04. April 2009 · Comments Off on Better · Categories: Ballet, Ramble

I’m home from ballet, and I actually didn’t cough throughout the performance. Whew! I think I’m really on the mend. But Dan had this, and I seem to recall he thought he was getting better right before it got really bad. You can trust that tomorrow I’m going to take it as easy as possible before the final matinee.

Someday I really should go see a full ballet. I still don’t quite “get” it; all that story telling via miming seems so very odd. But, as Dan pointed out, I should think about an opera recitative. People don’t really communicate that way either.

Whatever. It’s probably mostly that I’m quite envious of all those fit bodies.


04. April 2009 · Comments Off on Audition News · Categories: Audition Results, Auditions

The Chicago Symphony Orchestra has hired Lora Schaefer, principal oboe of the Kansas City Symphony, for the position of second oboe. She will be sitting in with the CSO wind section in late April and early May before officially joining the orchestra July 6 at Ravinia.

Read here.

So that explains the principal oboe opening announcement in Kansas City that states “one year possibly permanent”.

04. April 2009 · Comments Off on 20 minutes for $2.50 · Categories: Links

New World Symphony puts on concerts that are 20 minutes long. And they charge only $2.50.

I suppose a twenty minute concert limits repertoire a bit, doesn’t it? And does the time include tuning and applause? That would make it even shorter. (But hey, you could say you’ve received your culture and then get the heck outa there.)

What I like is that reeds get a shorter workout. Nice!

I’d go, though. Really I would. But I wouldn’t feel like I had a full meal of music. Still, it might be a fun little thing to do before going out to a nice dinner.

04. April 2009 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

I have puzzled over some issues with new works, and I’m just going to put up a few questions here. I am not being sarcastic. Really. I’m just curious about some issues.

Recently one of my students was given a suggestion. A composer of a new work thought the student might consider playing the composer’s new work on a plastic oboe reed. This was one thing that got me going on this. Another is that, some years ago, I played a wrong note in a new work (no, I didn’t do it on purpose). The composer didn’t have a clue. Another time we were doing a new work and a musician asked the composer a question about a note and the composer actually didn’t know which note he wanted. It didn’t really matter to him.

These things just cause me to puzzle over some new music. If it doesn’t matter what note I play, what does matter? What is that work about? If I can play on a plastic oboe reed, what is it about the oboe that is important? It must not be the timbre (believe me, a plastic reed doesn’t sound like a reed of cane). We spend a great deal of time perfecting our craft, working on our tone, intonation, phrasing, technique … you get the idea. And then we sometimes get works where none of that matters at all.

Yes, I find works like that frustrating. But mostly I’m curious what the composer is thinking. If a beginning oboist would be just as fine as one who’s been training for years, what does this mean?