Posted by Jay Bertolet on September 30, 1999 at 16:15:37:
In Reply to: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Vintage Hirsbrunner horns? posted by Chuck Jackson on September 30, 1999 at 12:58:49:
Oscar LaGasse is one of the best teachers I ever knew and just a first class guy. He retired from the Detroit Symphony in the early 70's, just before they hired Wes Jacobs. After his retirement he starting teaching alot, both privately and at Wayne State University in Detroit. It is my understanding that he still teaches to this day but he's pretty old by now and he recently sold his tuba so he doesn't play much anymore. Oscar had a wonderful flair to both his teaching and his playing. He really got his students to play very musically, no matter what the repertoire. He had alot of students during those days but I feel he was pretty unlucky in that most of his students chose not to go on as professional players. Certainly, in my mind, he is one of the really outstanding teachers that ever did it and yet he goes largely unmentioned. It is a shame that guys like him just don't get the recognition that others do. But knowing Oscar, it might be exactly how he wanted it.
I think that Pete must have been at Michigan before I was though I'm not sure. He definitely wasn't there when I was, that much I can say. And most of the Torchinsky students rave about Abe, he was an outstanding player/teacher as well. Nobody knew the orchestral repertoire better than him. He once told me about his audition into the NBC Symphony. Bill Bell had set up the audition and Abe went to the designated hall and waited for the audition. Some minutes later, in walks Toscanini with a translator. They exchange pleasantries and then begin the audition. Toscanini tells the interpreter something who, in turn, tells Abe that the maestro would like to hear the solo from American in Paris. Abe asks if they brought any music and the interpreter says they didn't. In typical Torchinsky fashion, Abe plays the Gershwin, and the rest of the audition, from memory.
I agree with you that there are many 20th century tubists who are great role models. Hopefully, the tuba community will embrace what they have to offer as well.