The early part of the day today was all masterclasses for me. My intention at this conference was to attend masterclasses and hear other people speak to students. And so I attended Robert Atherholt’s excerpt class, and Peter Cooper’s Mozart Concerto class. I almost had to stand up and play Shostakovich in the first class, due to my inability to keep my hand DOWN when someone asks for volunteers, but happily the session ran plenty long enough with the four oboists who were actually prepared to play!
And both gentlemen were interesting, amusing, extremely well versed in their subjects, and a pleasure to watch and hear. I took some great ideas away, both for my own playing and for my teaching.
More highlights: Jacqueline LeClair and some of her students performed a neat piece for English horn and three oboe reeds, and she also did two movements of an amazing brand new work. I love contemporary music, but I don’t have the chops she does on quarter tones and eighth tones, nor her gorgeous pristine flutter tonguing. Great stuff.
The Loeffler Rhapsodies on the evening concert were simply beautiful – flexible and rich and effortless sounding on all parts.
And I was happy with our presentation of the Lofstrom Concertino. We didn’t have the easiest road to the performance, but I think it came off very well in the end, when it counted. I’m glad to have had the chance to play it for oboists. It’s a piece that should be more widely known.
This week has worn me down a lot. I’m ready to go home tomorrow, but I’ve gotten a lot of value from my time here.