22. October 2013 · Comments Off · Categories: Read Online

Brahms 2 will always remind me of Bill for another reason. He knew that I had aspirations to become a principal player someday and wanted me to learn the repertoire in the first chair as soon as possible. I had never played Brahms 2, so when it came up during my second year in SF Symphony, Bill said “you need to learn this one”. Naturally, I was so excited to get this opportunity – studied the oboe part, the score, made a ton of reeds. The rehearsals went well, my colleagues in the orchestra seemed pleased with my work. The day of the first concert I received a phone call from the personnel manager – “our second oboe player had to call in sick”. I think – “Oh, no! There goes my big chance to play Brahms 2!” A few minutes later, another phone call – from Bill Bennett: “I know that you’ve been looking forward to playing this and how important it must be for you. Don’t worry – I will play second oboe to you for the rest of the week.” That was supposed to be Bill’s vacation week. As I remember this turn of events, time and again I realize how incredibly thoughtful it was of Bill to do this for me, and what a true reflection it was of his generosity and kindness.

—Eugene Izotov

Please read the entire thing. If you are like me it will make you cry and hurt your heart, but it’s well worth the read.

Here’s just a bit more, this time these are Bill’s words:

Just remember that discretion is the better part of valor. There’s nothing wrong with standing up for yourself and keeping your critical edge as long as you keep a sense of humility. Be economically gracious when you get a compliment, accept the challenge with quiet confidence when you get a big assignment and be self-effacingly thankful when it goes well. Don’t expect any of it, though. That’s when you’ve lost sight of the reason you’re a musician.

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