Well, first let me say that, really, it’s all about the oboe. I’ve trained my family to know that. Any of my close musician pals know that as well. (And it really does take the pressure off of them … even when they are soloing. Some have thanked me for the information. Heck. I’m just nice that way.) When Lance Armstrong wrote his book It’s Not About the Bike I just thought, “Duh!” because of course I had been saying, “It’s all about the oboe” for eons. I was glad that this pattytruth™ had finally reached the sports world. I only wish Barry would catch on.

But anyway … ramble, ramble (sorry, it’s just that kind of morning) … the Merc has an article about the New York Philharmonic which talks about them going a bit “poppy” (my word) next season. I guess even they have to try and bring in new ears, eh?

“What our profession is all about is interacting with people,” orchestra music director Lorin Maazel told a news conference Wednesday at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

This is an interesting quote. I understand what he is saying, but I have to tell you that when I’m playing a really tough solo, or I’m concentrating on the music in some other way, I’m really not thinking about the audience! Sorry, folks. I’m busy with work, and I’m attempting to make the best music I am able to make. Of course I hope the audience is basking in the music. Of course I hope we are reaching them and touching their souls and causing them to feel something that only music can cause them to feel. But I’m really not thinking about interacting with them when I’m “in the moment” because my concentration is on what I’m doing and I’m pretty busy interacting with other musicians. Is this awful? I wonder. Certainly a pop performer is right there, interacting with the audience. (I watched a bit of the Grammy show last night and they come right up to the crowd and sing in their faces. They clearly interact and, it seems to me, even feed off of the audience, as the audience feeds off of them.) So maybe I’m just too self-absorbed. I really do wonder about this.

Anyway, it’ll give me something to think about while I’m busy with reeds today. (I need some major reed miracle and so far no reed fairy has left any reeds on my desk. Sigh.)

Oh! The dog … you must be wondering about the dog by now? Here ya go (end of article):

And then, there’s Jake the dog. The mutt comes to work with Richie Norton, a stagehand at Avery Fisher Hall, the Lincoln Center home of the Philharmonic, and is often backstage while the orchestra plays. Now he’s about to become the top dog of a children’s book.

“The title of the book is ‘Jake the Philharmonic Dog’,” said Zarin Mehta, the orchestra’s executive director.

Don’t worry. It’s still all about the oboe. The dog is merely fluff.


  1. Sorry, but everyone knows its actually all about the bassoon.  Don’t beat yourself up though.  Not everyone is chosen to play the bassoon and certainly there needs to be instruments to accomodate all of the people.   In elementary school, we learned that the kids who couldn’t play a wind instrument were handed two sticks and sent to the back of the room.  In college,  we learned that those who couldn’t do that had one stick taken away from them and were sent to the front of the room.  So, alas, feel good about yourself because you are not a condorktor (just teasing in good fun).  However, don’t forget to bow down in omage to the MIGHTY BASSOON.

    Steve Welgoss, New York.


  2. Patricia Mitchell

    HAH! Sorry to burst your faulty bubble, but we are IT, Steve. No once else. Not the trumpets, not the baboons. Nope. It’s all about the oboe and you are simply wrong. But then, no one expects a bassoonist to get much right. That’s okay. We are understanding.

    And do keep in mind that you sit BEHIND the oboes. As it should be. 😉

  3. It’s much safer BEHIND the oboes.  That way you don’t have to listen to them blame everything on the reed. (teeeheeee). As I said, Its all about the bassoon, baby!