No, he wasn’t a composer, singer, or instrumentalist. But he brought us stories about music, and I found his way of speaking very musical. I was very sorry to hear of the accident. All the dangers he’s been in and he’s taken by an accident in New York City.

I just received this information, for those who would like to pay their respects to dear Jim Matheson:

Public Visitation: Thursday February 19, 6-9PM at Duggan’s Serra Mortuary, 500 Westlake Ave., Daly City

Friday February 20th, 1PM, graveside service, Skylawn Memorial Park, Highway 92 & Sykline Blvd., San Mateo

I’m so sorry to have to tell you that Jim Matheson passed away yesterday. He had been in ill health for a while, but news like this is still sad.

Jim was in the San Francisco Symphony and Opera and moved completely to opera when the two split into two groups (I THINK that’s how that worked, anyway). He was, to me, a fearless player. I was always in awe that he seemed so relaxed and just went for it! He taught at Stanford and San Francisco State, and played in the Stanford Woodwind Quintet. I went to hear the quintet once and he was astounding when he had an incredibly fast passage of thirds. I talked to him about it after and he said one of his teachers told him to practice them a LOT because they appear so frequently in things. My students can thank him for my making them learn them! He was also the one who encouraged me to stick with my Marigaux despite its age, when so many were saying we should dump our oboes after a certain amount of time. “Do you like it?” he asked. “Yes!” “Does it still play well?” “Oh yes!” “Then why get rid of it?” He was a kind, kind man.

When he subbed for us in San Jose Symphony, which he did graciously and with no attitude of “moving down” to our group, he was a joy. He also would grab my oboe or English horn and start fiddling with it if he heard I was having difficulty. He loved to adjust instruments and I remember a friend saying that he did this to hers just minutes before a concert was to begin. She was terrified … but of course he knew what he was doing!

Rest in peace, Jim.

I have borrowed this photo from a website. I do hope that’s okay.

Screen Shot 2015-02-05 at 9.02.17 AM

I just read that the journalist (a classical music critic, for one) Andrew Patner has died:

Veteran Chicago journalist Andrew Patner, a bright light on the local arts and culture scene for decades, died unexpectedly Tuesday at 55.

He most recently was critic-at-large at classical music WFMT FM 98.7 and a contributing critic on classical music for the Sun-Times.

“It is with a profound sense of sadness, sorrow and shock that we must announce that our dear friend and colleague, Andrew Patner, passed away this morning after a very brief battle with a bacterial infection that overwhelmed his body,” Steve Robinson, general manager of WFMT, said in a statement Tuesday.


I was sorry to read of Ward Swingle‘s death. He passed away on January 19.

27. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

I’m very sorry to read of the death of Claude Frank. I have many wonderful memories of playing Mozart with him, as well as with his late wife (who died in 2004), Lilian Kalir. Fine musicians, the both of them.

19. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

I just read of former San Francisco Symphony’s principal flutist’s death. His was certainly a name all knew in this area. He was 88.

18. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses, Opera

14. December 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

I was shocked and very sad to come home from my music weekend to hear that Irene Dalis had died. I knew that she had been dealing with health issues, but this is so heart breaking.

You can read about it here (Mercury News) and here (SF Chronicle).

This is such a loss. She did so very much for the city of San Jose, and I will remain in her debt.

Thank you, Irene, for everything.

20. October 2014 · Comments Off · Categories: Losses

I just read that composer Stephen Paulus has died. I’ve posted some of his choral music here on my Sunday morning and evening posts.

Twin Cities composer Stephen Paulus has died.

Paulus was among Minnesota’s leading classical composers. He wrote hundreds of works — including nearly 60 orchestral scores, 10 operas and 150 choral pieces.