My friend and colleague has written me with this:

Maybe one of the far flung people who read your blog can help me translate some Danish found in the ballet part – nothing important; just random comments.

ingen blindtakt
Obs! Ev. repris hantran efter applad
maa icke synges! (my favorite)

Can someone out there answer this? We’d love it! 🙂

I’m going to guess the second one is something about applause. Am I anywhere close to right?


I was stupid.

… and was paying too much attention to the CD I had put in while I was cleaning my oboe, and pulled the swab too far into the upper joint. It’s stuck.

How should I get it out?

This is such a common question, and this is why I use a cotton swab. (See the first swab here.) This swab can’t go all the way through, and really can’t get stuck. Some cotton swabs are smaller and do get stuck. Some of those cotton swabs are also awfully stiff. Mine is a very soft cotton swab. (In black!) I love it. Silk swabs are incredibly easy to get stuck (which is why I have a handy dandy swab remover here at home to help rescue students). I used to use silk swabs. My oboe swab got stuck in the oboe right before a solo. The English horn one got stuck when I was about an hour from home and my husband graciously drove all the way up to hand me my swab remover. (Thanks, Dan!)

In any case, if you get a swab stuck, take it to someone who knows what they are doing. Do not try to force it out. Do not stick a drill in the end to try and get it out (really, I’ve heard about someone doing this!). Do not have your band director pull even harder to see if he or she can get it out (heard that one too). Just call me. Or your teacher. Or that good oboe repair person.

Trust me.

20. November 2008 · Comments Off on Another “Best” List · Categories: Announcements, MTT

MTT has been named one of America’s best leaders. Along with Lance Armstrong, who received top billing here.

Here is an article that does feature Michael Tilson Thomas. In case you’re interested.

20. November 2008 · Comments Off on Hear The World’s Best · Categories: Links, News, Watch

In celebration of the Gramophone Awards’ selection of Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (RCO) as the best symphony orchestra in the world, MonteVerdi.TV will broadcast Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring soloist Mitsuko Uchida, from the RCO’s recent 120 year jubilee concert, on Saturday 22nd at 20:15 Central European Time (CET) on
The concerto, one of the outstanding highlights from the RCO 120 year jubilee concert filmed on October 24th 2008, will be streamed in stunning 1.7MB quality and will be available free of charge on the English, Dutch, German, Japanese, Polish and Mandarin Chinese versions of the dedicated mini site.


So check ’em out and see if you agree! (What time is it here when it’s 20:15 CET? Guess I’ll have to check that out!)

I just went to the site, and you have to give them your email address to get your “ticket”. It says the video-on-demand is available until December 1. According to what is written there the broadcast is the 22nd, according to the pictured ticket it says 23rd. Hmmm. Oh well. I’ll catch it on demand anyway, I’m sure.

My favorite part of the opera (this is from an earlier production, not the Met):

20. November 2008 · Comments Off on Time To Get On That Phone! · Categories: Ramble

Wanna gig? Perhaps you just need to call the right symphony orchestra or opera company:

He said: “I thought it would be nice to be in the audience for a change so I called up to buy a ticket. The man who answered the phone knew me vaguely and asked, ‘You’re a tenor, aren’t you? I don’t suppose you are free tonight? Our tenor is ill’.”

I read it here. It’s true that the person answering would need to recognize your name, so maybe you want to send some publicity info ahead of time. And don’t go getting singers or instrumentalists sick just to get the gig. I think that’s a fairly bad idea.

Just sayin’.