30. November 2012 · Comments Off on The sun did not shine … · Categories: Videos

… it was too wet to walk.

So what did I do? I went to a concert. Well, on my computer, that is! It was a windy concert, though.

… and always time for intervals! (Thanks, Pam!)

30. November 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Sent my oboe off:-( yesterday it was a really sad moment but now I have 4 grand in my pocket:-) not literally

30. November 2012 · Comments Off on Rethinking and all that Jazz · Categories: Ramble

Beginning on December 1 I’m going to take a bit of a blogging break, aside from posting YouTube videos and anything that comes up that simply MUST be posted. I know I’m going to be busy, and I also know I just need to step away from oboeinsight for a little while. It’s possible that I’ll still pop in now and then, but if the blog starts to look pretty silent just know I’m alive and well but needing a bit of space.

Please enjoy the music, though, and have a most wonderful holiday! See you in 2013.

29. November 2012 · Comments Off on I can see reed knives being used for violence … but a violin?! · Categories: Read Online

A Dothan man faces a felony assault charge after Dothan police charged him with using a violin and metal pipe to assault another man.
According to a Dothan police statement, police arrested 44-year-old Robert Tate and charged him with second-degree assault. The statement said police charged Tate with striking an acquaintance with those items during an assault.

I read it here.

… and this is the first time I’ve played Tchaikovsky’s sixth symphony!”

Those were the words I spoke to George Cleve during a rehearsal break yesterday.

Crazy, no? But for the majority of my career I was the English hornist of the San Jose Symphony, and only morphed into a second oboist when the SJS folded and Symphony Silicon Valley was started. I continue to be blessed and amazed and incredibly moved by the music that I’ve heard all my career but have only recently been able to play.

Tchaikovksy’s sixth is, for me, about life and death and joy and sorrow and oh so much more. (I normally don’t like to say a work is “about” anything at all — it makes me uncomfortable to do so — but I’m going there with this. Please forgive!) It’s painful. It’s beautiful. And for some reason it makes me miss my parents terribly. When I spoke those words above to the Maestro I nearly cried. When I think of the work and playing it I nearly cry too. I’m so honored to finally get to play it.

It’s also my first time playing Brahms’ first piano concerto. I look forward to hearing Peter Serkin tonight. I’m sure it’ll be incredible.

Some works get less impressive as I age. Some that I thought were amazing when I was twenty … well … I think, “How in the world did that move me like it did?” (Some books are the same way: I read something years ago that had me sobbing on the floor when I finished, so I read it again more recently to try and remember why I was so moved and it left me rather cold. Funny how that goes.) But these two works? For me they’ve grown better with age. Go figure.

I am most blessed to have this little career ‘o mine. Truly.

Click here to read about the concerts and get your tickets!

29. November 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Right, so I now have to play the oboe all day and my throat is killing me!!!

28. November 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

At a Fort Canning carpark, a cab driver takes a break and practises on his oboe. Lovely.

27. November 2012 · Comments Off on Peter Serkin · Categories: Symphony

Q One more question, before you go. I’ve read about your nervousness as a performer. Do you still have bouts of nerves?
A Yes, it’s true. I’m afraid so. But I live with it, and I almost respect it in a certain way. I don’t dread it as much as I used to. I can live with it. It’s part of the energy of what’s going on.


That was just the very last part of the interview, so go read the rest. I always find it a relief to hear that even the top folks have the nerve thing going on.

Mr. Serkin came and played with San Jose Symphony right after I became orchestra librarian there, so I must have been around twenty years old. I am excited to have him return here. Of course neither of us has changed at all, I’m sure.

27. November 2012 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

ben is whistling along with this oboe symphony