Such a Masterpiece!


15. October 2010 · 8 comments · Categories: News, Oboe

Remember when I wrote about the case of the bullied oboist? Well, okay, I didn’t really write about it. I only said Yikes! and let you click on the link to read the story. But anyway … the oboist lost his case.

Responding to the judgment, the WNO managing director Peter Bellingham said: “The decision to dismiss Mr Johnston was taken after genuine concerns about his playing were raised by the then music director, Carlo Rizzi.
“There followed a process of monitoring that spanned nearly four years during which time it was made clear to him what the shortcomings were and how he should address them.”
He added: “We had no option but to dismiss Mr Johnston in order to protect the reputation and high artistic standards of the company.
“It was a decision taking entirely on artistic grounds, one that is vindicated not only by the tribunal’s decision but also evidenced by the very high quality of playing in the orchestra at this current time.”

Sad stuff, no matter what the truth of it all really is.

I do hope I know when it’s time to quit. (I’m not saying this man should have quit … I’ve never even heard him play!) I hope I will recognize it before others start grimacing. But of course I worry that I won’t. Heck, maybe I’m already there and don’t know it?!

15. October 2010 · Comments Off on A Young Conductor … or Two … · Categories: Conductors, Videos

With its continuing focus on youth this season, 17-year-old Ilyich Rivas, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra’s BSO-Peabody Bruno Walter assistant conductor, will make his subscription concert debut at the Music Center at Strathmore.
Rivas will command the podium, presenting an ambitious evening’s repertoire that showcases Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture,” Mahler’s “Blumine,” the Shostakovich Symphony No. 1 and Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2. Prodigy Markus Groh will perform on piano.


I couldn’t find any videos of him conducting, but I found one of him talking …

… and an even younger conductor. (I’d put the video up, but the “embedding is disabled by request” … rats!) Please do watch it! Hmmm. Is someone’s parent a conductor? Seems like maybe. What I like is that he has a tent to retreat into after … don’t you think most conductors should have one?

15. October 2010 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

Just had to invest in a music tuner, private lessons, music stand, books, and a t-shirt. Do they award Oboe scholarships anymore?

Anyone heard of a contraforte? I’m guessing so … I seem to be the last to know about things like this. Heck, I’m the last to know I should own and English horn with a low A♯ … go figure!

Anyway, check this out … read all about it!

Here’s a snippet to get you interested:

A few years ago, when the National Symphony Orchestra was rehearsing at the Kennedy Center for a performance of Stravinsky’s “Petrushka,” a funny thing happened to the orchestra’s contrabassoonist, Lewis Lipnick. He was playing a solo passage on his instrument, which is known for its erratic, sometimes flatulent sound. It must have sounded particularly gassy that day. Someone in the trumpet section threw a roll of toilet paper at him.

Leonard Slatkin, who was conducting at the time, stopped the orchestra and looked at him thoughtfully. “Well, you know, Lew,” Lipnick remembers him saying, “it wasn’t undeserved.”

And here is a contraforte:

15. October 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Apparently the dorks in orchestra who insisted on playing the oboe and bassoon were doing it so they could talk to aliens.