How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom?
A captivating biography of the most influential oboist of the 20th century
"[Storch's] personal descriptions of what it was like to study with this mercurial genius are absolutely fascinating; they provide indispensable glimpses for this generation of oboe students, not to mention future ones." —Dan Stolper, Interlochen Centre for the Arts
"In this volume, Ms. Storch cleverly captures the essence of Marcel Tabuteau, one of the finest musicians and greatest teachers of his era and whose unique perspective profoundly influenced classical music for generations to follow. The stories she tells about this remarkable man are, at once, poignant, witty and right on the mark." —John Minsker
"Everyone always said that a book ought to be written about that unique and extraordinary man, Marcel Tabuteau. Now, at last, the book has arrived." - Louis Rosenblatt
"Ms. Storch's style is descriptive, informative, and engaging—a nice blend between the historical and the personal. This volume gets my vote as the winning historical profile of one of the most influential and revered performers and pedagogues of our time—Marcel Tabuteau. A must for every serious musician's library." - Linda Strommen, Indiana University
". . . Storch’s intriguing book will appeal to a broad audience, not just oboists. Anyone interested in music will find Tabuteau's philosophies and Storch's research beneficial and applicable." - Choice , January 2009
". . . This book will be informative, interesting, and beneficial for anyone who is involved with the performance of music in the United States, whether in the field or in academe." - Lois Kuyper-Rushing, Louisiana State University, Notes , June 2009
"Laila Storch . . . is generous in her admiration of [Marcel Tabuteau's] compelling artistry. She has produced a monumental tribute to an extraordinary musician whose influence remains alive in each generation of American oboists." - Anthony McColl, Double Reed News , 87 Summer 2009
Laila Storch is a world-renowned oboist in her own right, but her new book honors Marcel Tabuteau, one of the greatest figures in 20th-century music. Tabuteau studied the oboe from an early age at the Paris Conservatoire and was brought to the United States in 1905, by Walter Damrosch, to play with the New York Symphony Orchestra. Although this posed a problem for the national musicians' union, he was ultimately allowed to stay, and the rest, as they say, is history. Eventually moving to Philadelphia, Tabuteau played in the Philadelphia Orchestra and taught at the Curtis Institute of Music, ultimately revamping the oboe world with his performance, pedagogical, and reed-making techniques.
In 1941, Storch auditioned for Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute, but was rejected because of her gender. After much persistence and several cross-country bus trips, she was eventually accepted and began a life of study with Tabuteau. Blending archival research with personal anecdotes, Storch tells a remarkable story in an engaging style.
Laila Storch is Professor Emerita of Oboe at the University of Washington School of Music.
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