16. June 2010 · Comments Off on Reminder: Willow Ensemble This Weekend · Categories: Concert Announcements

Greetings once again, Chamber Music Fans!

I’m sending a final reminder about the upcoming Willow Ensemble Concerts. If you’ve already requested tickets in advance, GREAT! If not, now’s your chance!

Concert Time: 8PM
Concert Dates: June 18 & 19
Concert Location: Grace Church Chantry at 10th and Broadway

Program Details

For woodwind quintet:
Mozart: Overture to Marriage of Figaro
Ravel : Pavane pour une Infante Defunte
Holst: Suite No. 2 in F


For string quartet:
Brahms: String Quartet Op. 51 No. 1 in C minor

Jorge Avila: violin
Alexander Sharpe: violin
David Gold: viola
Sarah Hewitt-Roth: cello
Reva Youngstein: Flute
Melanie Feld: Oboe
Dan Spitzer: Clarinet
Anthony Cecere: French Horn

$20 at the door
$15 in advance (Please email Timothy Emerson at emerst [at] gmail [dot] com, indicating which show you’d like to attend and the number of tickets need – we’ll put your name on a list at the door and you’ll get the $15 ticket price.)


–Timothy Emerson, Bassoon, Artistic Director

16. June 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Quotes

A critic should always strive to recapture the sense of wonder and surprise with which he first beheld a now-familiar work of art.

-Terry Teachout

16. June 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

[insert name here] needs to buy new oboe reeds. It feels like I’m playing on notebook paper… without the blue lines.

16. June 2010 · Comments Off on Another Young Conductor · Categories: Conductors, News

I’m rather late on this one … I kept meaning to blog about it but put it off. So most folks already know that Canadian conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin has been named music director of the Philadelphia Orchestra.

He’s not all THAT young; he’s thirty five.

Remember that “don’t trust anyone over thirty”? I mean … thirty used to be old. Right?


Here are a few videos:

An interview:

conducting snippets

16. June 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: TQOD

Played right, the oboe really can be the saddest of all instruments. Debussy’s music for oboe and harp is making me feel well mournful

I watched one game, and it’s possible I’ll tune in again. I’m not really a soccer fan, but hey, it’s the World Cup! When I watched that one game I was astounded by the now infamous sound of the vuvuzelas. Yes, they bug me. Sounds like a swarm of bees to me. I hate bees.

But you HAVE (yes, that word is bold & yelling at you) to go here and appreciate the humor. (I’d post the picture here, but I think that’s stealing, right?)

And of course it’s a B flat. Not an A. Figures.

16. June 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: News

Algebra, according to the Great Schools website, “is frequently called the gatekeeper subject.” It provides a solid foundation for later learning by teaching abstract reasoning skills. What’s more, its lessons apply to an increasing number of jobs in our technologically sophisticated society.
So how can you increase the chances your son or daughter will excel at algebra? A new study provides a surprising answer: Have them learn a musical instrument.
Researcher Barbara Helmrich of Baltimore’s College of Notre Dame examined a sample of 6,026 ninth-graders enrolled in six Maryland school districts. All had completed an introductory algebra course in either eighth or ninth grade and taken the HSA, a test that assesses how well they learned the subject.
Helmrich divided the students into three groups: Those who had received formal instruction on a musical instrument during the sixth, seventh and eighth grades; those who received choral instruction during those same years; and those who received no formal musical training.
She found the students who studied music significantly outperformed their peers. “Formal instrumental instruction impacted algebra scores the most,” she reports. “Choral instruction also affected scores, but to a lesser extent.”


That being said, I feel it necessary to admit that I and algebra were never friends. Ever.

(Many thanks to Janice Sinclair who sent me this link.)

16. June 2010 · Comments Off on Read Online · Categories: Read Online

Do you read your reviews?

Oh sure, sometimes. If they’re good, you don’t remember them. But I remember my first review, of a major concert I conducted in New York in 1985. It began, “We should think that this person is talented, but we don’t.” I stayed in bed for a couple of days after that.

This is a quote from Portrait of the artist: Marin Alsop, conductor. She is so right about not remembering the good ones, but remembering the bad.

Ah yes …

The overture was marred only by the bland English horn playing.

I think that was back in 1977 or 78. I sure do remember it.