Posts tagged “orchestral”

November 22, 2011

The woodwind doubler as orchestral utility player

Photo, Scott Schram I got an interesting email recently. I’ve edited it heavily and fictionalized almost all the details, since I’m using it here without permission, but you’ll get the idea: Dear Bret, I found your web page through a Google search. My company is presenting a themed cruise for classical music lovers departing from Seattle ...

November 16, 2011

Doubling fees under fire in Denver

The Colorado Symphony Orchestra, like so many others, is facing a financial crisis that threatens its ability to continue making music. An opinion piece in Sunday’s Denver Post criticizes the Denver Musicians’ Association (AFM Local 20-623) for its unwillingness to budge on certain elements of its agreement with the orchestra. The issues here are complex, and I ...

June 9, 2011

Why tune to the oboe?

Photo, nobleviola Why do orchestras tune to the oboe? Well, because it’s tradition, I suppose. But, realistically, in a professional group the pitch standard is likely determined in advance, and the oboist will use an electronic tuner to be sure they are giving precisely the correct pitch, so it could just as well be anyone. ...

December 1, 2003

The woodwind section in Mozart’s late symphonies

Introduction The woodwind section of the symphony orchestra has long held a place of preeminence. Woodwind historian Anthony Baines gushes: “…the woodwind [section] is a small cluster of musicians in whom the greatest virtuosity in the symphony or opera orchestra is concentrated. It is the orchestra’s principal solo section… They are stars because composers for ...

June 1, 2002

Dvorák’s “New World” and jazz music: Heirs to a common heritage

In 1892, Czech composer Antonín Dvorák came to the United States. He came at the invitation of a Mrs. Jeannette Thurber, a wealthy music lover who wanted him to head up her latest pet project—a conservatory of music meant to rival the famous conservatories of Europe. Dr. Dvorák, already known for his use of traditional ...
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