One of the intriguing finds in Tabuteau history is this revealing series of letters by Jane Pearce-Bauer (1923–2004) to her mother and sister describing her lessons with Nick Lannutti and Marcel Tabuteau during the late 1940s. These letters, together with two additional documents (given to Jane by the masterful Philadelphia woodwind repairman, Hans Moenning), as well as her oboe and English horn, were donated to the Curtis Institute of Music by Jane’s husband, F. Marshall Bauer, following her death. The letters describe in vivid, poignant detail her feelings and reactions to the teaching she was receiving. No doubt, the ‘young fellow’ mentioned by Jane in the Ludlow Building studio where students once ventured up to the 4th floor to study with Tabuteau and work on his reeds, was John Mack, Tabuteau’s ‘studio slave’ during that period. The Ludlow Building (15 South 16th Street) between Market and Chestnut on 16th Street in Philadelphia is no longer in existence.
Forward by F. Marshall Bauer
As a teen during the Depression, my late wife, Jane Pearce Bauer (then Jane Pearce) fell deeply in love with the oboe. So much so, that playing this difficult double reed became her noble obsession. Buying an instrument was out of the question in those threadbare times, so she and her sister Eleanor obtained used Eb clarinets and took lessons in public school.
In 1946, at the age of twenty-three, she heard that the Methodist Church of the Redeemer in Philadelphia had an oboe but no one to play it. She attended a rehearsal of their orchestra, obtained the oboe (on loan) and agreed to take lessons and perform with them.
Her first teacher was Nicholas Lannutti, her first lesson being on Saturday, February 16. On February 25, after two lessons, she played with the Everyman’s Bible Class Orchestra at the church.
By May 1946, Janie had become principal oboe of the Old York Road Symphony. She was to have first chairs in the Olney Symphony, the Bucks County Symphony (under Vernon Hammond) and the Bucks County Woodwind Quintet.
After her experience with Tabuteau, she studied with John Minsker.
When we moved to Marblehead, Massachusetts in 1973, she was in demand, assuming first chairs in the Salem Philharmonic Orchestra (with whom she played the Mozart Concerto) the Gloucester Symphony, and the Symphony by the Sea.
The following is an excerpt from her Journal, which she called her “Oboe-iography”.
The Jane Goodwin Pearce-Bauer Estate wishes to donate her John de Lancie Loree Oboe an English horn to the Curtis Institute along with this brief episode in the life of a truly dedicated oboist.
L. Marshall Bauer
Marblehead, Massachusetts, September 17, 2008.
Lessons with Tabuteau, November, December 1949
by Jane Goodwin Pearce-Bauer
The above documents courtesy of the Curtis Institute of Music
Commentary by Michael Finkelman on 1/26/18:
Curtis is extremely lucky (and that is putting it but mildly) if they got her de Lancie system oboe. ONLY ABOUT TWO DOZEN OF THESE WERE EVER MADE!!! They are easily among the finest oboes in existence!