Posted by Richard on June 27, 2003 at 18:42:10:
In Reply to: Article on new tubist in Vienna posted by Morris Kainuma on June 27, 2003 at 01:09:18:
With their basic views on race and gender rather boldly stated, it is all the more remarkable for the Vienna Philharmonic to have engaged a foreign player with Asian name and features for a singularly visible solo chair. Whatever mixed feelings we may harbor toward the organization, they are a unique band with a sound and style all their own. Just over 20 years ago it seemed just as remarkable for them to have engaged the American born and trained Ron Pisarkiewicz, though his appearance, and his surname helped him fit right in with his colleagues - descendents they were of the central European melting pot that had been the Austro-Hungarian Empire. As fine a player as Ron was, he would have never stayed, let alone been elected to full membership had he not had the skill to fit in with the Viennese norms. He did so in a way that in no way compromised his abilities, but still opened up the sound of the VPO low brass, and without compromising the fine points of Viennese style.
Mr. Sugiyama will no doubt apply his considerable talent to internalizing the style around him, even while adding his own distinctive voice, and on whatever choice of instruments he chooses to play. The Vienna Philharmonic is in little danger of becoming a generic "global" orchestra any time soon. The succession of most chairs remains for all practical purposes, a Viennese old-boys network.
The Vienna Philharmonic - It's a guy thing.