… heck, I am an older person! Go figure! Who’da thunk I would get old, eh?

At virtually every discussion I have with board members of arts organizations (and many discussions with other arts managers as well), the desire to attract younger audience members is a primary topic. The issue is typically introduced by someone commenting negatively on the age of most current audience members: “Our audience is too old. Everyone has gray hair. Our audience members are likely to die away. We need a younger audience. How do we get young people to come to our performances?”

While I appreciate the spirit of this question, I don’t really agree with the mindset of the speakers who speak as if the missions of our organizations are not aimed at servicing senior citizens. And the fear that the older audience members will die out is not exactly justified. Many people, as they reach middle age, increase their arts participation as their discretionary time and money increase; these people replace those senior audience members who do pass away.

I agree wholeheartedly that we must build the next generation of audience members, donors and trustees. We want younger people to enjoy our performances. Culture is for everyone, not just senior citizens. But there is an implicit bias in the way the topic is raised. Somehow, younger audience members are deemed to be more highly-valued than their parents or grandparents.

Thank you, Mr. Kaiser! RTWT.

27. January 2011 · 4 comments · Categories: FBQD

sadly fixing a oboe reed with plastic wrap does not work

I’ve been playing professionally since 1974. Before that I played in a youth chamber orchestra that played some very fine music. But there are still works I’ve never played or heard. And there are composers I’ve never heard of. So here’s something new. This might not be a weekly feature, but when I run across a composer or work I’ve never even heard of, I’ll admit it publicly. And sure, you can go ahead and laugh at me if you want. Heck, you can even mock me. But just remember who has control of the comments on this site! ;-)

(I will try to find live performances of these things. If the performance isn’t perfect for you, well, you can hunt down a recording you like. But I just like watching live performances on YouTube whenever possible.)

I’m going to guess that much of what I find may have a good reason for not being known … but maybe I’ll run across some gems, yes? It can happen.

So here’s the first one for you. This composer Ascanio Trombetti is not only new to me, but so is this ensemble. I’ll be checking out more of what they have up on YouTube. What instruments!

Straight frome the YouTube info:

Ascanio Trombetti (1544-1590): Diligam te Domine [a6]

Arrangement and direction: Paul Leenhouts
Video © MusicFrame Production – Daniël Brüggen
Sound recording © La Tirana SL – José María Martín Valverde

Recorded in April 2010 at De Duif, Amsterdam

The Royal Wind Music
Petri Arvo, Alana Blackburn, Stephanie Brandt, Ruth Dyson, Eva Gemeinhardt, Arwieke Glas, Hester Groenleer, Karin Hageneder, Marco Paulo Alves Magalhâes, María Martínez Ayerza, Belén Nieto Galán, Filipa Margarida da Silveira Pereira, Anna Stegmann: renaissance recorders

More information on www.royalwindmusic.org

27. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: Birthdays!

Gee … what to put up here … too many wonderful things, yes? But I’ll post a few videos and maybe put up more later. If you have anything to share please do comment!

How about Mitsuko Uchida and the 20th Piano Concerto to begin (I had the privilege of playing in Midsummer Mozart when she came and played with us. She’s an incredible musician!):

I: Allegro (part 1)

I: Allegro (part 2)

II: Romanze

III: Rondo

& of course I have to throw at least a movement of the Gran Partita in here (I’d love to find a video of the slow movement in here too … I’ll look around for that!):

Final Movement Performed at International Chamber Music Festival in Salon-de-Provence (France)

… and of course we need some opera (Così fan tutte, “Soave sia il vento”)

27. January 2011 · Comments Off · Categories: TQOD

I played oboe. Mom said it sounded like a flattened goose going through puberty.

Once, before I played Carnegie Hall myself, I was backstage at a New York Philharmonic concert. I remember the principal oboe—one of the best, bar none—was getting ready to solo. With sweat running off of him in buckets, he was so nervous that he couldn’t even light his cigarette. I thought if that’s what it’s like to perform at Carnegie Hall, I’m not so sure I want to go through it myself. The first time I performed solo with an orchestra at Carnegie Hall, I was so nervous that I almost got into an automobile accident on the way to the gig.

I read it here. So who was the cigarette smoking oboist? Anyone know? Just curious!