I just noticed that a bunch of people had registered for this site, but I guess I needed to approve them. I’m sorry … I didn’t know I wouldn’t be notified about that. So I’ve now approved them. If you don’t find that you are “in” with the “in crowd” (yeah, really … we oboists are just so in and hip and all that jazz), let me know and I’ll see what’s up.

Sorry if you’ve been waiting to leave a comment.

25. February 2009 · Comments Off on Concerts Coming Up · Categories: Concerts, Ramble

I’m pleased that Dan and I are able to attend more concerts these days. When the kids were living here and in school, we didn’t have the time — nor the energy — to get out much. These days that’s all changed! Here are the two we having coming up very quickly:

San Francisco Symphony
Michael Tilson Thomas, conductor
Anne-Sophie Mutter, violin
Prokofiev: American Overture, Opus 42
Sofia Gubaidulina: Violin Concerto No. 2, In tempus praesens (North American Premiere)
Ravel: Valses nobles et sentimentals
Ravel: La Valse

I’ve always been a fan of Ravel, and I know both those works well, so those should be great fun to hear from somewhere other than the English horn chair. I know nothing about the Prokofiev (is that awful of me?), and, I’m somewhat ashamed to admit, I’ve never heard a Gubaidulina work before. So this is one to really look forward to. By the time we purchased our tickets the only seats left were in the stratosphere, but oh well. My ears should still work fine from way up there.

The other concert is by New Century Chamber Orchestra, a group I’ve never heard before. (Heard of them, yes, and know some of the current and former members. I’ve just never attended a concert.) Here’s the program, called The Glory Of Russia:
Prokofiev (arr. Rudolf Barshai): Visions Fugitives, Op. 22, Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Shostakovich: Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35, Anne-Marie McDermott, piano
Tchaikovsky: Souvenir de Florence

Going to concerts frequently means going out to dinner, too. So good food, good company, and good music. Not bad!

25. February 2009 · Comments Off on Pretty Funny · Categories: Links, Reed Making, Watch

Okay … these things make me laugh:

#1: “Discover how You Can Improve Your Oboe Reed Making Quickly and Easily. Do you want to make better more consistent reeds without getting an ulcer?”

#2: The background music

#3: Well, look at the cane at the start! Um … it’s a bit on the large side for an oboe reed, is it not? Look at the gouging machine, gouging flat pieces of cane. This is all for sax or clarinet reeds … isn’t it?

So this German video isn’t really what the ad is for. (Deceptive? I think so. But whatever.) The ad on the video is actually for a site I’ve seen before called “Making Oboe Reeds”. You can pay the person $29 (for now … I guess it’s usually $50) for his book. I’ve seen it. It’s fine. But I actually think you can find a lot for free out in InternetReedLand™ these days. Free is kind of nice. 🙂

You can always check out this preview by Liang Wang. If only reed making went this quickly!

Why doesn’t the Conservatory make such concerts more accessible to its own students? I can understand if the concert is selling well, producers of the event, renting the hall, would not want to lose revenue. But when there is an empty hall, why not open it up to students, either at a deep discount or even for free. Airlines fill empty seats by all means possible, so how about the Conservatory flying right?

You can read the entire letter here.

I agree. This would be a very good thing. And please note: Opera San José has student rush tickets that are well worth the small amount of $11.00. I love that. (I don’t know if Symphony Silicon Valley currently offers anything like that.)

At the same time, I have to ask why some of the students I have spoken with (and some I’ve taught) don’t attend concerts at all. Even free faculty concerts. Some of the students I’ve talked to have never attended a symphony concert in their lives, aside from the ones they are in. I find that quite puzzling.

25. February 2009 · Comments Off on Stevie Goes Classical · Categories: News

Another pop artist moves into the classical world:

Amid the tapestries and ornate decor of the Library of Congress, soul legend Stevie Wonder made his classical debut last night with “Sketches of My Life,” a chamber-music composition commissioned by the library featuring a 21-piece orchestra, two pianos, a synthesizer, a harmonica, and a harp.

… I love that the harmonica is still there, though! 😎

I read it here.

25. February 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Nothing says morning like the English horn solo from Rossini’s William Tell.