Abe Weiss on practicing

I mentioned in a post yesterday how impressed I was by Abe Weiss‘s presentation at the IDRS conference. Mr. Weiss is principal bassoonist of the Rochester Philharmonic.

Here are a few points from his talk that stood out to me. Continue reading “Abe Weiss on practicing”

IDRS 2008: Confirmed doubler sightings

I don’t usually think of the double reed crowd as being terribly interested in woodwind doubling, but there were a number of doublers (ranging from amateur to professional) present at the IDRS conference this year. I know of these ones: Continue reading “IDRS 2008: Confirmed doubler sightings”

IDRS 2008 Conference report

I just got back from a fantastic week at the International Double Reed Society annual conference at Brigham Young University. The IDRS folks really know how to put on a great event, better than any of the various other instrumental organizations whose conferences I’ve attended. They seem to draw lots of high-caliber talent to perform and lecture, and everything is always impeccably organized. And being both an oboist and a bassoonist, IDRS is a nice two-for-one deal for me. Continue reading “IDRS 2008 Conference report”

Important people in woodwind history

In my ongoing quest to learn all things woodwind-related in time for my doctoral comprehensive exams, I’ve compiled lists of important woodwind players, makers, teachers, composers, etc., with very brief biographies. Here’s the result. Continue reading “Important people in woodwind history”

Larry Krantz on not doubling

If you’re not familiar with the Larry Krantz Flute Pages, you need to surf right on over and spend a few hours. Mr. Krantz has been building a major hub for web-connected flutists since back before many of us knew about the Internet. His site is a positively huge repository of flute-related wisdom, including contributed content by the likes of Trevor Wye, John Wion, and Robert Dick.

Mr. Krantz was a doubler in years past, apparently quite accomplished on flute, clarinet, and saxophone, and at least a dabbler in oboe. Nearly twenty years ago, however, he decided to give up doubling to focus on his flute playing.

Mr. Krantz discusses his decision at some length here, in excerpts from discussions on the FLUTE mailing list. While he speaks fondly of his years as a doubler, and points out many of the benefits of doubling, his ultimate conclusion was that doubling was not for him. The primary reason he gives for this decision is that, in his admittedly well-qualified opinion, it simply isn’t possible to maintain a truly fine embouchure on multiple instruments. Continue reading “Larry Krantz on not doubling”

Flutist/flautist

“Flautist” is a pet peeve of mine. I just encountered it again in a message board thread.

These are worth a read:
Am I a Flutist, or a Flautist?
Is it Flutist or Flautist?

To summarize: there doesn’t seem to be any good reason for English-speaking people to say “flautist.” Continue reading “Flutist/flautist”

Which is your favorite?

Another question that I am frequently asked as a woodwind doubler is, “Which instrument is your favorite?”

My answer to this is simple.

If it’s a good day, then my favorite is the one I’m playing.

If it’s a bad day, then my favorite is any one but the one I’m playing.

Essential woodwind literature

I’m spending the summer studying for my doctoral comprehensive exams. One major component of the exams will be woodwind literature, so I’ve been trying to narrow down lists of really essential pieces. It has been an interesting challenge to select a list long enough to have depth and short enough to be manageable (I’ve was shooting for around 100 pieces total – I’m a little over).

I wanted the list to be a balance of a lot of different things: commonly-taught and commonly-performed literature, pieces of historical import, pieces representing style periods from Baroque to the 21st century, pieces covering a range of difficulty levels, and so forth.

Here’s what I’ve come up with.

University/conservatory degree programs in woodwind doubling, part II: jazz

In response to my recent post about woodwind doubling degree programs, someone sent me this question:

My question is, out of that list, do you know of which schools offer multiple woodwinds with a Jazz/Contemporary focus … or at least some focus on jazz?

I checked out most of those pages, but it seems it’s all very classical focused.

Before addressing that question, I think it’s worth saying that if you’re going to be a woodwind doubler, a little jazz background is really valuable. Continue reading “University/conservatory degree programs in woodwind doubling, part II: jazz”