08. November 2010 · Comments Off on Oops! · Categories: Oops!

The group plays a blend of light and classical music featuring the English and French Horns, flute, oboe and bassoon.

… this is about a woodwind quintet.

I read it here. And yes, they show a picture of the quintet. With a clarinet. 🙂

08. November 2010 · Comments Off on Jade Simmons Responds · Categories: Ageism

… to my ageism post. Check it out.

I do commend her for her gracious reply. I disagree with this:

We do highlight the “stuffy,staid” quote because, like it or not, that is the stereotypical IMAGE of what classical music is, even though it is NOT what Classical music is.

I don’t care to highlight a quote because of a stereotypical image. I wonder what would happen if someone did that about, say, a particular race or gender preference stereotype.

But I do thank Ms. Simmons for responding as she did. 🙂

08. November 2010 · Comments Off on Oboe Outside My Little World · Categories: Oboe Outside, OutsideMyWorld™

John-Luc Fillon on oboe

J-Luc Fillon : oboe, english horn, duduk
João Paulo : piano
Carlo Rizzo : tambourins

08. November 2010 · Comments Off on BQOD · Categories: BQOD

I think beginner oboe possibly sounds worse than beginner violin. Truly. I sound like I’m strangling a tubercular duck. It’s not pretty!

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

Oh my! my grandson [name here] just brought home an oboe today, and is now practicing :/

08. November 2010 · Comments Off on Bottled Brahms · Categories: Havin' Fun, Videos

08. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: TV

… so does the “Habsburg Chamber Orchestra” actually exist?

He is on TBS tonight. I’ll miss it; these shows are always past my bedtime!

08. November 2010 · 4 comments · Categories: TQOD

2 for 1, since they follow each other …

Tonight, second oboe sent her minions after me (she has minions!). I got a lecture from one of the flute players! SRSLY. Am I in 8th grade?

I was second oboe in high school, but I never got to have minions!

The Juilliard Orchestra is no longer an orchestra made up of young talented musicians who all want to become soloists and have no respect for the orchestral canon. These students I worked with last week are all musicians who are sensitive to their colleagues and to the conductor. They move and breathe together; they share a wonderful work ethic and a sense of humor. If this is the future of orchestral music in the States, I am not worried at all.

So, let’s make room for them! I have conducted too many orchestras where individuals can’t play their instruments anymore. I know this is a very controversial statement, but if we want the public to love classical music as much as we do, we have to invigorate the field with these young, talented musicians. (I want to digress and clearly explain that younger does not mean better. While being the assistant conductor of the Cleveland Orchestra, I had the privilege of spending time with some “older” musicians. One colleague and friend comes to mind – Emilio Llinas who shares a stand with the principal second violin, Steve Rose. Emilio was actually hired by George Szell, and he continues to be one of the most dedicated and passionate players in the orchestra. I learned so much from his experience and I joke with him that he has been my main conducting teacher!) Obviously, there is a bigger picture to this argument and it’s easier said than done. We can’t play God and tell people when to retire, still, I’m hoping that some changes may come to the system in the near future to encourage the timely turnover of orchestral chairs. As much as it’s a touchy subject, these days there are too many talented musicians and too few jobs.

-James Gaffigan

You can’t comment over at Mr. Gaffigan’s blog entry, so if you want to comment here instead, feel free.

Mr. Gaffigan has opened the blog entry to comments since this blog was originally posted.

Update #2
Comments have been closed again.

Some of us have talked about the retirement thing. (Of course we also discuss the fact that our retirement plan isn’t exactly something we could live on.) Many of us fear hanging on longer than we should. Some of us make pacts, saying we will be honest when “it’s time”. But should there be some way to let people go so that the orchestra can “invigorate the field with these young, talented musicians” because we have to bring in a younger audience and everyone knows they don’t like to hear and see older people? Mr. Gaffigan at first seemed to be suggesting that we aren’t playing well and should quit, but then he says “older” (his quotation marks, not mine) musicians can be mighty fine players. It seems, instead, that he’s suggesting we owe these younger players a position in an orchestra and should stop down so they can have a gig. (Hmmm. Will these younger musicians kindly help us out financially, then? Or maybe we’ll just be put on an ice floe.)

Is this something we oldsters should be pondering? Am I misinterpreting Mr. Gaffigan? Or is this more ageism?

(For the record, Mr. Gaffigan is 31.)