Get Well Soon, William Bennett!

William Bennett, principal oboist with the San Francisco Symphony, collapsed onstage on Saturday evening, while performing as soloist in Richard Strauss’ Oboe Concerto. As I wasn’t there at Davies Symphony Hall that night, I’ll let the news articles do the explaining. http://www.mercurynews.com/breaking-news/ci_22661083/star-oboist-san-francisco-symphony-collapses-stage-mid and http://www.sfgate.com/music/article/S-F-Symphony-oboist-has-stroke-onstage-4304378.php From the news I can glean today, Tuesday, he is still in … Read more Get Well Soon, William Bennett!

The Curse of the Ninth

This first appeared at Violinist.com in March 2010 Back in the late 19th and early 20th century a superstition developed in the classical music world that prophesied the Ninth would be a composer’s last symphony. Arnold Schoenberg summed it up in an eloquent fashion, stating that “he who wants to go beyond it must pass … Read more The Curse of the Ninth

A Ghostly Melody

I’ve been thinking about the recent Gil Shaham recital (http://www.theclassicalgirl.com/?p=81), how I enjoyed it, and how we as the audience were all delighted when Shaham and his accompanist delivered us an encore. It was a lovely one, a rag-based melody. As is often the case when the musician calls it out, I wasn’t sure about … Read more A Ghostly Melody

Bach, Shaham, Strad: When the masters meet

Listening to a live performance of a Bach partita, by a master on the violin, on an instrument crafted by the world’s greatest luthier of all time, in a world-class music venue, is about as sublime as it gets. Almost holy. Certainly the silence, the attention from the audience was reverent, worshipful. Gil Shaham opened … Read more Bach, Shaham, Strad: When the masters meet

Saint-Saens at 35,000 feet

I fell in love somewhere near the North Pole one afternoon while kicking back at 35,000 feet. It was sudden, a veritable thunderclap. My breath caught, then quickened. My knees trembled. My husband, engrossed in a paperback, never noticed. I, meanwhile, knew right then that my life had been irrevocably altered. But let me back … Read more Saint-Saens at 35,000 feet