Wednesday, December 24, 2008

buon natale

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

requiescat in pace

To Ross, who was always a kind soul, may you find peace now. My heart goes out to your family, who has already lost so much.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


There are these rare moments when musicians together touch something sweeter than they've ever found before in rehearsals or performance, beyond the merely collaborative or technically proficient, when their expression becomes as easy and graceful as friendship or love. This is when they give us a glimpse of what we might be, of our best selves, and of an impossible world in which you give everything you have to others, but lose nothing of yourself.
~ Ian McEwan, Saturday

Saturday, December 13, 2008

umbricelli al tartufo

Today, while eating my pasta for dinner, I had a sudden, strong craving for umbricelli al tartufo, with truffles. Alas, I have no way of making it. Or of returning to Umbria, where this dish is plentiful and one can always smell the scent of truffles when walking down the street at mealtime, anytime in the near future. The only thing I can do is reminisce about it on my blog. Oh well. Maybe one day.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


Just wanted to point out that today, YankeeDiva's pictures feature an oboist!

Monday, December 8, 2008


I wanted to post a link to this NPR story about MusicianCorps and Barack Obama. I think it's an excellent idea and I hope it works. I would like to point out that I DO NOT think that performing artists should take the place of trained music educators, and I don't think that this kind of sporadic, or at least small, arts presence is the ideal for music education in public schools, but it's WAY better than nothing at all, and guess what? We don't live in an ideal world, and the economic situation is only getting worse.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

TV & etiquette

I found this article amusing, since I also watch all of my TV on my computer (the same as in the picture, no less), and I don't own a TV. I can watch Pushing Daisies (boo!!! why are they canceling this show??), The Daily Show, The Colbert Report, 30 Rock and Ugly Betty online, plus whatever Netflix has to offer. It's a lot better since there are only about 4 commercials and they're only 30 seconds long.

I also thought these two blog posts by Holly Mulcahy were interesting: one on conductor etiquette, the other on musician etiquette, pointed out and discussed on Inside the Classics. I have definitely seen examples of both, though I disagree, I think there is some discussion of proper attire and behavior in music schools today. Or maybe it's just MBT. Certainly there at least ought to be some discussion of etiquette by private teachers. I know my first oboe teacher taught me to accept compliments graciously no matter how you feel about your performance. And I've passed that on to younger musicians, myself. I used to always actually be excited about every performance; now I find that I sometimes plaster on a smile for the audience during bows, but I still do it. I do it because I know I hate going to hear orchestras that I'm really excited about, and having them look like they're bored to tears and don't care that I'm applauding them. Though I also would point out that it's a bigger problem among string players, some of whom unfortunately feel as though they are not as important in an orchestra performance where they do not have a solo. I myself am sometimes guilty: I recently played an opera gig where there wasn't an actual pit (the musicians were at the foot of the stage), but I read during my breaks, despite being visible. I tried not to, but it was a LONG opera, and I only played a few sporadic movements (perhaps 10 out of the 30 arias/choruses), and I was going insane. I hope no one was bothered by it. I know an audience member in Houston once asked why there was one musician sitting near the wind sections for Dvorak's New World who seemed to stare intently at a score the whole time. It was because the English hornist read a book or magazine for the three movements he did not play, and just played English horn for the solos, which the audience member hadn't noticed that he played. So I don't feel too bad about the opera.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


Just wanted to mention that I saw the movie Australia this weekend, and really enjoyed it.