I have a parent looking for an oboe so I thought I’d Google and see what I come up with if I search for “Good oboes for students.” I came across an article that included this:

So, looking for a major brand is a good idea. A brand such as Selmer, buffet or Yamaha. There are many others and I will make a list of those and put those in addition to this article, so you can look at those separately.

Laree, which is kind of the Rolls-Royce of the oboe world not necessarily a great place for a beginner to start but they have a high resale value.

SO many warning signs in the article, but even in these two paragraphs. No, Selmer is not a good choice. Buffet is okay, as is Yamaha. Then there is the comment on “Laree” … it’s LOREE and those are top notch oboes but there are a number of other great oboes that could also be called “Rolls-Royce”.

I get so angry with these faulty articles. They are likely written by people who don’t even play (links to Amazon on this one tell me it’s merely a money-making site), and possibly by bots. There are MANY of them out there, this was only the first I landed on.

If you are looking to rent or buy an oboe talk to your teacher. If you don’t have a teacher GET ONE. If you rent or buy do so from a reputable dealer or from a seller who you know you can trust. If you aren’t sure, talk to your teacher. If you don’t have a teacher GET ONE.

Did I mention talking to your teacher? 😉

(Side Note: It is interesting to me that much in the article I found IS good. I wonder if it is a compilation of various sites. Odd.)

From a former oboist there is this:

I have a 1991 Loreé oboe, AK model, serial #JU53 that I’d like to sell. It has a crack repair in the top joint, and a Philadelphia D key (installed by Robert Sorton – professor at Ohio State). As you can see by the photos, the silver is in great shape.

Contact me, please, if you are interested, and I will connect you to the seller.

I was delighted to hear that Ryan Zwahlen won the second oboe position with Santa Cruz Symphony. Congratulations to him and to the orchestra as well!

A young (21 years old!) oboist won the principal position in the Vienna Opera. (I read the news on the Vienna Phil Facebook page.) You can read about him here.

21. June 2019 · Comments Off on And The Winner Is … · Categories: Audition Results, Congratulations!, Oboe · Tags: , ,

San Francisco Opera had second oboe auditions this week. They were scheduled for four days, and I can’t imagine how exhausted both the players and the committee are at this point! But they have a winner.

Congratulations to Gabriel Young! I look forward to hearing you play next year. (Yes, we have season tickets again.)

Marcello, in 2015 (From YouTube: “19-year-old Gabriel Young (winner of the program’s concerto competition) in the final concert of the 2015 National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C.”):

Here he is, playing the Mozart, in 2016:

And the Strauss. Memorized.

Obviously a fine, fine player! Very musical, which matters very much to me.

28. May 2019 · Comments Off on Longing For Paradise with Albrecht Mayer · Categories: Oboe, Recordings

One of my favorite oboists does it again! I’ve already listened to this recording and I just love it.

And leave it to Mr. Mayer to do become the actor again for the recording promotion (and, I’m guessing, we’ll see more videos connected to the recording soon) ….

24. May 2019 · Comments Off on How About A Little Rhapsody? · Categories: English horn, Listen, Oboe

Oboenkalsse Weimar – Oboehemian Rhapsody
Our Cover of the famous Bohemian Rhapsody for Oboe, Cor Anglais, Piano and the Guitar
Music: Freddy Mercury/Queen
Our Oboes: Katharina Althen, Sergio Montijano Bares, Leopold Kern,
Sabrina Fürtsch
Cor Anglais: Daniela Juriši?
Brian May guitar solo: Ralf Siedhoff
Piano, arrangement & production: Mykyta Sierov
Camera: Robert Elias Wachholz

17. May 2019 · Comments Off on Alex Klein’s Latest Recording · Categories: Oboe, Recordings

Alex Klein: Twentieth Century Oboe Sonatas

Alex Klein on the Beauty of Petr Eben’s Oboe Sonata:

From the liner notes:

Personal Statement
Notes by Alex Klein
This is an album I’ve wanted to do all life: to go on the record (so to speak) with the pieces that are the meat and potatoes of oboe playing, plus a few more that are personally important to me. It is a pleasure and an honor to make such a musical statement. They are all part of my personal history of oboe playing, a history where I now have more years behind than in front. I find myself in the Eben, which is part of my youth. And like Poulenc when he wrote his Sonata, I too am facing mortality. The Saint-Saëns and the Poulenc are really the core of the oboe recital repertoire, but I’m also really in love with the other pieces here. The Bozza is wild and free and engaging. It runs from an incredible depth of musicality to torrid technical display. The Dutilleux is some of the most driven and energetic music that’s been written for the instrument. And the Bowen is such a delight; all three movements are right up there with best music an oboe player can play.

I have a certain nostalgia besides the one caused by age: focal dystonia brought a significant burden to my life and led me to rebuild my playing. Still, I don’t know how long I have left to play oboe. This recording has more to do with closing than anticipating ambitious projects for the future. This may well be one of my last oboe statements.

— Alex Klein

16. May 2019 · Comments Off on Prague Spring International Competition — Finals · Categories: Competitions, Oboe

Here are the finalists for the oboe competition in Prague.

For the finals the contestants play both the Vaughan Williams and Martinu for the final round. Vaughan Williams is done without conductor. Martinu is conducted by Ondrej Vrabec.

First up is Martin Danek of the Czech Republic, playing the Vaughan Williams. The playing begins at about the 2 minute mark if you want to skip the beginning. Second is Gabriel Pidoux of France, again playing the Vaughan Williams.

Later the same day Seong Young Yun from the Republic of Korea, followed by Shota Takahashi of Japan, play the works.

Do you want to know the results? Maybe you should listen first and I’ll answer later. Besides, I confess that I’ve not yet had time to listen to it all. (I wish I didn’t know who won: I’d like to decide with my ears but my eyes have already read the news, which I think affects the ears!)

05. March 2019 · Comments Off on Keve! · Categories: Oboe

The ever-versatile Keve Wilson plays an arrangement of two Venezuelen Joropos (and yes, I had to look that up to see what it was: a dance similar to a Fandango) with violinist Rachel Handman.

I met Keve a rather long time ago (I can’t even remember the circumstances, it’s been so long!). I’ve enjoyed her playing ever since.