23. May 2009 · 6 comments · Categories: Ramble

Okay. I played. It went fine. I think. Of course the further away I get from it the more I think, “Did I really play horribly and was everyone just being nice because they felt sorry for me?”

Yep. That’s how twisted my brain is.

But anyway, I played, bad left ear and all. And yes, the ear is just as bad as it was yesterday and the day before and the day before. But I’m learning to deal with it. Which is a good thing … because what if it never gets better? So there you go.

Dan said I played well. As he says, though, it doesn’t help when he says it because I tell him that it’s just because we’re married and he has to say nice things. Still, I told him to go ahead and say nice things in any case. I am in the mood to hear them right now and not be too skeptical. Maybe.

Now I’m home and I just had my celebratory bowl of Joe’s Os (pretty much like Cheerios). The crunch of those hurts my left ear, believe it or not. But I ate them anyway. I had to celebrate, after all!

Next week I move on to Symphony Silicon Valley playing for the Santa Clara Chorale along with a little job playing for the Cantabile Youth Singers. Lots of vocal music. And I do love vocal music, so I’m happy to do these.

23. May 2009 · Comments Off on Attend Live Performances … Please! · Categories: Links, Ramble

I was talking to a student the other day about a recording he was listening to on the way to his lesson. He was saying that he noticed there were a couple of mistakes made by the oboist … and the oboist wasn’t just a “nobody” either. (No, I’m not gonna name names.) I explained that he was hearing an older recording. It was done prior to the age of being able to patch in little corrections. He was hearing what was nearly a live performance. Not quite, of course; I’m guessing the oboist played several takes of each movement and chose his fave. But you didn’t just go back and fixed individual notes like everyone does now.

This is one of the many reasons I want my students to attend live performances. Even the best of the best can make a mistake. You need to understand that. You also need to hear the magic of live music; while it might have an imperfection, it also has something special that you simply won’t get in a recording. Trust me. It’s exciting. It’s moving. It can take your breath away. It’s not about perfection, although of course performers want that, but it’s about making music in a moment in time.

Maybe I’ll write more on this later. Right now I need to take a nap; I have a live performance tonight!

Oh … and speaking of live performances, the Van Cliburn Competition has started, and they have a live webcast you can watch and listen to. (If you don’t have the Silverlight program you’ll first have to download and install that.)

23. May 2009 · Comments Off on San Diego: Oboe/English horn · Categories: Audition Results

I read this at the bottom of the article about Florida Orchestra I just blogged about:

Departure: Oboe and English horn player Andrea Overturf is leaving to join the San Diego Symphony next season.

23. May 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: Links, News, Ramble

Not surprisingly:

The Florida Orchestra has laid off three staff members and instituted pay cuts for next season. “We didn’t really get hit by the recession until January,’’ said president Michael Pastreich, adding that the orchestra has had a drop-off in single-ticket sales and donations in the troubled economy.

The layoffs, which Pastreich said yielded savings of about $250,000, included the comptroller, a database manager and a ticket center coordinator, leaving a full-time staff of about 20. The pay cuts start with the president, whose $175,000 salary will be reduced by 10 percent on July 1. Staffers making $75,000 or more will have their salaries cut 7.5 percent; those making $50,000 and more, 5 percent; and those making under $50,000 will have their pay frozen.


I wonder what the cost of living is like in St. Petersburg these days.

I do hurt for those people who were let go. I suppose it’s even worse to see the organization fold all together. When San Jose Symphony died it was devastating. It obviously hit a very large number of people. It wasn’t just the musicians and office. Stage hands, ushers, program printers … it hits a ton of people. I think it hurt the musicians the most, of course, because it was such a personal thing for us. Music is, in some ways, a part of who we are. Even now, I can get emotional thinking about what was lost.

The president of the Florida Orchestra, Michael Pastreich, was with San Jose Symphony (RIP) at some point, although he wasn’t there at the end. (I’m guessing he was smart enough to know he’d better get the heck out!) I can’t even remember his position at this point, but I’m sure a reader could remind me! I can’t remember … is Peter Pastreich Michael’s father? I’m sure a reader friend ‘o mine will fill me in on that, too! (DK? You there?)

Speaking of Peter Pastreich, there is a bit ‘o conversation going on about his new appointment. Lisa Hirsch blogs here and, very briefly, here about it, and Joshua Kosman responds to what she wrote.

I, wimp that I am, remain quiet on anything controversial. I am, in fact, holding back on something that recently really irked me. I just can’t go there. I would rather just seethe for a while.

I do wish seething helped in weight loss, though. 😉

But the worst part was the plot development, when Jane goes to visit a blind woman (Alicia Witt) at her home, and learns that she knows Red John, though of course she’s never seen him. (Another cheap gag.) And what do we learn about this mysterious killer, this freak who haunted the whole first season and doubtless will do so in the second?

He loves classical music.


Not all that long ago on another cops show, Criminal Minds, a master serial killer played by Keith Carradine, who thwarts the dedicated FBI profilers, is described as a lover of Beethoven.

What is the deal? Why is elite criminality associated with a love of classical music? Surely it’s just more lazy scriptwriting, in which writers can easily telegraph to the audience that this is a criminal to be reckoned with, simply by summoning up the idea that he listens to string quartets.

In a way, I suppose it’s a complimentary stereotype: If you love classical, you must be a brainiac. That’s certainly not true; classical music is just music — of a different genre than others, but still music.

I read it here.

I saw the episode of The Mentalist that the blogger is writing about. I know what he’s talking about. And now I’m challenging readers:

Name movies and TV shows that have killers that love classical music.

Your prize? Well … um … admiration. Will that do it? But I’m thinking that there is probably a list of these killers who love classical music. And I think part of it is that the writers want to point out that the killer is highly intelligent. And of course highly intelligent people love classical music.

Or maybe I’m just fooling myself! 🙂

But … well wait a minute … I just read about a real life killer and, well it says: “He is said to love classical music, poetry and art. Friends and family described him as gentle, kind and highly intelligent.”

So there you go.

Somehow I’m not finding comfort in this.