19. August 2008 · Comments Off on Audition for La Bohème is for the Dogs · Categories: Auditions

Really. So if you are in or near Kansas City, and you have a poodle type doggie, he or she just might become Musetta’s friend.

And yes, the dog’s owner gets comps.

19. August 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: Links

Sometimes we might seem like wimps, and perhaps we are, but I like our contracts, and I like the fact that I don’t have to wear adult diapers, too. Yes. That what some of the Olympic performer donned while rehearsing. After all, breaks are for wimps.

I read it here.

So will that make some people view the opening ceremonies differently, I wonder? (I didn’t see them, as I was busy watching the Giants lose.)

He told the popular Guangzhou weekly newspaper Southern Weekend that only communist North Korea could have done a better job getting thousands of performers to move in perfect unison.

“North Korea is No. 1 in the world when it comes to uniformity. They are uniform beyond belief! These kind of traditional synchronized movements result in a sense of beauty. We Chinese are able to achieve this as well. Though hard training and strict discipline,” he said. Pyongyang’s annual mass games feature 100,000 people moving in lockstep.

Performers in the West by contrast need frequent breaks and cannot withstand criticism, Zhang said, citing his experience working on an opera performance abroad. Though he didn’t mention specific productions, Zhang directed an opera at New York’s Metropolitan Opera in 2006.

“In one week, we could only work four and a half days, we had to have coffee breaks twice a day, couldn’t go into overtime and just a little discomfort was not allowed because of human rights,” he said of the unidentified opera production.

Right-o. Human rights are just an awful thing, aren’t they?

19. August 2008 · Comments Off on Sidney Chen & Kronos · Categories: Links, Ramble

You can read it here … Sidney, Kronos’ artistic administrator, talking about Kronos and the internet and not one doggone word about an oboe.

Gee, Sid, thanks a million. 😉

(I’d link to your blog, but only with your permission, although you aren’t Mr. Anonymous anymore … are you?)

Update … Sidney gave me permission to link to his blog. So there you go. 🙂

19. August 2008 · Comments Off on Ray Still Masterclass in VA · Categories: Announcements, Masterclass

September 20, 2008
10am-12pm & 2pm-4pm
Chandler Hall, Old Dominion University

RAY STILL, former principal oboe with the Chicago Symphony, is acknowledged to be one of the greatest living performers on his instrument. His teachers were Philip Melomi, Fernand Gillet, Bruno Labate and Robert Bloom. The great Henride Busser was a profound influence in early years.
He began his career as principal oboe with the Buffalo Philharmonic, the Baltimore Symphony. and then the Chicago Symphony for 35 years, playing under all the major conductors in the last half of the 20th century: Fritz Reiner, Sir Georg Solti, Carlo Maria Giulini, Claudio Abaddo, James Levine and Daniel Barenboim to name just a few.

His many solo recordings include Quartets for Oboe and Strings with fellow artists Itzhak Perlman, Pinchas Zukerman and Lynn Harrell, Schumann Romances for oboe and piano with John Perry, and the Bach Wedding Cantata with Kathleen Battle, James Levine and the CSO strings.

Master Class for professionals and advanced students: Mr. Still will cover a wide range of oboe repertoire: solo and orchestral. He will deal with common technical problems in performance, and include a talk, “It’s all in the breath.”

Private lessons will be available by appointment on September 19th. Please call or e mail for a time

Fee: $100 participant, $20 auditor, $75/ one hour lesson

More info: Call Sherie Aguirre: (757) 537-9566 or email: sherie [dot] aguirre [at] gmail.com
or visit Ray Still website: raystill.com

Bill Bennett held a Ray Still Masterclass at San Francisco Conservatory about four years ago. I and a student of mine were able to attend. (No, we didn’t play.) Mr. Still loves to talk, and was great fun to listen to. I did share some of his quotes at my old oboe site way back when, and here they are again (yes, there were many, many more. I suspect I didn’t save all those notes, and some things he said were so hysterical or fabulous.):

[Too many musicians are] too involved with doing and not listening.

Demand more of yourself.

In order to play musically you have to learn the art of exaggerating.

Those pushups … get away from them! … you need those muscles mushy!

Notes, usually to be musical, have to move in or out. They don’t sound like clarinets!

-Ray Still

I’d love to hear them live:

19. August 2008 · 1 comment · Categories: BQOD

as i was driving again on winchester road not more than 30 minutes ago (on the way back from seeing pineapple express, which turned out to be a good decision), i was listening to “the heart of rock & roll.” and i found there’s a line in the chorus that i’d never noticed before:

they say the heart of rock & roll is still beatin’
and from what i’ve seen i believe ’em
the oboe may be barely breathin’
but the heart of rock & roll
heart of rock & roll is still beatin’

immediately i though, “what the hell, huey lewis and the news? my indignation knows no bounds. the oboe is awesome. double reed, you charlatans. i think maybe i’ll write a song about how the oboe, as it happens, is alive and kickin’, but these days huey lewis is, to straight up steal a phrase, old news.”

but then i referred to my old friend, google. and the lyric, as it happens, is “the old boy may be barely breathin’.”

and i breathed a sigh of relief. i’m sorry i ever doubted you, huey. i still believe in the power of love.