25. August 2010 · Comments Off on Yahoo Answers · Categories: Yahoo! Answers

Here’s the question:

Is the English horn a nice instrument to try after playing the Bb clarinet and Eb alto clarinet?
Are the fingerings complex for beginners?

Here’s my answer: No. It’s a nice instrument to play before those ones! 🙂

25. August 2010 · 3 comments · Categories: Opera

At 80 years old, Agnes Varis is trying to make opera audiences younger.

“Your average opera-goer cannot be 65—give me break,” said Ms. Varis. “You’re not going to keep an opera house alive with that.”

Ms. Varis, the founder and former president of several pharmaceutical companies, including Agvar Chemicals, Marsam Pharmaceuticals and Aegis Pharmaceuticals, is on a mission to build a younger audience for the Metropolitan Opera, where she is a trustee. “The opera’s like Broadway but better. It’s got sex, it’s got incest, it’s got rape,” she said. “You introduce young people to music, you’ve got them for life.”

Toward that goal, she has donated $2.5 million to subsidize a program offering $25 orchestra tickets for all but two weekend performances of the company’s 2010-11 season—13,600 seats in all. The program, which the Met announced Tuesday, is an extension of the Agnes Varis and Karl Leichtman Rush Ticket program, started in 2006, which subsidizes 200 seats at $20 apiece for every weekday performance excluding galas.

While the beginning of the article sounds as if the discount is only for younger folks, it appears, from what I read later, that it’s for anyone, really. (Or am I misreading as I so frequently do?):

“The older people who have retired, they can’t afford the orchestra tickets and they can’t go upstairs where it’s $30—they’ll get a nosebleed. “I’m an old lady—if you’re an old lady and you wanted to come to the opera, would you sit on the floor in the lobby for tickets? I can’t do that to senior citizens.”

Ms. Varis has underwritten several opera productions, but she believes it her duty to build the company’s future audience, and she said she will continue to funnel her fortune toward that goal.

“Making money and doing good are not opposing values,” she said. “I made more money than I could use in many lifetimes…. If you want money, I’m ready to do it, but I want to see a plan for a younger generation.”

Very cool.

My friend Pam might enjoy this part:

Bay Ridge-raised and one of eight siblings, Ms. Varis is a product of Brooklyn public schools and Brooklyn College. Her mother held a factory job sewing buttons and her father sold ice cream from a street cart. “I came from Greek, poor, working-class people,” she said. (Asked if she lived at home while attending college, Ms. Varis said: “You cannot grow up with Greeks and think that you can move out.”)


Very obvious link to the article. 😉

25. August 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

[name here] is excited for classes to start tomorrow and meet with her oboe instructor.

25. August 2010 · Comments Off on A Series From My Trip · Categories: New York 2010, Photos

These have nothing to do with oboe or music … but for some reason this bride caught my attention and I just had to take the pictures. I spotted her as we were walking toward High Line Park. I love the color … and I do get all squishy inside when I see a bride or a wedding. (Of course if you cut me open you’d probably realize I’m always squishy inside.)

These are best seen enlarged, I think, so just click on each one to enlarge, or command-click to open in a different tab if you’re on a Mac (not sure how other computers work):

25. August 2010 · Comments Off on Instruments! · Categories: Double Reeds, Photos

While we were in New York we checked out the instruments at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. What an amazing collection! Here are just a few pictures of the western instrument double reed area. (Nothing has been worked on yet, so these are crooked, not-so-great pictures. Dan will, I know, have much better ones eventually, and I do plan on working on these someday. Maybe.)

Click on the photo to enlarge:

This last one … well … I thought the answer to, “What are you playing?!” would be, “Watering can.” (Okay, maybe only I find that funny. Figures.)

… but what is it really?! Here you go:

Mouth Organ, Peter Peckmann, Vienna, ca. 1835
Wood, leather, brass, copper. This instrument, known o…nly by this one example, has the shape of a Baroque-period racket. It speaks with draw and blow, has two-by-five finger buttons and is tuned like a harmonica in D. The arrangement of the buttons, however, allows one to play chords, making the instrument well suited for accompaniment. Another innovation was a large resonance chamber in the form of the hollow wooden cylinder underneath the reeds at the upper end of the instrument. The sound of the instrument has a special tenderness. Peckmann is also known as the maker of music boxes.

25. August 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Awful kids behind me on train ‘I’m grade 8 oboe, and off to Cambridge’ etc etc. Bring back the belt!

25. August 2010 · Comments Off on It Does …? · Categories: Read Online

Read Online:

The score was composed by Oscar winner Elmer Bernstein (Thoroughly Modern Millie). So that explains all the oboe solos during the sentimental parts…

I guess I’ll have to listen to some of his film scores to understand this oboe quote.

I read it here.