The Los Angeles Philharmonic is getting ready to kick-off their 2011/2012 winter season with an all-Gershwin gala this evening. Gustavo Dudamel will be conducting Cuban Overture, An American in Paris, and Rhapsody in Blue with the 71-year-young Herbie Hancock serving as the distinguished soloist. (If you can’t make it to Walt Disney Concert Hall tonight, the concert will be broadcast live on 91.5 FM KUSC and streamed online by both KUSC and American Public Media).
According to various sources, Thomas Hooten will be joining the orchestra as guest principal trumpet for this concert, staying on for the weekend’s subscription concerts, then returning later in the month for more subscription concerts and the orchestra’s trip to San Francisco. Mr. Hooten will not be the only musician unfamiliar to regular LA Phil audiences. A quick scan of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s online roster shows that all the moves I mentioned in my previous posts (HERE, HERE, and HERE) have become official. Two of the newcomers happened to have been quite busy over the past couple of months
First Associate Concertmaster Nathan Cole isn’t truly new since he has been playing with the orchestra since the first part of the Hollywood Bowl summer season. He did take some time off to be Music Director of Chamber Music Festival of Lexington in some well-reviewed concerts (the Lexington Herald-Leader commenting, among other things, that “it’s exciting to anticipate what his innovative leadership of this festival will bring us in the future”). In addition, he and his wife, violinist Akiko Tarumoto, played their last concerts with the Chicago Symphony while on tour in Europe, getting special acknowledgement and warm wishes from Riccardo Muti at the final rehearsal in Vienna’s Musikverein.
Another incoming musician was also notably busy during the past couple of months — in a very different part of the world. Andrew Bain, the new Principal Horn, just wrapped up a five concert tour of New Zealand as part of the Nautilus Trio. Before that, he played in the Australian World Orchestra, a pick-up ensemble composed of Australians now playing in various parts of the world, in that group’s first concerts ever. Murray Black of The Australian praised the AWO: “The strings, in particular, were extraordinary, with intensity and tonal variety rivaling the best I’ve heard. The brass also impressed with their powerful and resplendently polished sound.”
In addition to the welcome additions, there were other interesting things to note:
- Daniel Rothmuller, Associate Principal since 1975, will be moving back into the section with a new title: Associate Principal Emeritus. The orchestra will hold auditions for his replacement this weekend. With this and Peter Stumpf’s previously announced leave, don’t be surprised to see “Ninja Cellist” Ben Hong — recently returned from his sabbatical — sitting first chair for the year.
- Auditions for a new Assistant Principal Viola will be held later in October.
- Two other musicians will be away for the season: Percussionist James Babor on sabbatical, Fourth Horn Bruce Hudson on leave.
- It’s been quite a while since the orchestra has listed which players have been “on leave.” The standard practice for the past few years has been to only list the players “on sabbatical.”
Now you know the players. Quiz will be forthcoming.
- LA Phil comings and goings (part 1 of 3): As the Principal Cello chair turns . . .
- LA Phil comings and goings (part 2 of 3): In search of a new Principal Trumpet
- LA Phil comings and goings (part 3 of 3): new faces — and two familiar ones — come to town
- Andrew Bain: Nautilus Trio
- Daniel Rothmuller: Los Angeles Philharmonic
“It’s been quite a while since the orchestra has listed which players have been “on leave.” The standard practice for the past few years has been to only list the players “on sabbatical.”
Are you sure about that? If you know of any member of this orchestra who was on an extended non-medical leave during “past few years” but was not thus listed in the roster while on such leave, please refresh my memory as to who it was and when this happened, because i do not recall such an occasion.
Since I can’t recreate the online rosters from the past, I can only speak to the printed rosters in the programs, and in those I recall no one has been listed as being “on leave” in the past few seasons. I just checked through some of the ones from the past season I had on hand, and found nothing to contradict my memory.
For example, I just looked at an old program from 1998 and it shows two players “on sabbatical” and no players “on leave.” Another program I have readily accessible from the 2007 NY performances of “Tristan Project” list the players “on sabbatical” and those “not on tour” — but no one is listed as being “on leave.”
I knew that during the recent past some players were in fact “on leave” without having been listed as such — but in retrospect, those musicians were most probably on medical leave. If they were the only ones on any kind of leave and the orchestra has a policy of not listing those on medical leave, perhaps that explains things a bit.
The reason you remember it this way is that there are almost ALWAYS a couple of musicians on sabbatical in this orchestra for nearly three decades now; on the other hand, there are very RARELY musicians on extended non-medical leave. When there are, they are ALWAYS listed as such – for more than two decades now. That is how i remember it. And i think you would agree that publicizing musicians’ medical issues would not be a good idea.
No one needs their medical issues publicized. I guess one could make a case for listing musicians as “on leave” without having to specify the reason (medical or otherwise), but I’m not going to advocate for that.
Obviously, the most typical example for listing someone as “on leave” in any orchestra is when they’re on trial for another position. Clearly, that hasn’t happened much before this year, so it all makes sense.
Another reason for being “on leave” may be for a musician to be trying out another position (so to speak) or possibly the same position but in another orchestra. In such cases, listings would also reflect that accordingly and appropriately.
Certainly. In my mind, I was lumping in all of those cases as being variations on a theme of a trial, but as you point out, they are not quite the same thing.
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