Who’s New York’s oboe on Jaap’s opening night?

Who’s New York’s oboe on Jaap’s opening night?


norman lebrecht

September 20, 2018

We hear that Sherry Sylar, associate principal oboe, has been rostered for the big occasion in the enforced absence of the Philharmonic’s #1 oboe, Liang Wang.

There has been no further disclosure on the firing of two musicians, except a clarification that it relates to a number of incidents over a considerable period.

The timing of the dismissals could hardly have been worse – on the eve of the inaugural concert of a new music director, Jaap Van Zweden – and the Philharmonic as a group are getting on with their business in a slightly artificial state of suspended animation.




  • PHF655 says:

    She is a very talented veteran of the orchestra who often has had to act as principal oboe in the absence of that player – going back to the time of Mr. Wang’s predecessor, Joseph Robinson. According to the orchestra’s website, she joined the orchestra in 1984.

  • anon says:

    “The timing of the dismissals could hardly have been worse – on the eve of the inaugural concert”

    I would phrase it differently: “The timing of the dismissals could hardly have been worse — coming so tardily after so many years and so many incidents.”

    As Riccardo Muti has said many times in his own experience at Chicago seeing 2 principal oboes leave, a principal flute leave, a principal trumpet leave: “no one is irreplaceable in an orchestra.” Ms Sylar is a fine oboist and will execute her functions admirably.

    • John Borstlap says:

      For the new conductor, the replacement of one excellent player by another excellent player can hardly be considered a disturbing thought.

      Van Zweden has been through wilder ripples. On the day of the concert performance of a Tristan in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Tristan lost his voice and another one was found on such short notice that there was no time at all for any rehearsel – he had to jump into the Wagnerian waters just like that. But he did an excellent job and the conductor steered the ship with a steadfast hand in a beautiful and inspired performance.

      It would be more alarming if, at such concert, the conductor would be missing.

  • Emil says:

    So…the news is that things are perfectly as one would expect, with the associate taking over the principal chair in the absence of a principal?

  • MayaT says:

    Where can the clarification of the misconduct be found?

  • Ben says:

    What a shame the fine musicians of NY Phil have to play in that sorry hall. It shall be bull dozed.

    • Olassus says:

      You know, some pretty fine orchestras have played in some pretty crappy halls as their home, ones much crappier than Philharmonic Hall, New York — or whatever it’s currently called.

      • John Kelly says:

        Name one. It’s a barn, albeit a much better barn than before as a result of some tinkering. Any orchestral tutti above FF and it sounds like you’re in a steel works, unless you’re upstairs at the very back. Those seats being cheapest are at a premium because there aren’t many, and you need good eyesight if you want to see anything going on in front of you.

  • Joan says:

    Who played fourth oboe on The Rite of Spring?

  • MacroV says:

    Not that Sherry Sylar doesn’t merit a little attention, but what’s the news here? When an orchestra is without a principal player for whatever reason, the assistant/associate principal usually steps in. Unless they engage a guest principal, at least for a week here or there. Happens all the time. Sometimes an orchestra can go years with that arrangement while they make up their mind on hiring a new principal. This one might go on a while, too.

  • Blair Tindall says:

    I made a special trip to NY to hear her; she sounded spectacular tonight! The orchestra was terrific and we got Valkyries for an encore!

    • Quevanzhenay Kahless says:

      not to start shit but u should take liang’s spot ms t

    • anon says:

      That makes yours the first review in print!

      The NYT doesn’t have its review out yet. Which I don’t understand, it used to be that the music critic rushed out his review by midnight just in time when the presses start to run.

      Today, I mean, they can’t email it and put it on the web at 2 am? Spending too much time at the post-concert party and not enough time writing?

  • Enquiring mind wants to know says:

    Who was on associate principal trumpet? The first C part in the Rite?