24. August 2009 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Kids in high school thought I was into classical music, because I seemed like a fifty-year-old woman to them. But I hate most classical music.

24. August 2009 · Comments Off on Louis Rosenblatt · Categories: Losses, Videos

From the IDRS:

I have just received a phone call from an oboe friend who lives in Philadelphia. She told me that Louis Rosenblatt passed away Monday afternoon, August 24. Information about the arrangements will be posted here as soon as it becomes available.

The IDRS family mourns the passing of one of its most legendary members and extends its deepest condolences to his wife, Renate, and family.

From the IDRS site:

A native Philadelphian born in 1928, Louis Rosenblatt began to study the oboe with Nicholas Lannutti at the South Philadelphia High School for Boys. Later he became a pupil of John Minsker. After being graduated from high school, he was accepted at the Curtis Institute and became a student of Marcel Tabuteau. He joined the Philadelphia Orchestra in 1959 as assistant first oboe. When John Minsker retired from the Orchestra, Mr. Rosenblatt moved to the English horn position to fill the vacancy.

You can read more here.


24. August 2009 · 1 comment · Categories: Videos

I have to admit that I’m skeptical about the first one being entirely real, but it’s fun even if it has been cooked slightly on someone’s computer. The attached background said it is a 13,029-hour collaboration between music and engineering students (now, isn’t that a stretch?) at the University of Iowa and that most of the parts came from the John Deere factory down the road. Thanks to my friend Iby Haidari for passing it along:

The above is from here, where I was introduced to the video blow. Gotta give credit where credit is due! (It bugs me when people find videos at my site and post ’em as if they just found ’em when I’m just sure there were seen here first. Yeah, I’m petty that way!)

For the record, I’m doubting that it’s real as well. Doesn’t mean it isn’t fun and clever.

24. August 2009 · Comments Off on It’s Being Said · Categories: Links

… that the weekend’s concerts were a hit. I like to read that!

It’s something of an understatement to say that the Target Summer Pops festival opened with a high note last weekend at San Jose State.

The two concerts by Symphony Silicon Valley drew sizable crowds — about 4,200 for Saturday’s John Williams program and another 1,000 for Sunday’s family show. The audiences brought out blankets, lawn chairs and picnic baskets for a grand time on the campus’ San Carlos Street mall.

Read it here.

24. August 2009 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Psssh, you play oboe. Everyone knows that oboe players don’t have to work as hard. 😉

24. August 2009 · Comments Off on Where We Sit. What We Do. & More. · Categories: Ramble

Many people claim not to comprehend classical music. But music itself is a cinch compared with orchestral hierarchy.

This is an interesting article on the seating in Cleveland Orchestra.

Every orchestra seems to have slight differences in how things work. Most orchestras have principal and section players. In addition there are frequently assistant positions for the strings and usually in the French horn section. Sometimes other wind sections have assistant positions as well. And yes, people are paid differently, depending upon their position.

Where we sit and what we do is usually clear to us, even it it’s not to concert goers. Most of this is in writing and can be found in contracts. Sometimes, though, things are just “understood”. I, for instance, am listed as second oboe in SSV. Second oboe is a section position. But if there’s English horn I move over and play that … most of the time. (Sometimes I opt not to, although that’s quite rare.) If Pam takes a set or a work off, I will probably be asked to play principal. I don’t believe there’s anything in the contract about that, and management or Pam could always say they want someone else. (If I didn’t have their confidence I’d not want to sit there anyway, believe me!) A conductor usually would have the final say about moving up … but we don’t have a permanent conductor, so never mind that!

In some groups there is a assistant oboist (paid more than section and less than principal) and a separate English hornist. SSV only has the two chairs, and brings in a sub or two if necessary to fill the section out. San Jose Symphony (RIP) had principal oboe, second and English horn, and I was the English hornist for 27 years. In some orchestras the English horn is a principal position. In others it’s not. It is definitely a solo chair (as I was reminded by all the solos I had in Saturday’s John Williams pops concert). Sometimes it’s paid that way, and sometimes not. It’s just a section position in Symphony Silicon Valley and pays the same as any section player, no matter what I have to play. This can be frustrating, but that’s the way this business goes, and I try very hard not to compare what I have to what someone else is doing. After all, we all have important work to do! Only sad part is that if I blow it my name could get bashed in a review, while many section players would never have to deal with that!

I love the position I play, since I do get variety: playing EH, playing assistant, playing second, even playing first … keeps things from feeling like the “same old same old”, you know? And then of course in Opera San José I am principal oboe so I get that joy. And in groups that hire me as a freelancer I play whatever I’m asked to play.

It’s a good life. Even if I whine a lot. 😉

24. August 2009 · Comments Off on Article about the Weekend Concerts · Categories: Links

The program, with the mix of a harmonica and the symphony, went surprisingly well.

Hmmm. Not quite sure how one should take the above comment!