My guest on tonight's show -- a repeat of the first episode of our second season -- was Michael Tilson Thomas, leader of the San Francisco Symphony and (more importantly) a recovering oboist.
MTT -- as he suggested I call him (I didn't ask him to call me JK -- didn't want to come off as being imitative) -- started out on that noblest (or at least quackiest) of all double-reed instruments. But faced with the daunting challenges of the "ill wind that no one blows good" (cf. Danny Kaye), he made the wise choice to instead slack off and become a world-class conductor, composer, and TV-series host. The series -- Keeping Score: Revolutions in Music, right here on our very own public television -- is a marvel: concise, moving, accessible.
As I move forward with my own (decidedly amateurish) efforts at oboe-playing, I can take comfort at this tenuous link with a great musician -- though I admit, as connections go, it's a slender reed to cling to. ...
June 18th, 2007