29. February 2008 · Comments Off on If You Build Blog It He Will Come · Categories: Comics, Links

So someone blogs about Alex Klein and “The Commercial”. She puts up a few comics too. She then corresponds with him. Eventually he comes to her school to give a masterclass.

Too cool, huh?

No, this isn’t about me. But still it’s cool. Read about it here.

It makes me wonder though: who should I be blogging about? Who could I get to come to my place. Huh? Huh? 😉

… to ACB!

So what are you now … EIGHT? Cool.

29. February 2008 · Comments Off on Appomattox Nixed? · Categories: Links, Ramble

I’ll be sad if it’s the case, but wondered about it when I saw four operas listed recently. Then Robert Gable provided a link to yet another wonderer.

I realize a lot of people i talked with didn’t care for the opera, but I liked it and was hoping to see it again.

29. February 2008 · Comments Off on A Quiet Week · Categories: Links, Ramble

After Rigoletto this week has felt a bit odd. I will admit that it’s nice to be home every night, but I get rather lazy, and I sure watch a lot of junk TV. But I’ll remain a Project Runway junkie, (Hey … PR idea … design for an orchestra! Tee hee. Of course I also think they should design mother-of-the-bride dresses. But will they take my advice? Doubtful!) and I’m so not into American Idol that I simply don’t care a bit about the show. Funny, since the latter is supposed to be about music, and the former isn’t, but PR just feels so creative, and AI doesn’t feel, to me anyway, as if there’s an ounce of originality there. (When I had it running last night as I was doing all my banking biz I heard someone singing a Carpenter’s song and she sang with nearly the exact inflections and all as the original. Who needs a copy of an original, huh?)

Anyway … I ramble … but it has definitely been a quiet week. I’ve had some time to start working a bit more seriously on some future concert music. I’m doing a couple of works by James Cohn on and all-Cohn concert at SCU, so those are on the music stand. One is a woodwind quintet and the other a work for solo violin, cello and woodwind quintet. Should be fun. In addition, I’ve pulled out the English horn and done a bit of tooting on Rite of Spring. Trouble is, I don’t know which part I’m playing yet. (There’s a third oboe/English horn doubling book and a solo English horn book.) I’m working away on the much more important solo book, but who knows which I’ll get? Certainly I don’t! Still, it’s wonderful to work up that piece again … such a fantastic English horn part. Not completely easy, but I love it and it’s fun to play. Prior to the Stravinsky I’ll be doing a couple other SSV concerts, and the first includes Strauss’ Til Eulenspiegel and Suite from Der Rosenkavalier. More English horn for yours truly.

28. February 2008 · Comments Off on Ooh … Fight … Fight! · Categories: Links

China Philharmonic Orchestra
vs. Lang Lang

That’s what I see here, although it might change and then you’ll miss it. Too bad, eh?

Alex Ross saw it first.

Some of you will get this, some not. I’m guessing Mr. Kaulkin will. How ’bout you, Mike? The rest of you? Do tell! 😉

(Thanks, Kelsey!)

“… and a little more beer ….”

I’ve had students come to me with some major problems. Sometimes it’s fingering issues, and sometimes embouchure. Sometimes it’s even basic things like, “Oh, I’m supposed to dip my reed in water?!”

Please, please, please … study with an oboist! Study with someone who is actually playing the darn instrument, not someone who used to play it in college. Study with someone who plays for you (and with you), so you can hear that the person actually knows how to play. I don’t care if a lesser quality oboe teacher lives closer to you; you are doing yourself a great disservice if you learn incorrectly. It’s difficult to break habits you learn when you begin the instrument.

One easy “instructor check”: Do you know left F? If you don’t know what I’m talking about, and you are playing in the key of Bb (two flats: Bb and Eb) email me. 🙂

(And to you oboe instructors out there: yes, I’m picky about left F. Because I didn’t have it for far too long and I can’t tell you the amount of time it took me to break the forked F … WITH the Eb key! … habit. I give students 3 months or less to find a different oboe if they come to the first lesson with no left F key. I’m tough that way.)

Need a teacher recommendation? Check out your local college. Or contact me. I might be able to help. And I do have a list of instructors in the USA although it’s far too small. (I can’t call these recommendations for the most part, although I can highly recommend the few I’ve met. Just ask!)

Can you imagine being told by the conductor that you must apologize to the chorus if you, as an instrumentalist, made a mistake?

Aykal has an excellent temperament and balanced approach; a redoubtable task-master and charismatic wit. The first wrong note was met with a glare, and an instruction to the poor culprit – an oboist I think – to apologize to the choir in perfect English. He did it and the tense moment became an ice-breakingly funny one.

Maybe this is a young group and this is funny to them. To me it would be horrifying. Not that I wouldn’t be sorry, but to have a conductor issue this demand … yikes!

Perhaps I’m missing something and it was all done in great humor. Who knows? I wasn’t there ….

(Found here.)

28. February 2008 · Comments Off on Maybe She’s Just Boring? · Categories: Links

Four-and-half-years ago, Spector approached Leeds after one of his seminars and told him about her dogs falling asleep when she played the piano. She hoped that he would want to work with her on a CD for dogs.


Yeah, everyone’s heard by now that classical music soothes dogs. But I still had to post this. Because. 😉

Somehow knowing we put dogs to sleep isn’t comforting to me.

Should the symphony advertise as “We put dogs to sleep?”

Um. Oh … wait. I guess that’s not a good way to put that, eh?

27. February 2008 · Comments Off on Short Sits · Categories: Links

Do you like opera a bit, but don’t like to stick around for three hours or more? Check out Five:15.

I wouldn’t mind hearing what these folks came up with. I doubt I’ll get to Scotland soon though, unless someone wants to send me there. (Pretty please?! I love Scotland!)

Apparently there were no women available for the project (unless I’m missing something when I look at this) in the area of the Scottish Opera though. Too bad, eh?