I’m just home from San Francisco Symphony and too tired to really write, but what a great concert! The oboes and English horn sounded great. The brass … wow!

It was entirely enjoyable, aside from one first violinist. That player was such a puzzlement, bowing differently at times, completely stopping for brief moments when all the other violinists were playing, staring off into the audience and sometimes at the brass, and at one point appeared to be making some kind of joke to the stand partner. The second half the player behaved a bit better some of the time (enough so that Dan never got to see the shenanigans) and for some reason had no stand partner that half. Odd. Maybe I’m just overly critical, but I was sure distracted! (And, since Dan didn’t notice a thing, I did wonder if I was just imagining all of this … I’m that insecure, go figure.)

Anyway, bravi tutti to the San Francisco Symphony musicians and Maestro Michael Tilson Thomas. As if they care what this little person thinks. (They don’t read this blog in any case.)

Okay, I’m not all that little. But you know what I mean. 🙂


  1. hm, I wonder if that violinist is the same guy that always catches my eye during every concert that he’s there… is he in the first violins? He always seems to be goofing off a little bit, but I think I know who you’re talking about.

    It’s funny how one little thing can really stick in your mind, like a piece of gum someone stuck in the middle of a beautiful painting.

  2. I’ll bet we are talking about the same person, Jolene.

    Have you seen a piece of gum stuck in the middle of a painting!?

    (I don’t chew gum, so it’s not mine. Honest! 😉

  3. No, I haven’t actually, but it’s funny how one negative yet distracting detail can taint a full experience. The concert sounds beautiful otherwise though, SFS really is a world class symphony. That’s too bad, perhaps someone needs a gentle reminder on professionalism and if you’re sitting in the front, people can actually see you. I mean it’s so different if you’re in the pit of a ballet or a musical rather than in a symphony performance, onstage.

  4. Heh … I kind of figured you didn’t see gum on a painting. Well, unless it was intentional! 🙂

    Yes, one distracting thing can really make an experience so different, can’t it? I had to force myself not to look in that player’s direction. I’m sure some people would tell me to “get over it”. I tried …really!

    Every orchestra member should have to attend a certain number of performances, I think, so we are all reminded of how much an audience sees. We do forget, I think. Even these top-notch folks. (I don’t compare myself to them at ALL, other than to say I don’t come close … sigh.)

    Even in a pit, we sometimes can be seen. I’ve had people ask me, “So what was the second [instrument name left out] reading anyway?” Or some such thing. I don’t mind folks reading (even though I really can’t do it for several reasons), but if it’s distracting paying folks, I think we should be more careful. I’m picky that way.