28. June 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Ramble

Okay, folks, I really need to change the theme of this blog. But I’m a computer idiot, and I just choose templates and deal. So if any of you have faves with WordPress would you let me know? I prefer simple and three column.

I don’t know if anyone readers of oboeinsight are familiar with WordPress, but if you are, feel free to offer up suggestions!

Read Online:

Q: Can you use an oboe reed on english horn

A: No. An English horn reed has wire that stabilizes and focuses the tone of the notes above the staff.

Read here.

Heh … who knew that was the reason?! (So I guess all those players who do use wire on oboe reeds may go ahead and use that oboe reed on an English horn then, eh?)

28. June 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: FBQD

Drinking chocolate milk, listening to Strauss and working on oboe reeds under a tiny lamp… ahh the life of a musician.. I love it.

28. June 2010 · Comments Off on MQOD · Categories: Quotes

My life is all about opera, and if people say opera is escapism, I say ‘What’s wrong with that?’ I think it’s the most powerful art-form, the most cathartic. It’s just like therapy, or drugs, sometimes. It’s an experience that you’ll never forget. My husband [Frank van Aken] is also a singer, and I go to hear him sing. He just did a run of Parsifal and I sat in every show I could. And I felt cleansed after this, it was so beautiful.”

“I wish this banner of elitism – that exists in my country, at least – would go away. I wish that would go away because that’s not the point. Everybody should be able to sit in a theatre and enjoy these experiences, because they can be life-changing. It gives you a whole new outlook on life: you see things, they stay with you forever, and they give you a whole new outlook on life. It’s like therapy. I really think that. This is a bit of a hard story to tell, but when my mother was very ill, she was in a lot of pain, and in those moments of pain, she would listen to a certain music, and she said to me: ‘When I listen to this, I feel no pain.’ Now, that’s what music can do. And that’s what opera can do. If you’re low, music can make you feel better, or have a good cry and be relieved. That’s what makes us human: that we can create these miracles, these wonderful things. And also, you can connect to people that suffer wars and all sorts of hardship. I just met this person who’s working for Doctors Without Borders in Holland. Now we also have Musicians Without Borders. It’s such a wonderful thing. I want to get in touch with them, and tell them I’d like to be their ambassador or something! They go to countries were there was war, and they start building chorus groups with all these kids, or making musicals together with these people, also from opposite sides, and they build or re-build music schools. That’s what music, and also things like sport, can do.

-Eva-Maria Westbroek

I read it here, and I encourage you to read the entire interview. It’s great!

28. June 2010 · 4 comments · Categories: TQOD

Debating whether oboe playing causes brain aneurisms

28. June 2010 · Comments Off on Peter & The Wolf · Categories: Videos, WWQuintet

… for Woodwind Quintet. This is the group WindSync:

The orchestra’s 60 core members would be affected. D’Agostino said SSO management anticipates the musicians would be eligible for unemployment benefits, but the state Department of Labor would make the final determination.

I don’t really understand. If they aren’t working — if the orchestra has let them go for the week — why is there even a question about collecting unemployment?

I’m sort of out of it when it comes to this stuff, since I can’t collect unemployment and I think it’s a bit unethical to collect it in certain instances in any case, but I know that a large number of my colleagues file for unemployment on the weeks when they have a week with no symphony/ballet/opera. To many it’s just a given.

I, of course, teach at my home studio. I never take a week off, unless I’m taking a vacation (and taking a vacation would definitely make collecting unemployment a bit unethical, yes?). I also receive paychecks monthly from UCSC, even over the months I am not actually teaching. I love this! They stretch my pay over twelve months, which means these very rough summer months, when Dan isn’t teaching, aren’t quite so difficult to get through.

But why is this story about Syracruse even a story? Maybe someone who does the unemployment thing can explain it to me.

28. June 2010 · Comments Off on Robert Walters & The New SF Opera Oboist, Mingjia Liu · Categories: English horn, Oboe, Videos

Many thanks to Janet Archibald for alerting me to this first video … Robert Walters (Oberlin) is the teacher of the San Francisco Opera‘s new principal oboist that I blogged about earlier, and you see and hear Mingjia Liu here as well. Nice! (But may I just say I’m feeling very, very old now? Sigh.)

Here is another video with Robert Walters, about the English horn (he’s the English hornist of the Cleveland Orchestra):

It appears that Oberlin oboists win auditions!