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 the hospital, having suffered a brain hemorrhage. Horrifying stuff. My heart goes out to him, his family, his fellow SFS musicians who had to sit there and embody professionalism throughout, even going on, following a long intermission, to complete the night’s performance. Bennet has been with the symphony since 1979 and has been the principal oboist since 1987. He’s a familiar and welcome sight to San Francisco Symphony patrons, and always a pleasure to hear when singled out for a solo. I hope to see him there performing again soon.
Wishing you well, Mr. Bennett!