16. November 2010 · Comments Off on Tonight! · Categories: Opera

… and not directed at any bloggers at the moment but directed at a few a while back (thus this is being posted later so as not to make them feel bad): If you find something at someone’s blog and post it at yours it’s always courteous to say where you found it with a link to that person’s blog. I’m sure I’ve occasionally forgotten to give credit where credit is due. I apologize for that. I do try, though, to let everyone know where I found something if I didn’t find it on my own. We bloggers appreciate this.

As I said, it’s just a thought … not a demand, of course. 🙂

Let’s say we program something that we know will bring in a younger audience. And yes, they do show up. We know the work is somewhat weak, but hey, at least we brought in a younger crowd. And we love those younger faces because anyone over 50 is a) old 2) dead or Z) not worth anything aside from the wonderful monetary contributions they are more likely to give compared to this younger set. (Or is it “all of the above?”)

What I want to know is …

Will these younger folks come back for some of the great works? Will they recognize a difference? Or will we forever play lesser quality music because that’s what they want and we so passionately want these younger people to grace us with their presence?

Now mind you, I’m not referring to any particular concert, although one in particular made me think about this. (I did not attend the concert. I do not know if the work was as weak as all the reviews and blogs I’ve read state. So I won’t mention the piece here. It was only the thing that kicked this blog entry up is all.) I’m in the middle of Tosca (it’s a “great” btw) so I’m wasn’t able to attend the “jumping off point concert”. But I’m just pondering. With all the ageism stuff I’m hearing, reading and blogging about, and with all the “it’s all dead” news we read I am forced to think about things like this more and more.

Are we doing younger people a disservice by luring them with the mediocre or, sometimes, just plain bad?


16. November 2010 · Comments Off on Oboe Economics? · Categories: Read Online

Cushman’s presentation, “Oboe Economics,” will cover the economics of oboe production and performance with an interdisciplinary emphasis. Economics, classics, history, biology, environmental issues, film studies, and musical performance will be discussed and demonstrated as they relate to the oboe.

I just want him to make me oboe reeds. Forget this other stuff.

I read it here.

16. November 2010 · Comments Off on Shuffle Concerts · Categories: Videos

An interesting idea:

16. November 2010 · Comments Off on Cellist Denied Entry To The UK · Categories: News


A lecture recital by the Carpe Diem Quartet at the University of Leeds is in jeopardy after the ensemble’s cellist, Kristin Ostling, was denied entry into the UK.

The Quartet landed at Heathrow Terminal 3, and while the other members of the group passed through immigration unhindered, Ms Ostling, who is a US citizen, was detained. The event at Leeds was to be an unpaid appearance, but the immigration officials apparently considered any musical performance to be work, therefore requiring a specific visa. She reports being bullied and rudely questioned for eight hours before being put on a plane back to Chicago.

During the incident, and apparently under some duress, she signed a statement claiming that her airfare had been paid by the University of Leeds, which is untrue. After arriving back in Chicago, she immediately went to the UK Consulate, but was told that they were unable to help because she did not need a visa to enter the UK.

Although the full details of the affair have yet to emerge, there is some speculation that this decision is part of a wider tit-for-tat dispute between immigration officials in the UK and the US.

I read it here.

You can see “EVENT CANCELLED” on the university calendar page, with no explanation given.

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

Attention [name removed] Residents: Disregard all dying animal noises coming from [address removed] Lane–I’m just practicing the oboe. (current approximate skill level= ~7th grade)

I have this blog set up so that I must approve the first comment a person makes. After that you can comment all you want and I won’t remove comments as long as I don’t find anything offensive. But that first comment waits for publication. I first email the sender to verify he/she is real and is willing to reply. If the person don’t respond to that email, the comment won’t be posted. If you leave a fake email address, your comment will not be posted. I thought I should let all of you know that. I wish I could figure out how to have this info given to you on the comment page, but I’m a computer idiot, so of course I haven’t figured that out yet! :-/

The principal conductor of Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra has walked out and is refusing to return unless one of her ‘disrespectful’ musicians is removed.


I don’t know the story. I don’t know the conductor, the musicians or the orchestra. I do know other things though.

  • I know musicians can be horribly disrespectful.
  • I know conductors can be horribly disrespectful.
  • I know musicians can play poorly because of disrespect.
  • I know conductors can conduct poorly (usually because of lack of talent, but not always).

(I know more than that, too. But I’ll stop here.)

It’s a tricky thing, playing for a conductor when one has little or no respect for her. But it does have to be done. I have a few rules for myself when it comes to this. Most of the time I manage to keep them.

  • The conductor is the boss.
  • Obey the boss
  • Don’t talk back

Now inside I might be seething, but I have to play my best no matter who is on the podium. I have to show respect in that I don’t argue. If I do think something is so wrong I struggle horribly doing what he/she asks, I approach that carefully, attempting not to look as if I’m mocking the conductor (so many have such fragile egos, even while they are so egotistical … I guess you have to be quite egotistical to stand in front of a large group and boss ’em around, eh?).

I try not to say too many negative things about a bad conductor, but I will confess that my colleagues and I do sometimes moan and groan. A lot. Sometimes it’s just necessary to keep our sanity! Really.

So while I don’t know the whole story with Natalia Luis-Bassa and the Huddersfield Philharmonic Orchestra, I do know there are many possibilities to this story. The sad thing is seeing it make the news. We all try to keep things like this very private. No one needs to know the orchestra inside scoop.

But hey … little thought here! … these days people love to air dirty laundry. Other people like to gather ’round to see and hear it. Maybe orchestras should publicly air all of this. Maybe it’ll draw in the crowds, eh? Hmmm. Or maybe not.

I did a little search for the conductor and came up with some videos … (hmmm … an issue with Mr. Oboe there at the beginning?):

In the next video you can see the conductor better as she conducts the “Simon Bolivar National Youth Orchestra” … hmmm. Anyone else see a problem calling it that? I’ve seen that orchestra before on YouTube, and it appeared to be full of, well, youths. But this?

16. November 2010 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

What is it about movies from the 70s that background chase music necessitated bongos and an oboe?