13. March 2013 · Comments Off on FBQD · Categories: FBQD

what i learned at physical therapy today: playing the oboe just sort of makes your body a little crappier than it used to be 🙂

13. March 2013 · Comments Off on Repost: The City Of Tomorrow · Categories: Concert Announcements

I was asked if I would post this … and why not?! Maybe a reader or two (or more) will be able to attend! Unfortunately I have a conflict with the dates near my neck ‘o the woods.

COT elevator medium

MARCH 15, 2013

“Retro-Futurist” American wind quintet THE CITY OF TOMORROW performs their San Francisco debut recital at Old First Church, 1751 Sacramento Street, on Friday March 15, 8pm. Tickets are $17.00 General; $14.00 Seniors (65 and older); $14.00 Full Time Students.
Children 12 and under are free. www.oldfirstconcerts.org

The only wind quintet to win a gold medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition in ten years, THE CITY OF TOMORROW advocates for the quality and expansion of wind quintet repertoire and performance. Members are: Elise Blatchford, flute; Andrew Nogal, oboe; Camila Barrientos, clarinet; Laura Miller, bassoon; and Leander Star, horn. Visit www.thecityoftomorrow.org and www.soundcloud.com/the-city-of-tomorrow to read more and for audio and video.

Repertoire (see below for more detailed information) includes:
· Rob Keeley, Wind Quintet (US Premiere, recently World Premiered by COT)
· Luciano Berio, Ricorrenze
· Darius Milhaud, La Cheminée du Roi René
· Magnus Lindberg, Arabesques

In addition to the above performances, COT has been engaged for Bay Area school/outreach engagements at Sheldon High School (Sacramento, CA) and Aragon High School (San Mateo, CA).


The City of Tomorrow, based in New York, Chicago, Portland, and San Antonio, aspires to be a leading international ensemble dedicated to the performance and creation of new music for winds.

Since their Fischoff win in May 2011, the quintet has toured the United States Midwest twice and will tour the US West Coast in spring 2013. Performance highlights include the Dame Myra Hess Memorial Series in Chicago, the Mayo Clinic, the Cedar Cultural Center in Minneapolis, and the Ashland (WI) Chamber Music Society on the scenic shore of Lake Superior. They collaborated with the Portland Cello Project for two performances of Radiohead’s classic album OK Computer in Oregon last September.

Most recently, in Canada, the City of Tomorrow performed on the New Music Edmonton series, preceded by a three-week residency at the Banff Centre. In Banff, they performed and recorded as the wind section of Gruppo Montebello, a new-music chamber orchestra. The ensemble’s members studied at the Manhattan School of Music, Northwestern University, Oberlin College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and the University of Texas.


Darius Milhaud (1892-1974) : La cheminée du roi René (1939) 13’

La cheminée du roi René (The Fireplace of King René), the first modern classic for wind quintet, was composed at the height of Milhaud’s prolific career. In a language of 20th-century tonality that freely mixes major and minor keys, Milhaud conjures the spirit of Medieval France and the court of King René I. Depicting legendary tournaments and ceremonies in its seven movements, the suite is an adaptation of music Milhaud originally wrote for a film: Cavalcade d’amour by Raymond Bernard.

Milhaud taught at Mills College for almost 30 years, and his students went on to huge musical careers in many different genres; Dave Brubeck and Burt Bacharach are counted among his most famous pupils.

Luciano Berio (1925-2003): Ricorrenze (1985-87) 16’

Berio’s mischievous Ricorrenze (Occurrences) is an episodic set of jittery, stuttering variations on haunting, simple melodies: the nervous hitch in your throat when you see a pretty boy or girl and forget how to speak.

Italian composer Luciano Berio may be viewed as the 20th century’s Franz Liszt: a master of writing virtuosic, immaculately colorful music in a unique harmonic language, and an influential teacher.

Rob Keeley (b. 1960): Wind Quintet (2003/2011) 10’

In this four-movement score, Rob Keeley elegantly draws upon 20th-century musical innovations – the birdcalls of Messiaen, the stark and sensual harmony of Stravinsky, the folksong derivations of Bartók – to create constantly shifting scenery that overflows with character and rhythmic vitality. The City of Tomorrow was honored to give this work its world premiere in December 2012.

