Mr. Taylor is retiring this year. There’s a nice article to read here. My favorite quote (you just know it has to be about reeds, right?):

“I’ve been trying to master the art of reed making for over forty years, and the truth is, you just never master it. You get your reed as good as you can get it, and you make it sound like you want it to sound by sheer willpower. It is a constant struggle, knowing you can only sound as good as your reed is.”

There’s also a video with the article. I think it’s a good one for everyone to hear. Notice how different we sound depending upon how it’s recorded and where we are playing? (The first version of Gabriel’s oboe is a recording done with oboe alone, without any wonderful acoustics. The second is in a church, with organ, and the acoustics are quite different.)

“Music helps us celebrate life, and, as far as I’m concerned, it is the most wonderful form of communication. It’s communicating the same emotions we experience in life, and it takes years to learn to express those things. Young musicians perhaps have not yet gone through life’s worst trials yet—tragedy, love, hate—the full spectrum of emotions. The longer you’re playing, while all along growing older and wiser, the better you get at conveying those emotions. I always feel like I can express myself a lot better with an oboe than I can with words.”



  1. I had the privilege of working with Bobby Taylor in the Nashville Symphony and in recording sessions 1976-79. He always impressed me with his superb musicianship.

    It was a very pleasant surprise to see him still playing (wonderfully!) nearly 30 years later when I happened to be in Nashville playing a concert celebrating Local 257’s 100th anniversary. Bobby’s playing, which had always been excellent, was even better with the additional years of experience he had accumulated playing with the ever-improving Nashville Symphony.

    I wish him well in his retirement — I wonder if he’s still a sailing enthusiast? Although Bobby was very conscientious about maintaining his high standard of excellence, he also knew how to relax and have a good time!

  2. So fun to hear about him more, Cameron. Thanks! (I know Roger Wiesmeyer – he and I played one year in Midsummer Mozart together – who also plays in Nashville. Maybe you know him too?)

  3. Jerry Pritchard

    Patty, thanks for posting this video. I have been recording myself a lot lately in a not very flattering (but clear and accurate) studio and have been getting discouraged and hypercritical.

    What a remarkable difference the environment and context makes in Taylor’s sound. He sound very good in the first solo example and brilliant and musical in the accompanied version.