29. March 2010 · Comments Off on Meet Liang Wang · Categories: Oboe, Videos

Nice video!

29. March 2010 · Comments Off on The Market for Opera · Categories: Links, Opera, Videos

I posted a video quite some time ago of opera being sung in a market. Now Baltimore Symphony and Washington Opera have done the same thing.

It appears, from what she writes anyway, that perhaps Anne Midgette hadn’t seen the original video. She doesn’t sound very happy about the current one, though, unless I’m not reading her correctly.

29. March 2010 · 5 comments · Categories: Oboe

I’m watching a video of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. I can’t say it’s the most in tune performance, or the most musical, but the music is still glorious! They just zeroed in on a flutist and I’m watching as she re-places fingers. (No, I don’t mean “replace” … as in taking off fingers and putting on new ones. That would be … um … kind of painful, yes? That’s why I hyphenate the word.) What I mean by “re-place” is she lifts fingers that are down even though they are supposed to be down for the following note. She then has to put them down again. I discourage my students from doing this, aside from those few times we do it to try and “pop” a low note out. Even then I prefer to have a good reed and a well adjusted oboe; the the notes should be there as long as we believe they will be. Funny how, if we think, “I’m going to miss this note!” we do usually miss it. As I tell my students, our oboes are somewhat psychic! 😉

I believe “the less finger movement the better. But now I’m curious … is this re-placement technique common among my readers? Or is it common amoung my reeders? Or something! 😉

29. March 2010 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

Haha, so lately I’ve been, erm, I dunno, behaving like a 50 year-old, and listens to many, many classical pieces.

29. March 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

OK, Olivia is officially AWESOME. The actress playing her is named “Anna”, she played the oboe (albeit for only 6 months), and she can turn lights off with her mind!!!

29. March 2010 · Comments Off on Congratulations! · Categories: UCSC

If you have been admitted to UCSC, congratulations! I don’t envy high school students these days; getting into colleges, universities and conservatories is getting more and more difficult. You all are under so much more stress than I was back in the dark ages.


If you are thinking of a music major, or even if you are just interested in oboe at UCSC, please feel free to contact me at pmitchel [at] ucsc [that dot thing you put here] edu. I’m always happy to meet with prospective students if we can make schedules work. (I am on campus on Tuesdays, so if you are making plans, do keep that in mind, please.)


You just can’t beat the beauty at UCSC. I really need to post more pictures from the campus.

UCSC Trees


Here is my starting page for UCSC students.

29. March 2010 · Comments Off on Bay Area Arts · Categories: News

It’s a twist of dramatic irony worthy of the stage: Major Bay Area arts groups are, surprisingly, having a robust year at the box office, but slumping donations, absentee tech giants, and diminishing government and foundation funding have left many of them limping out of the long, hard recession.

“This is shaping up as our most difficult year yet,” says Andrew Bales, president of Symphony Silicon Valley. “We continue to fight the good fight.”


… and who is expecting a deficit or not.

29. March 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

Too True!

I think if you take any trained musician (be it pianist, violinist, singer – yes, we’re musicians, too!) they will all marvel at the dichotomy that is Mozart. His music bares a complexity that boggles the brain, and yet it requires the utmost simplicity to execute. It somehow carries a mastery of mathematics and symmetry, and yet it wafts off the page into something airy and indescribable, achingly human in its entirety. I think part of the equation involves simply getting out of our own way, and letting that perfect balance of complexity and simplicity work it’s magic. But that’s a tall order, because it takes a mountain of technical mastery to even make it through the phrases: too much emoting, and it somehow becomes self-indulgent; not enough purity of line from both the voice and the orchestra, and we become too aware of the difficulty at hand.

-Joyce DiDonato

I read it here.