15. June 2018 · Comments Off on A Much Happier Story · Categories: Read Online

(Although I doubt they actually shared sheet music!)

I had the joy of sitting in an orchestra with Rufus (Jr.) many years ago, when we both playing in Midsummer Mozart. He was a delight then, just as I know he is now, having run into him a few times when we’ve attended San Francisco Opera. I also had the pleasure of working with Rufus David a few times, both in San Jose and up at Merola the few times I was hired there. Both he and his dad have always been kind, gracious and such fun men to be around!

The best Father’s Day for Rufus Olivier Jr. was in 2011, when he and his son, Rufus David Olivier, sat through 5½ hours of “Gotterdammerung” from “the Ring of the Nibelung” at the War Memorial Opera House.
It was hot and stuffy under a low ceiling as they sat shoulder to shoulder in the back row. Back row of the orchestra pit, that is.
Olivier Jr., 62, is first bassoon in the San Francisco Opera Orchestra. First, the father taught his son how to play the unusual, bong-shaped instrument. Then, in the ultimate form of flattery, the son rose to the position of second bassoon so that he and his father could sit close enough to share sheet music during concerts.


15. June 2018 · Comments Off on What A Bizarre Story · Categories: Read Online

… and I’m going to guess it’s going to be very difficult to get the settlement money.

But wow.

McGill University music student Eric Abramovitz was among the top clarinetists in Canada. He studied with some of the country’s elite teachers from the age of seven. He won first prize at the Canadian Music Competition six times. He was a featured soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre symphonique de Québec.

In late 2013, Abramovitz applied for a full two-year scholarship to complete his bachelor’s degree at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles. Every student at Colburn receives a full scholarship, including tuition, room and board as well as money for meals and other expenses, worth roughly $50,000 a year.

If accepted, he would study under Yehuda Gilad, considered one of the best clarinet teachers on the planet. Gilad accepts two students a year out of dozens of applicants. To be chosen is virtually a guarantee of a high-paying symphony career directly out of college. After an exhaustive pre-screening process, Abramovitz flew to Los Angeles in February 2014 with his parents to do a live audition before Gilad and a committee of faculty members.

A month later, Colburn sent an email to Abramovitz. He had been chosen.

Except Abramovitz never got the email. Jennifer Lee, a fellow McGill music student and Abramovitz’s girlfriend at the time, did. They had started dating in September 2013, and within a month he was staying at her apartment almost full time. He trusted her. He let her use his laptop. He gave her his passwords.

Do read the whole thing. It’s unbelievable!

Here he is on his McGill final recital (with mom at the piano, too!):