08. September 2010 · Comments Off on And It’s Back … · Categories: News

I blogged about a missing statue. Now I can blog that it’s been returned.

You can rest easy now.

n a bizarre exchange fit for the climax of a great crime caper, San Jose’s 200-pound missing “Giselle” statue returned from hiding Tuesday afternoon.

Yet the mystery of who took it only deepened.

Attorney Anthony Pagkas took the lead role in its return, playing middleman, toting the statue draped beneath a brown plastic tarp on a hand cart to a leafy alley between Third and Second streets downtown.

At precisely 3:47 p.m., a team of San Jose police detectives took possession of the bronze ballerina torso that was reported stolen about two weeks ago. Its return was apparently sparked by a front-page story last week in the Mercury News.

“When someone wants to do the right thing, they just want to do it and be anonymous,” said Pagkas, who arranged the handoff on behalf of an understandably anonymous client.


08. September 2010 · Comments Off on For Your Listening Pleasure · Categories: Oboe, Videos

Mozart Oboe Quartet, K370
Vladimir Lande, Oboe; Thibaud Trio

I Allegro

II Adagio

III Rondeau: Allegro

08. September 2010 · Comments Off on Asked and asked and asked · Categories: Asked Online, Reeds

Read online …

Is it my oboe reed or just me that makes my oboe sound bad?

My old reed broke cause it got too old and worn off (I played very well on that reed :[ ) so I bought a new medium reed (like what I bought from before except different brand). The reed looks new and looks fine but when I play my oboe with it, it sounds like a saxophone or a weak, strangled duck. Any tips and should I buy a new reed instead?

She forgot to ask “or is it my oboe?” … something many of us forget! Sometimes I am struggling and struggling and I blame me. Or I blame the reed. And eventually I realize it’s that my oboe has gone out of adjustment. Go figure.

Odds are, with the above question, that it really is her reed. She is buying store bought reeds. You never know what you might get, aside from knowing it won’t be great. You simply cannot buy a great machine-made store bought reed. Really. (Of course she should have a private instructor and she should be asking her teacher about reeds and her teacher should be working with her on them … and … and … and … but so many kids out there don’t have teachers. So sad.)

Oh … and one other thing … it is simply not acceptable to have only one reed. My students know I require a minimum of three working reeds. Having one reed is just plain foolish.

08. September 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

I would go to an audition on the violin and come back with an oboe gig.

08. September 2010 · Comments Off on A Different Take · Categories: Quotes

The question of concert behaviour, like most codes of conduct, depends on where you are. Who are you upsetting by ignoring etiquette? Does that etiquette have any purpose beyond crusty tradition? As far as classical music is concerned, the answer is yes. The need to sit still and pipe down is purely practical: to enable everyone to hear properly and to respect the performers, as well as fellow listeners. No one cares what you wear any more, and all that social nicety stuff is dead.

The London Philharmonic Orchestra’s Vladimir Jurowski addressed this question after conducting Beethoven at a free-spirited beer-and-crisps concert at London’s Roundhouse. While he could tolerate chatting and tweeting at this non-classical venue, he conceded that at the Royal Festival Hall any unnecessary noise is a distraction. Who, of a classical tendency, hasn’t sat next to someone whose noisy breathing – yes, that’s how much we mind – has prompted murderous feelings?

I read it here.

(I think, to many, the word “etiquette” has become a bad word. Oh well.)

08. September 2010 · Comments Off on What Was He Thinking? · Categories: News

I do wonder what people are thinking when they steal money … I suppose some folks never get caught, but gee ….

Cameron Poole, 36, is said to have plundered the orchestra’s accounts by forging signatures on cheques and credit cards.

He is alleged to have siphoned off the money to pay for flights, jewellery, artwork, clothes and even an extension to his £900,000 family home in south London.

His secret payments went undiscovered for almost three years, draining the orchestra’s reserve fund and leaving it facing total losses estimated at more than £2.3 million.

The Australian-born accountant, whose assets have been frozen as part of a separate High Court action by the orchestra, admitted charges of fraud by abuse of position and acquiring and using criminal property during a brief hearing at Southwark Crown Court yesterday.

Judge Deborah Taylor granted Poole bail but warned him that the “most likely outcome” of his case would be a custodial sentence.

A father-of-three who presented himself as committed Christian, Poole earned £60,000 a year as the publicly funded orchestra’s general manager until his departure in 2009 when his activities first came to light.


The Arizona Opera Orchestra has a website that includes a blog*. Currently it features What Are Opera Rehearsals For?. Some who don’t know the process might enjoy it.

We do something similar to what they do, but not quite. For one thing, we rehearse the entire time in the pit. I would love to rehearse in the opera rehearsal hall (aside from the discomfort due to the poor lighting there) so we could see and hear the singers better during the sitzprobe, but we no longer get to do that. Too bad; I think we’d feel more connected to them if we did that first. We don’t have any double service days at all. We also only have one “orchestra only” rehearsal unless we are doing something new (like right now; with Anna Karenina we were given a whopping two orchestra only rehearsals). This is too bad, since it means we really have very little or no time to actually work on anything. We mostly just have to run the piece. If we have mistakes in our parts (yes we still find them even if we’ve performed a work before), or if new cuts have been made (or opened up) and there are problems it’s just too bad. We have to figure that stuff out on our own time. Ah well. (Whine whine whine!)

But if you read the Arizona blog you’ll get a bit of an idea how the orchestra works.

Singers? They start doing their stuff LONG before we enter into the picture. I am in awe of all they do, and the time they must spend to put it all together.

*Gee, it would be fun to have an OSJ Orchestra blog. Or a Symphony Silicon Valley blog. Hmmm …

08. September 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

The oboe… Majestic and stately and not much inferior to the trumpet… Haha.