27. April 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Announcements

PUBLIC MEMORIAL TRIBUTE TO SF SYMPHONY PRINCIPAL OBOIST WILLIAM BENNETT TO BE HELD MAY 6 AT 4 PM AT DAVIES SYMPHONY HALL

Members of the Bennett family and friends, Michael Tilson Thomas, SFS musicians, SFS President Sakurako Fisher, and SFS Executive Director Brent Assink to participate

SAN FRANCISCO, April 23, 2013 – The San Francisco Symphony and the family of the late William Bennett, the Principal Oboist for the Orchestra who passed away in February, invite the public to a memorial tribute in celebration of his life on Monday, May 6 at 4 pm in Davies Symphony Hall. This event is free and all seating is general admission; no tickets are required.

Paying tribute to Bill and honoring his life, in words and music, will be members of his family and friends, SF Symphony Music Director Michael Tilson Thomas, musicians of the San Francisco Symphony, SF Symphony President Sakurako Fisher, and SFS Executive Director Brent Assink.

Bennett suffered a brain hemorrhage during his performance of the Strauss Oboe Concerto with the San Francisco Symphony February 23 at Davies Symphony Hall. He died February 28. Bennett was born in 1956 in New Haven, Connecticut. He joined the San Francisco Symphony in 1979 and became Principal Oboist in 1987. During his many years as a mainstay of the Orchestra, he attracted the esteem and admiration of colleagues and listeners. A regular soloist with the Orchestra, in 1992 he gave the world premiere of John Harbison’s Oboe Concerto with Herbert Blomstedt conducting—music commissioned for him by the SFS and which Bennett went on to perform with the Orchestra on tour in Carnegie Hall and throughout Europe, including performances in Vienna and London. He recorded that work with the Orchestra for Decca. Bennett’s other solo performances with the SFS included Francaix’s The Flower Clock and the Mozart Oboe Concerto, as well as concertos by Vivaldi, Bach, Haydn, Barber, Martin, and Cordero-Saldivia.

Bennett appeared in solo recital, concerto, chamber, and orchestral engagements throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. He performed at the Marlboro Festival, the Festival de Inverno in São Paulo, the Aspen Festival, and at the Berkshire Music Center and [email protected] He was soloist and woodwind coach with the Asian Youth Orchestra. An active soloist in the Bay Area and Northern California, he performed numerous concerts with the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, the Parlante Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Parnassus, and the orchestras of Berkeley, Fresno, Modesto, Napa, Santa Cruz, and Stockton. He was frequently featured in his own realizations/transcriptions and orchestrations of such works as the lost Beethoven Concerto and music by Debussy, Ellington, and Pasculli. He served on the faculty of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. Bennett was a graduate of Yale University, and studied oboe with Robert Bloom at Yale and at the Juilliard School of Music.

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