08. May 2006 · Comments Off on Really? · Categories: imported, Ramble

Whatever the past may have been like, the backstage area during the intermission of a concert on Saturday afternoon, which was conducted by the English composer George Benjamin, resembled a university cafeteria. The first violinists sat around a table drinking sparkling wine and eating pastries. It was a member’s birthday, and tradition required him to treat his colleagues.

I’ve never known orchestra members to drink alcohol visibly during a concert (or rehearsal). Many of us don’t drink at all on concert days until the concert is over. I just had a short IM discussion with a bassoonist about this, in fact. (What a coincidence to then run across this article!) Is my age showing? Is it common for younger professional musicians to drink publicly while at work? Does anyone not see a problem with this?

The article itself is about the ages of Berlin Philharmonic members. I guess, nearing 50, I’m too old for them now.

Side note: I suspect they have fewer than sixteen women in their orchestra. So in twenty years, when those 40 year olds are 60, they’ll still be okay. Whew.

Now back to my English horn reeds. I shaped and wound five. I liked the way the cane felt as I did the initial scraping. So here’s hoping ….

08. May 2006 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: imported, Quotes

A woman’s life in the orchestra is not as long as a man’s; she is just not as good at 60 as a man is at 60.

-Zubin Mehta (from Time magazine, December 9, 1966, explaining why he enforced a limit of 16 women in the Los Angeles Philharmonic)