24. September 2014 · Comments Off on Opening Weekend for Symphony · Categories: Ramble

I had a rehearsal today for our opening weekend of Symphony Silicon Valley, that began at 3:30. By 4:00 I was done with the Harold in Italy portion of the rehearsal, where I play a brief time in the third movement. I went to a local coffee shop for a latté while the orchestra rehearsed some Verdi. I came back for the Respighi, but “my” movement — again the third — didn’t get rehearsed, so I was able to sit and enjoy the wonderful first two movements of the work (Ancient Airs and Dances, Suite No. 2, which has four movements all together). I just love the Ancient Airs & Dances suites. We listened to them a lot when our oldest was young, because he really loved them as well. This music is bringing back wonderful memories of that.

I’m on English horn this set, and it’s a rare concert because I’m barely necessary and the tiny solo I do have could quite possibly go unnoticed by most listeners. I’m okay with that — low stress works well for me these days. In addition, I have the best seat in the house, I don’t have to pay to sit there and, in fact, I get paid to do so.

Funny aside: There are three works on the program. I play the first and third works. I play in the third movement of the two works that have English horn. In both of those movements I don’t play for the opening and closing sections, just playing in the middle. (If you don’t look at the exact right time you just might miss me picking up the instrument!)

I love patterns. Can you tell?

Here … have a flower for reading oboeinsight today. This Rudbeckia flower was made over a year ago. I’m busy these days attempting to delete all my bad work so I only have things worth working on left on my computer.


24. September 2014 · Comments Off on Christopher Hogwood 1941-2014 · Categories: Losses

I just learned that Christopher Hogwood has died. He was only 73. Such sad news. I will post more when I’m home from rehearsal.

(time lapse)

Posts you can read online:

Christopher Hogwood site

Deceptive Cadence (Anastasia Tsioulcas)


The Guardian

24. September 2014 · Comments Off on I Never Post Political Stuff · Categories: Seen Online

… but … well … this just has to be posted!


No, this isn’t my photo. I hope the person who posted a multitude of these doesn’t mind me sharing. I did attempt to ask, but haven’t received a response. I suspect the person is just too busy at school now. I found these delightfully fun, and a great way to “reed-purpose”! 😉

24. September 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

best compliment ever: “you’re like the skrillex of oboe”

23. September 2014 · Comments Off on Walking, Playing, and Shooting (Flowers, that is!) · Categories: Ramble

( Double post, since this relates to both music and my every day life. )

I’ve managed to get some good walks in these past few days. It’s so good to be getting back to a schedule that allows for them! I’ve taken my camera out, but I’m no doing quite as much with it as I normally do: turns out that if you take a ton of photos you then have to LOOK at them and, possibly, WORK on them. Or delete them. There’s always that!

Symphony Silicon Valley started up tonight. It’s fun to get back on that stage and work with my wonderful colleagues, but I barely play a note, so it feels a wee bit odd. Why, oh why, did Berlioz write only a brief little thing for the English horn, put it in the principal oboe part, and expect that the oboist could switch to solo English horn in two measures’ time and be comfortable, I wonder? We “split the book” and I sit for movements one and two, sit through a portion of movement three, play a little solo, and sit through the end of movement three and all of four. If the audience doesn’t catch me the little bit of time that I do play they will be wondering what I’m even doing on stage for the work!

I also play one of the four movements of the Respighi. Again, it’s the third movement, and again I don’t play at the start or finish of that movement. How bizarre that both works are like that! The middle work doesn’t involve English horn at all, so I’ll be sitting through all of that … but not on stage!

Here … have some flowers with which I will end this little post.




Magenta Rose,_9.22.14



23. September 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Kittens are getting used to Oboe, or maybe they just like Tavener.. Trust me to get spiritual kittens… pic.twitter.com/Ue79JU73Og

(And this is from Nicholas Daniel! 🙂

Proof reading … it matters.

That being said (or written) I nearly always have a typo when I post something like this. I guess it’s sort of like getting my just deserts … hah! … that was on porpoise, I promise!

Dr. Henry Morgan is portrayed by Welsh actor Ioan Gruffudd. Americans might remember him on the big screen as Lt. John Beales in Black Hawk Down or Mister Fantastic in Fantastic Four. But before making it in Hollywood, Gruffudd was an accomplished oboist in his teens. He played in the South Glamorgan Youth Orchestra for several years and he also won prizes for his high baritone signing. He credits his early musical career for his confidence as an actor today.

I read it here. 😉

In case you don’t read comments, I’ve been educated on the whole “just deserts” thing and while I thought I was being funny I wasn’t. Who knew? Glad to have this bit ‘o knowledge. Let’s see if I can remember it.

In the usage “…just deserts,” “deserts” is indeed the correct spelling. It has nothing to do with “dessert,” the after-meal treat, but instead is a different word that derives from a French ancestor to our word “deserve.”

22. September 2014 · Comments Off on I Love My Job · Categories: Ramble

I did a run of Wicked, a part of the Broadway San Jose series, for three weeks. I played the final two performances of Rigoletto. I now move on to Symphony Silicon Valley, where I play English horn on the Respighi and Berlioz. All the while I continue to teach.

I really do love my job. I don’t get bored, to be sure, and I love the variety of music I get to play, and the students I get to work with. Sometimes I marvel at the fact that I’ve been at this, as a professional, since I joined the union in 1974 (and I was teaching even before that). Yep. 1974. Amazing, don’t you think? I was a high school senior when I joined, and I did so because I was going to playing in San Jose Municipal Band for the summer. (Does that even exist now?) I also played my first San Jose Symphony concert that summer, if I’m remembering correctly. I was just seventeen and I hadn’t a clue that this would be my life.

I’m grateful.

Of course it’s also hard work. I whine. I get nervous. I worry about my playing and my reeds. I wonder when I should retire. Perhaps I’m not really any good and no one is telling me. Hm.

Yep, I worry about stuff like that!

Here … have a flower for putting up with me! Shoot, have a bee, too!


22. September 2014 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

We Facetimed while she made oboe reeds. She’s a master at multi tasking & the truth is, she doesn’t have time for social media

21. September 2014 · Comments Off on Sunday Evening Music · Categories: Sunday Evening Music

Peter C. Lutkin: The Lord Bless You and Keep You
Westminster Choir College