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IDRS 2013

July 19, 2013

IDRS 2013It’s been a couple of weeks since the International Double Reed Society conference and I thought I’d do a quick blog post to recap some of my experiences there.  This year the conference was in Redlands, CA and my former teacher from when I was in high school, Francisco Castillo, was hosting the event at the University of Redlands.  It was my first conference, and although it was a bit overwhelming at first (SO. MUCH. OBOE.) I had a great time and I’m really happy that I was able to go!

A few highlights for me were:

  • Robert Walters’ English Horn masterclass (he had some really great things to say about the audition excerpts) and his d’amore concerto performance the night before was also really great.  I really loved his playing.  Stand-out quotes from his master-class:
      • “The tempo is like a contract between you and the listener.”
      • “Wind playing is about being able to start the note when you want, sustain the tone, and leave nicely.”
      • “Try and look at each audition as a laboratory to hone your craft.”
  • Peter Cooper’s masterclass and recital were also really wonderful.  The stand-outs of his masterclass to me were his “drunken” rendition (and also Elvis rendition) of the Brahms Violin Concerto solo (for the purpose of demonstrating where “the line” is in terms of playing it safe vs. going “over the top”) and his concepts of support (abdomen “soft, but athletically ready” vs. being clenched all the time).  Stand-out quotes from his master-class:
      • “Don’t be afraid to experiment with the music–make a little etude or melody out of something you find awkward.”
      • “A successful audition is made up of ten thousand tiny successes rather than some kind of huge secret.”
      • “Be in character from the first note–think about actors getting into character backstage before a performance.” (regarding excerpts)
  • Christoph Hartmann’s Mozart masterclass and his recital were excellent.  I was so happy to hear him play and talk about Pasculli and Mozart.  He has a beautiful lightness to his playing which compliments his virtuosity.  It was really inspiring to see him play and he was very generous with his time, staying a full hour after the masterclass was scheduled to end!  Quote from his masterclass:
      • “Never try to play ‘special,’ go for control above all.” (regarding the Pasculli Concerto)

The other huge highlight of the conference for me was the exhibit hall.  I was in the market for a new oboe, so it was really helpful to be able to try LOTS of different instruments of different makes and models all in one place.  It was also really nice to have the opportunity to ask questions of the instrument makers that were there.  I think it’s definitely worth going to a conference if you’re looking to buy a new instrument!  I highly recommend it.

A few photos from the conference:

Kris King, Chris Wheeler, and myself with our IDRS ID badges upon registering at the conference.

Kris King, Chris Wheeler, and myself with our IDRS ID badges upon registering at the conference.

Only at IDRS...

Only at IDRS…

My friend Kris King playing the Baroque contrabassoon in the Wolf room which was as big as the room practically!

My friend Kris King playing the Baroque contrabassoon in the Wolf room which was as big as the room practically!

Me with the Altuglass Marigaux!  So neat, and it sounds like a wooden oboe!

Me with the Altuglass Marigaux! So neat, and it sounds like a wooden oboe!

Kris King with the Wolf re-designed contrabassoon called the contraforte.

Kris King with the Wolf re-designed contrabassoon called the contraforte.

My friend Marcus Philips with the Wolf re-designed bass oboe called the lupophone.

My friend Marcus Philips with the Wolf re-designed bass oboe called the lupophone.

The sunset at the Redlands Bowl concert.

The sunset at the Redlands Bowl concert.

My first time trying an oboe da caccia! Very fun.

My first time trying an oboe da caccia! Very fun.

My oboe teacher from high school Francisco Castillo (who was hosting the IDRS 2013 conference) and myself.

My oboe teacher from high school Francisco Castillo (who was hosting the IDRS 2013 conference) and myself.

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