by Laila Storch*

Throughout the years, Marcel Tabuteau spoke of his desire to put his thoughts on music performance and teaching into written form. He often seemed to be searching for someone to help him organize and codify his ideas. But it was a string player, not an oboist, who eventually transcribed Tabuteau’s principles onto paper. Marc Mostovoy, a young violist and aspiring conductor spent the three summers of 1962-64 studying with Tabuteau in France. In 1965 at Tabuteau’s request, the twenty-three old Mostovoy wrote a short “summary of the chats we had together” based on the extensive notes he had taken. He sent this Essay to his teacher for correction and approval. Following Tabuteau’s favorable response, Marc sent him an expanded version in outline form: ‘A Resume of the Tabuteau System.’ Unfortunately, Tabuteau died before having the opportunity to review this document with Marc. As a consequence, it wasn’t published. Nevertheless, all of Marc’s original notes for the Essay and Resume have survived and are being shared with the public on the following pages.

*Part of this Introduction also appeared in: Laila Storch, Marcel Tabuteau: How Do You Expect to Play the Oboe If You Can’t Peel a Mushroom? Bloomington: Indiana University Press (2008) p. 533.


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