14. June 2019 · 1 comment · Categories: Oops!

Yes. Really. GE made a commercial. GE needs to study instruments. See and read about it here.

A friend sent this out … it’s in a catalog selling reeds:


17. January 2011 · 1 comment · Categories: Oops!

Symphony orchestra patrons aren’t generally known for shouting up a good-natured “We can’t hear in the back” if something is obviously amiss during a performance.

That’s too bad.

Because if someone had, it could have staved off a disaster during the Florida Orchestra’s performance Friday evening at the Straz. It unfolded uncomfortably when Austrian composer HK Gruber performed the solo narration of his avant-garde piece, Frankenstein!!. As he spoke and the orchestra played, the audience could barely make out that he was speaking, much less appreciate the comic nuances of the poetic text, which took up five pages in the playbill.

What happened?

“The problem was that it was a handheld microphone and, while adjusting its height, Gruber accidentally pushed the mute button,” said orchestra president Michael Pastreich, who witnessed the foulup from a seat in the mezzanine of Morsani Hall at the Straz Center.

Gruber and music director Stefan Sanderling, who was on the podium, apparently were unaware of the problem, because they plowed through the half-hour piece without a stop. Compounding the disorienting experience, the piece features a lot of zany toy instrument-playing by the orchestra.

The Gruber piece was programmed as a kind of homage to the opening of the new Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, and you could say that the experience of hearing — or not hearing — it in such a fashion was surreal in a Daliesque sort of way. Audience members were at first baffled, then annoyed, and at least one couple walked out.

“The HK Gruber solo at the Straz was one of the most inept and embarrassing moments we have experienced in our decades with our excellent orchestra,” Bruce Houghton of Tampa wrote to the St. Petersburg Times in an e-mail.

Frankenstein!! was performed right before intermission. When it was over, Pastreich, with his 11-year-old daughter in tow, hustled backstage to perform some damage control.


Stuff happens, yes? But I really am surprised no one yelled, “We can’t HEAR you!”

The last line of the article has me wondering what he meant by “funky” … hmmm …? (I often think of it as a bad thing.)

Side note: Michael Pastreich used to work for San Jose Symphony (RIP) many years ago.

14. December 2010 · Comments Off on “Oboe” takes the E Train …? · Categories: Oops!, Videos

Well … or maybe not. (It takes a bit of time to get to the insturmentalist … if you want to skip the beginning go to 1:07.)

Once again, confusion regarding the woodwind family!

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. 🙂

29. June 2010 · 2 comments · Categories: Oops!

Go in to about 6:18. What do you hear? 😉

I have played opera for years now. I have witnessed all sorts of pit mishaps: a fish flying into the pit, a billiard ball has been hit into the pit, feathers and dust fall in frequently, and once a singer slid into the pit, hitting a trombone which was then unplayable. So I watch this and wonder what the stage director (if there was one, was thinking with the shoe tossing. (And what the percussionist thought when one hit his instruments.)

But gee, maybe it would be fun to be in an opera and strip down to my underwear and wear a pot on my head.

Or not.

(Opera San José is extremely careful with staging these days. They really do try to avoid any “pitfalls”.)

28. July 2009 · 3 comments · Categories: Oops!

Directed by Ira Siff, who managed a winning “Cosi Fan Tutti” here a few seasons ago, this “Don Gio-gfgbugcw0

cw-4vanni” was highlighted by clever acting and excellent singing.

(Yes, the spacing was like that.)

Sometimes things just make me laugh. This was one of ’em. I’m going to guess it gets fixed soon, so this link my not show the problem any more.

I’m still trying to figure out how to pronounce “Don Gio-gfgbugcw0



24. July 2009 · Comments Off on Conducted By David Roberston · Categories: Links, Oops!


Classical music fans who were looking forward to the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra’s world-premiere CD release of John Adams’ “Doctor Atomic Symphony” on Tuesday are going to have to wait another week — and they can thank a typo for the delay.

That’s because a minor printing error at Nonesuch has caused the shipment to be pushed back to July 28. A misspelling of the conductor’s name meant that the cover art had to be reprinted, resulting in the one-week postponement, according to the music company.

The first album cover (pictured) misplaced the “t” from St. Louis Symphony music director David Robertson’s name.



The program opened with “Arioso and Scherzo” by the 20th century British composer Arnold Cooke. Written in 1955 for the English horn virtuoso Dennis Brain, it starred CCM founding member Gail Williams, with CCM member Jasmine Lin as first violin, violists Solomonow and guest artist Richard Young, as well as cellist Balderston. The round full sound of the French horn contrasted sharply with the strings in the work’s wistful beginning, while the strings seemed to be having a brisk conversation of their own, below the soaring horn. It is always a pleasure to hear Williams play and this piece was a treat from start to finish.

I do believe Dennis Brain was a famous French horn player. Yes?

I read this here, and I’m going to guess they correct that pretty quickly. We’ll see!