Leopold Stokowski directed Tabuteau and other selected members of the Philadelphia Orchestra to play in the Curtis Student Orchestra in the earliest years of the Institute’s existence for two basic reasons: 1) To cover positions where the students were not yet qualified; and 2) To teach by example by playing next to their students. Tabuteau played principal oboe in the Curtis Orchestra from 1925 to well into the 1928-29 season when he turned the position over to his student, Robert Bloom. Tabuteau obviously felt that Bloom had advanced to the point where he could replace him.
The concerts performed on December 17th, 1928 and March 3rd, 1929 in Philadelphia’s Academy of Music–the latter repeated on March 8th, 1929 at Carnegie Hall (see programs below), were evidently Tabuteau’s last as a ‘ringer’ in the Curtis Student Orchestra during the early years of the Institute. For the first time, the concert programs lists only the student members, but a special note indicates that 16 professional musicians were brought in to augment the orchestra, six of whom were Curtis faculty members.
Tabuteau came back for one additional performance with the Curtis Orchestra: A special ‘Golden Jubilee’ concert in 1937 honoring Curtis’s then Music Director, Josef Hofmann (see below):