I’d apologize for the long break from posting, but after a short explanation I think you’ll understand.
On April 16th (Easter Sunday, somehow comforting) my mother passed
away. My first sense as I write this is to hurry up and type in that
I’m okay, her death was peaceful, not unexpected, and she was
surrounded by her children and her brother. I have had such a warm
outpouring of support during this time and have a renewed gratitude for
my own very special family and the extended family I have in the PSO.
As odd as it may sound, the experience was one of the richest in my
life……I can only hope to live as well and to die as well as she did.
This is a very exciting time in the horn section as we come to
within days of making a decision on the candidate who will become the
new Associate Principal Horn of the PSO. I’m sure I’ll have more to
say after the entire process is over, but even today I feel it has been
a learning experience. More on the subject at a later date.
This week we play Richard Strauss’ "Thus Spake Zarathustra",
surrounded by great waltzes and the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto. It’s
fun to be back in the horn section going full tilt on big rep. I’ll
confess that I played my horn a total of 30 minutes in the two weeks I
was in Michigan with my family. It’s always a challenge (for me and
the people who have to put up with me while I get my face back in
shape) to jump back into the section after getting so out of shape. I
studied with Richard Oldberg (retired 3rd hornist for the Chicago
Symphony Orchestra), and he had a reputation for leaving his horn in
the closet during his vacation and coming back after the break
(sometimes to a major recording session) without having played a note
in weeks. He would just put the mouthpiece to his lips, buzz one gliss
from low to high, put the mouthpiece in the horn and go. I wish I had
the talent to pull that off as well as he did.
This week we have yet another example of how lucky we are to get
great extra players to come fill out the section when we have a need
for more than our usual compliment of four parts. The Strauss has 6
horn parts, the principal part is being played by one of our finalists,
Steve Kostyniak. Bill Caballero, to give us this opportunity to hear
Steve on big repertoire, is playing the 5th part (like it has NEVER
been played before!!). The bottom of the horn section is anchored by
Bob Rydel (3rd horn in Charlotte, NC) who is kickin’ some serious horn
Tonight and tomorrow are the performances for this concert which promises to be a great one! Hope to see you there.