18. January 2009 · Comments Off on Carion On Tour · Categories: Videos

There’s a bit of talking first. Then you can hear the first movement of Bach’s Concerto No. 2 after Vivaldi arranged for woodwind quintet.

18. January 2009 · Comments Off on Opera San José 2009-2010 · Categories: Announcements, Opera, Ramble

The Opera San José 2009-2010 season has now been made public. I knew the operas already, but didn’t think I was supposed to spill the beans until they did.

The list:

Manon (Massenet), La Cenerentola (Rossini), Le nozze di Figaro (Mozart), La rondine (Puccini).

Yes, they are pretty safe operas. Smart and necessary for now, in my little opinion. And Rondine is new for us, so I’m really looking forward to that. I’m hopeful that at some point we’ll get to do some contemporary works, but these days risks aren’t really wise in San José.

Now I look forward to seeing the Symphony Silicon Valley schedule. I’ve heard nothing about it, though, and I suspect that won’t be up for a while yet. Last year it was announced at the end of February.

I always look forward to seeing what’s in store for my life. I’m such a control freak and love my calendar, so the opera dates have all been added to my handy dandy computer calendar. Nice!

So concert #3 is over, and we have no more.

I really enjoyed the David Amram Piano Concerto. He knows how to write a nice line for English horn! I thought John Nakamatsu played great, and I loved the Joplin encores that he played Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. I even managed to enjoy the Respighi after all; I really thought I wasn’t ever going to enjoy that noisy work!

Paul Polivnick was, as is usual, very enjoyable, clear, and easy to work with. I’m always happy to have him at Symphony Silicon Valley.

Now I get ready for Opera San José and Cosi fan tutte, but I do have this week off so I might even work on reeds.


18. January 2009 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

My Akai EWI USB thinks it’s an oboe

I’ve had my EWI USB for about six days. Somehow I’ve gotten its configuration stuck. None of the configuration settings from breath sensitivity to fingering system to transpositions work anymore. They worked fine for the first five days as I switched things back and forth many times. Now I’m stuck with oboe fingerings, the slowest key response and the transposition of an English Horn. Anyone else had this sort of trouble? Getting support for this contraption has been tough.

Yeah, yeah, yeah … everyone wants to be an oboe. Duh.


18. January 2009 · Comments Off on 100 · Categories: Birthdays!

Retired San Jose State music professor Thomas Eagan had a surprise 100th birthday celebration at Bella Mia in downtown San Jose on Saturday, organized by alumni from Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, an inactive music fraternity at the university.

Eagan joined the music faculty at San Jose State Teachers College after his graduation in 1931 and taught woodwinds, brass, strings, percussion conducting and orchestration to probably thousands of students in his career. He retired at age 67 in 1966.

I read it here.

“Tommy” Eagen (at least that’s what we called him, although not to his face!) may have retired in 1966, but he taught me in 1976 or 77 or somewhere around there. And I remember seeing him in juries sometimes too. So he stuck around. I don’t remember much about the class I had wiht him, but I remember his spryness, and I remember that he could make me laugh. If I remember correctly, my father also took a class from the man.

Happy Birthday, Mr. Eagen!