Marcel Tabuteau: How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can't Peel a Mushroom?

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Indiana University Press, 2008 - Biography & Autobiography - 594 pages
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Laila Storch is a world-renowned oboist in her own right, but her book honors Marcel Tabuteau, one of the greatest figures in twentieth-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, and including access to rare recordings of Tabuteau and Waldemar Wolsing, Storch tells a remarkable story in an engaging style.

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This Book is a treasure and pleasure to read. It has a special place in my life as I studied with two students of Tabuteau, Harry Schulman and Earnest Harrison and played for John de Lancie as a participent in one of his three master classes at Ball State Univesity and will always be thankful for the passion for Tabuteau these great men had for the principles that he taught. I had the privilege of attending the last Curtis Oboe festival to France in 2001 Laila storch was there as well as my teacher Earnest Harrison and John de Lancie. As my teacher told me and I am of the same opinion Tabuteau profoundly influenced how insrumental music should be performed more that any other artist of his time.  


Compiègne and the Tabuteau Family
Tabuteaus Studies with
Walter Damrosch and

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About the author (2008)

Laila Storch is Professor Emerita of Oboe at the University of Washington School of Music.

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