4 impacted wisdom teeth removed. The feeling in his tongue and lips has returned but there is residual numbness in his lower jaw, where some but not all of the feeling has returned. How likely is it that this damage is permanent and if it should be so, how likely is this to affect his chances of continuing to play as a professional musician?

It made me smile. Because I just might do the same thing (although I probably wouldn’t have gotten quite so specific). We mothers cannot avoid this sort of thing. Or at least I can’t. I suppose I shouldn’t speak for all mothers, eh?

Those of you who began reading this blog from the start know that I had a bit of an issue with a numb tongue due to a dental visit (it happened on November 19, 1996, to be precise) … and that numb tongue lasted for four months! It was a wee bit frightening for a wind musician.

29. July 2010 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

8:50: I am currently listening to “Pretty Ballerina” by The Left Banke because Bondy, our columnist, became obsessed with the use of the oboe in rock songs. He did some intense research to find some songs where the oboe is featured and then borrowed my transcribing headphones to listen. What kicked this off? Well, “I Got You Babe” is the song featured on the Mets’ KissCam and Filip was yammering about how the oboe is played in that song. “I bet it’s the only song with one,” he said. Then he looked it up. Quite a good song, too. “It’s an elegant, minor-chord song,” Bondy says. The Left Banke also sang “Walk Away, Renee,” if you recall. Anyway, the 2-1…..

I read it here, where a reporter was “live blogging”.

29. July 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

‘that’s an odd Oboe she said. ‘it’s because it’s a Cor Anglais’ I replied. Oh, how we laughed. Watching a recording of Mahler from Proms.

29. July 2010 · Comments Off on Orchestras in Trouble · Categories: Negotiations, Symphony

Detroit (read here):

Salary cuts upwards of 28 percent, drastic cuts in their health insurance, elimination of contributions to their retirement benefits, and a sharp reduction in the size of the orchestra – those are key provisions of management’s demands from the musicians of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra as contract negotiations continue.

The musicians believe that this may be the beginning of a trend that will see managers of other symphony orchestras make similar demands from their musicians.

According to DSO cellist Haden McKay, one of the musicians’ negotiators, the demands by management, in addition to imposing drastic cuts in salary and benefits, would drop the DSO out of the top ten, the majors, in the ranking of American symphony orchestras, with no opportunity to reclaim its position.

“The fall from the top ten would make it that much more difficult to attract internationally famous guest conductors and artists, as well as the best musicians,” he said. “This orchestra has been a source of pride to us and to music lovers throughout Michigan. To many in our audiences, it has been an introduction to great symphonic music.

Pittsburgh (read here):

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra is projecting a budget deficit of $876,000 in 2011 because of funding cuts.

… and then there’s this:

On the verge of its 50th anniversary, the Southwest Florida Symphony finds itself in a less-than-festive mood.

The orchestra owes $300,000 — including $100,000 from this past season’s shortfall in tickets and donations — and it’s about to lose another conductor.

Popular conductor Erich Kunzel died in September — and with him, ticket sales for his scheduled pops concerts, which dropped about 30 percent. Now chorus and “Holiday Pops” conductor Joe Caulkins plans to leave the orchestra in December.

Both losses could affect ticket sales in the upcoming anniversary season — and perhaps add to the symphony’s debt.

It’s not an enviable position to be in, said executive director Fran Goldman.

“We haven’t closed our doors or anything like that,” she said. “It’s just something we need to get a handle on.”

The symphony isn’t alone. Across the country, the recession has taken a bite out of orchestra ticket sales and donations.

The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra borrowed $652,000 to balance its 2009-10 budget. Like the Southwest Florida Symphony, Naples also froze salaries. Orchestras in Atlanta, Cleveland, Seattle, Baltimore and elsewhere have cut concerts, laid off employees or slashed salaries. The Philadelphia Symphony is considering bankruptcy, and the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra is already there.

Tough times, to be sure.

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