Rob Keeley has taught composition at King’s College, London, since 1993. As a pianist, he has performed with the London Sinfonietta and Music Projects/London, and now gives frequent solo recitals that explore his far-reaching taste in repertoire.

Magnus Lindberg (b. 1958): Arabesques (1978) 13’

In Arabesques, Lindberg juxtaposes the rigidity of electronic music with the fluidity of ballet. Inspired by the tactile energy of Berio’s music, Lindberg lays tender solo melodies atop a mechanized, sometimes noisy groundwork. In the repetition of palindromic patterns, Lindberg captures the symmetry of an arabesque, the sense that something earthbound is defying gravity.

Finnish composer Magnus Lindberg was the New York Philharmonic’s composer-in-residence from 2009-2012. He counts firsthand experience of 1980’s punk rock in Berlin among the most important highlights of his musical education.

3/12 – 7:30 pm Master Class at San Francisco Conservatory of Music
Osher Salon, 50 Oak Street, San Francisco, CA
Event is free and open to the public. www.sfcm.edu

3/13 – 7:30 pm Gillingham Concerto for wind quintet and wind ensemble with UC Davis Concert Band
Mondavi Center, One Shields Avenuxse, Davis, CA
Tickets $12 for adults, $8 for children. UC Davis free. www.mondaviarts.org

3/20 – 7:30 pm Recital at the Alberta Rose Theater, Portland, OR

3/23 – 7:30 pm Collaborative recital with Northwest New Music at the Community Music Center, Portland, OR

13. March 2013 · Comments Off on Crossover Albums, Two Directions · Categories: Ramble

I recently was sent a Barbra Steisand CD. Yes. Really. I agreed to get it, actually. As I always tell the people who offer me these, I only review if I feel like it and I never (okay … rarely!) do a negative review, so most likely things get mentioned only if I like ’em. I will admit I like Barbra Streisand now and again, and I’ve heard, from colleagues no less, that she is extremely critical during rehearsals … of herself, mind you! I like that.

But why would a company want to send me, a classical musician, a Barbra Streisand album? (I think I’ve covered the legality of it all by telling you I received this for free. It’s a rule that we do that, I believe.) Well, that’s easy. It’s her old recording that’s been reissued, and it’s called Classical Barbra. Sometimes she’s a bit “slurpy” on it (my way of saying sliding up or down rather than nailing a note), but that’s just so her, so I think she’s being true to what she is and does. Truth be told, I think this recording really does work. I’m impressed, too, with the variety. I also must say, though, that I can’t get past … well … it’s Barbra! I “see” her … I see her in her cat’s eye makeup (if that’s what you call it). I see her in “that” Academy Awards outfit from way back when. I see her in the movies I have seen (and I think I’ve seen most, if not all, of her movies. She is such a strong presence, and for some reason which is probably inexplicable and silly, really, I can’t get past that. I don’t even know how to explain it. So I find that a wee bit distracting. Weird, since of course there are plenty of classical musicians who have (or had) a strong presence. Some I’ve even worked with. (I can only think of one that I really can’t listen to because I see that performer in my mind’s eye as I listen and it’s so darn negative I can’t handle it!)

That being said, she can do crossover much better than most, I think. I will enjoy the CD.

But at the moment I’m listening to Simone Dinnerstein and Tift Merritt (no, I’d not heard of her) and the recording Night. You can too, if you just go here. In this one Simone moves one direction on a number of pieces and on one track Tift moves the classical direction. I really really like this recording! Honest. It just works for me. Maybe it’s because neither tries to be something they aren’t. Dinnerstein seems to be true to her playing, and Tift doesn’t sing Dido’s Lament as a classical singer.

So maybe with these confessions you think less of me.

But wait … is it even possible for you to think even less of me!? 😉

And hey, do you have any crossover recordings that really work for you? Do tell!

13. March 2013 · Comments Off on TQOD · Categories: TQOD

Me: Awe daddy look at this phone case it’s got a cute little bow on it 🙂 Dad: An oboe…who would want that on their phone!