… for my students and, even more, for so much more.

Of course I’m also posting this because of … well … because I care. I’ve read that some people don’t. I’m off of Facebook for a while, so I have to post it somewhere!

I have searched for the pages where these were originally posted and can’t find them anywhere. I would like to attribute them to the the appropriate parties, after all! Does anyone know who made them? If so, please do fill me in.

Alwood: Unclouded Day
Cor Cantiamo; Eric A. Johnson, Director

Hyo-Won Woo: Cum Sancto Spiritu
Missouri State University Chorale; Cameron F. Labarr, Conductor

(Although I doubt they actually shared sheet music!)

I had the joy of sitting in an orchestra with Rufus (Jr.) many years ago, when we both playing in Midsummer Mozart. He was a delight then, just as I know he is now, having run into him a few times when we’ve attended San Francisco Opera. I also had the pleasure of working with Rufus David a few times, both in San Jose and up at Merola the few times I was hired there. Both he and his dad have always been kind, gracious and such fun men to be around!

The best Father’s Day for Rufus Olivier Jr. was in 2011, when he and his son, Rufus David Olivier, sat through 5½ hours of “Gotterdammerung” from “the Ring of the Nibelung” at the War Memorial Opera House.
It was hot and stuffy under a low ceiling as they sat shoulder to shoulder in the back row. Back row of the orchestra pit, that is.
Olivier Jr., 62, is first bassoon in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. First, the father taught his son how to play the unusual, bong-shaped instrument. Then, in the ultimate form of flattery, the son rose to the position of second bassoon so that he and his father could sit close enough to share sheet music during concerts.


… and I’m going to guess it’s going to be very difficult to get the settlement money.

But wow.

McGill University music student Eric Abramovitz was among the top clarinetists in Canada. He studied with some of the country’s elite teachers from the age of seven. He won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition six times. He was a featured soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Québec.

In late 2013, Abramovitz applied for a full two-year scholarship to complete his bachelor’s degree at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Every student at Colburn receives a full scholarship, including tuition, room and board as well as money for meals and other expenses, worth roughly $50,000 a year.

If accepted, he would study under Yehuda Gilad, considered one of the best clarinet teachers on the planet. Gilad accepts two students a year out of dozens of applicants. To be chosen is virtually a guarantee of a high-paying symphony career directly out of college. After an exhaustive pre-screening process, Abramovitz flew to Los Angeles in February 2014 with his parents to do a live audition before Gilad and a committee of faculty members.

A month later, Colburn sent an email to Abramovitz. He had been chosen.

Except Abramovitz never got the email. Jennifer Lee, a fellow McGill music student and Abramovitz’s girlfriend at the time, did. They had started dating in September 2013, and within a month he was staying at her apartment almost full time. He trusted her. He let her use his laptop. He gave her his passwords.

Do read the whole thing. It’s unbelievable!

Here he is on his McGill final recital (with mom at the piano, too!):

14. June 2018 · 1 comment · Categories: Ramble

…when the women of the New York Philharmonic walked on stage at David Geffen Hall recently to play Mozart and Tchaikovsky, they all wore floor-length black skirts or gowns. And they’re required to: The Philharmonic, alone among the nations’s 20 largest orchestras, does not allow women to wear pants for formal evening concerts.

When I first started playing in San Jose Symphony in 1975 women wore dresses. Pants were unheard of. I was playing the English horn for Swan of Tuonela one set, and as I was warming up I suddenly had major instrument issues … mostly nothing was coming out of the horn! I was rather terrified, as you might imagine, since the concert was about to begin. Turns out the fabric of my skirt had caught in a key. Funny to read the full article and see that Julie Giacobassi had the same issue! I’d not heard that story before. I do remember seeing her in tails, though.

I never wear skirts or dresses when I play English horn now, but then I rarely wear a dress in any case. Pants are more comfortable for me. Our contract, when updated, started to suggest “palazzo pants” (wide-legged pants). I’m fine with that, although I do primarily wear nice pants. The men wear pants so I see no reason why I can’t as well. In truth, too, I am just not much of a dress person. That doesn’t mean I wear clothes that look like casual things, but I will forever wear pants now.

I didn’t realize that the New York Philharmonic still required dresses for the women. I continue to believe that tails for men is a rather ridiculous thing as well. Why not all black? I think that can look very classy. MTT wears something other than tails yet the men of the San Francisco Symphony must wear them. I just don’t get it. Let’s update things a wee bit, shall we?

Brian Edward Galante: Exsultate
UNT A Cappella Choir; Jerry McCoy, Conductor

Burchard: Tenebrae
Westminster Chorus; Justin Miller, Conductor

This is a bit of an abbreviated interview, according to the article, and is a translation. It’s quite interesting to read: the implication is that the orchestra could be a bit of a challenge sometimes!

It’s like an absolutely gigantic string quartet, with all the arguments and verbal violence and frustrations of a string quartet. And to really learn something – they take about as long as a string quartet. But then when it’s learned, then it is really there.