Sunday, December 30, 2012


Associate principal trumpet Glenn Fischthal and principal percussionist Jack van Geem both retired from San Francisco Symphony at the end of the 2011-12 season. The orchestra will be holding auditions in January for both positions.

At the beginning of December, the Chicago Symphony announced that David Herbert - our principal timpanist - has been appointed their principal timpanist, effective July 10, 2013.  Presumably we'll have auditions for that spot as well, at some point, though it is often the case that a departing principal player is considered on leave for the first year of a new job. And goodness knows, sometimes it has taken MTT a good long time to replace solo players.

Oh - read the fascinating comment thread to the Slipped Disk posting linked to above about David Herbert.


CK Dexter Haven said...

Word on the street is that no one was offered the Assoc. Princ. Trumpet chair at the recent audition.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Whoa. Thank you for that news. I guess there will be another round at some point.

CK Dexter Haven said...

Let's hope MTT takes less time than it took him to finally give Mark Inouye the Principal chair

Lisa Hirsch said...

How long did it take? I know it took him eight years to give Robert Ward principal horn (insane - the man is an incredible player - as in Inouye).

CK Dexter Haven said...

Yeah, the fact that it took Bob Ward that long to be given the job was just silly. The Inouye situation took about as long and was even more convoluted. If I remember right, it went something like this:

- In the late 90's, Mr. Inouye wins the 2nd Trumpet chair w/ the SFS. (Ironically, one of the other finalists was Bill Williams). He eventually gets tenure.

- In 2001, Craig Morris, who was then Assoc Princ. w/ the SFS, wins the Principal Chair in Chicago and leaves the SFS. Mr. Inouye becomes "acting Assoc. Princ Trumpet" for a couple of years.

- In 2003, he wins the audition for full-time Assoc Princ Trumpet and MTT offers him the job.

After a year, MTT decides not to give him tenure as Assoc Princ. He decides to take the audition for Acting Princ Trumpet of the Houston Symphony. He wins that audition, and takes the job. Meanwhile, Glenn Fischtal decides to move down to Assoc. Princ. SFS/MTT hires Bill Williams to be Acting Principal.

- In 2005, he is offered the full time Princ Trumpet chair in Houston, declines it and moves back to take 2nd chair at SFS.

After 2005 there are multiple auditions for full-time Princ Trumpet, but no one is hired. Many/most of these auditions were "won" by Mr. Inouye; however, MTT vetoed the audition committee decision/recommendation or offers him a trial then rejects him after the trial. Bill Williams stays on as "Acting Principal" for a number of years.

- In 2008, Mr. Inouye is offered the Princ. Trumpet job with the Cincinnati Symphony, and turns it down. Later that year, he wins yet another audition, plays a trial week and is FINALLY offered the full-time Principal Chair.

Whew. Not sure what took so damn long, but I'm guessing it wasn't Mr. Inouye's actual playing. MTT is beyond picky, and the orchestra has one hell of a reputation (not a good one) when it comes to hiring.

Lisa Hirsch said...

Oh my god.