18. November 2010 · Comments Off on Music For Peace · Categories: Read Online, Videos

BORN to refugees who escaped Nazi Germany, Henrik Chaim Goldschmidt knows only too well the importance of peace and tolerance.

Brought up in Denmark, he became a musician and is solo oboist with the Royal Danish Orchestra – but he had another cause close to his heart.

In 2003, he launched the Middle East Peace Orchestra, bringing together musicians from Jewish and Arab traditions to work together and spread an important message.

Sitting in Birmingham’s Town Hall seven years later, 51-year-old Henrik said he always felt music was the key to bringing people together.

“It is a meeting place and a platform from which to create friendship and understanding,” he said.

“It is the alternative to being kept apart.

“Things like music, sport and art offer a place for people to be together without words – because it is when people start talking that they can pull apart.”


There’s some oboe playing at about 1:10 on this video:

… as you’ve never heard it before.

Now I’ll have to confess, when I hear this I get some very strange lyrics in my head. As a kid we sang this to it:

Comet, it makes your mouth so clean
Comet, it tastes like gasoline
Comet, it makes you vomit
So go get Comet, and vomit, today!

(Anyone else remember the old comet commercial that used part of the Colonel Bogey March?)

18. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: FBQD

The oboe is truly a ridiculous instrument.

18. November 2010 · Comments Off on Back to Work I Go · Categories: Opera

I haven’t been in the pit since Sunday. I really dislike these long breaks. I would prefer to have the run be one week shorter and have more performances each week. But such is life. It doesn’t happen that way. But tonight I head back to the pit for our next performance of Tosca. So here to get me in the mood are some videos of Act One.

and one of my favorite parts … the end of Act One. Powerfully frightening …

18. November 2010 · Comments Off on The Oboe Sound Spectrum · Categories: Comics

There’s no way to put it up here in any legal way that I can see, so you’ll just have to click on this link.

I love the “no middle ground” … 🙂

18. November 2010 · Comments Off on What Do Students Want? · Categories: Ramble

I just read this on twitter:

I’d like to see fewer tweets discussing the problems in classical music and more tweets about what you’re doing to help the art form survive

I suggested he go first, and he wrote about the work he’s doing with something called the YOURSProject:

At its core, #YOURSproject is a social project – keeping these kids off the streets by putting instruments in their hands.

The Yours Project reminded me of the time I spent volunteering at some local high schools. For a year I coached a woodwind quintet. Another few years I spent assisting a high school band director by giving private lessons to whatever oboist was there.

And you know what? Both were total failures. Truly.

The woodwind quintet fell flat. It started out okay, but everyone lost their energy. I finally realized that a couple of the kids simply didn’t want to do it. When you have a couple who are really not into something, it just doesn’t work. The oboe lessons didn’t work either. While the students seemed to want to play oboe, they sure didn’t want to do any practicing at all. I think they were hoping I’d have a magic key that made oboe playing easy.

I occasionally look back on those volunteer moments and wonder why I was such a huge failure. If I went back now would I have the same results? I really love teaching privately here in my home studio. Why was it such a huge failure to go out to schools and do what I did? When something is free do students look at it differently? Do I? What do students want?

Just wondering out loud here.

18. November 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: TQOD

maaaaannnn….i wish the oboe wasn’t so bad for my voice…… i could’ve been good at it…