Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Upcoming Concert

This weekend I am playing John Adams's Harmonielehre with the Milwaukee Symphony.  As usual, the orchestra sounds magnificent, conductor Edo de Waart is utterly inspiring, and I am pushing myself to play better than my best to keep up with those around me.  I feel so fortunate to be able to sub in this orchestra, because their commitment to excellence, as individuals and as a group, is a rare gift. 

I've said it before, but it is  a tremendous luxury to put the time in on a difficult piece like this - not just the time necessary to get through it, but the time to learn it and play it well.  As budgets shrink throughout the symphonic world, per-service orchestras like mine make do with as little rehearsal as possible.  The norm has become juuust enough rehearsal time so the concert doesn't fall apart.  We come as prepared as possible, and spend all of our time making sure we understand the transitions and the tempi, and then perform.  In Milwaukee there is time to discuss balance, intonation, motivation, and blend.  It is a treat to do this kind of work. 

5 comments:

  1. I was at the MSO concert tonight (as I am almost every weekend) and I totally thought I recognized you playing English horn (from your picture, anyways). If your parts (oboe, EH) were anything like those of the other instruments, you must've had your hands full. Anyways, I'd just like to ask, do you know who was playing principal oboe tonight (not an MSO member)?

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  2. Hi, Kyle. Thanks for recognizing me! My fame continues to spread, inch by tiny inch. :-)

    Jennifer Christen, from the New World Symphony, was filling in this week. Lovely, wasn't she?

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  3. Yes, actually. I heard that she earned a trial week (or two) with the Indianapolis Symphony. The MSO has been seemingly swamped with New World Symphony members recently; the acting assistant principal bassoon and new assistant principal percussion were both in the NWS, and I'm sure there are others around here.

    Also, to remind you, I'm a violist, not an oboist. :P

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  4. I did know that, but for a violist you certainly are have your finger on the pulse of the woodwind audition news! Love it.

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  5. I guess I'm into them so much because there is so few news regarding viola auditions. :P It also just so happens that the MSO should be hiring many wind/brass players in the future. Principal oboe, assistant principal flute, fourth horn. There are two new trombone players in the orchestra, too (the trombonist who retired had been here for forty-seven years!).

    Anyways, I'm primarily awaiting the announcement of a new principal oboe, if even during this season. You may remember me saying that I didn't really care for the former oboist's tone, even if he was outstanding technically.

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