David McGill was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1963. At the age of 17, he won the position of principal bassoon in the Tulsa Philharmonic. After one season, he was accepted as a student of Sol Schoenbach at the Curtis Institute of Music where his chamber music and woodwind instructors were John de Lancie and John Minsker. Before graduating from Curtis in 1985 with a bachelor of music degree, he was the 1983 winner of the I.D.R.S. ‘Fernand Gillet Competition.’ David McGill was the principal bassoonist of the Toronto Symphony for three seasons and the principal bassoonist of the Cleveland Orchestra for nine years. In 1996, he was engaged to fill the principal bassoon chair of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra retiring in 2014. He is currently Professor of Bassoon at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music.
In preparation for his acclaimed book: Sound in Motion: A Performer’s Guide to Greater Musical Expression (Indiana University Press, 2007), David McGill conducted a series of video interviews with Tabuteau students and colleagues. In this most illuminating 1993 video interview of oboist Alfred Genovese and clarinetist Harold Wright, David McGill captures them reminiscing about their interactions with Marcel Tabuteau and the influence Tabuteau had upon them. David has contributed the following commentary:
“It was taped in the Boston Symphony Hall locker room area on January 21, 1993. Harold Wright died that summer. It was the only ‘joint’ interview I did of those who knew/worked with/studied with Marcel Tabuteau. All others were ‘solo’ interviews. ‘Buddy’ and ‘Al’ were best friends and even referred to each other as ‘Stanley and Ollie,’ as in Laurel and Hardy!”
“The tape copy shown below is raw, unedited footage which also contains, on the original, the first 30 minutes of an interview by Louis Rosenblatt taped later that same week. I expect to have my entire collection of Tabuteau-related interviews transferred to digital media and edited to professional standards.” D. M.
The interview below is copyrighted and posted courtesy of David McGill. Kudos to David for having the foresight to conduct this interview, and much appreciation for allowing it to appear unedited on this website. The Tabuteau dialogue begins at 1′ 57″.
Alfred Genovese (1931–2011) began the oboe at age sixteen with John Minsker, then English horn player with the Philadelphia Orchestra. He later studied with Marcel Tabuteau at the Curtis Institute of Music. In 1953 following his graduation, he joined the Baltimore Symphony and three years later (1956), he was appointed principal oboe of the St. Louis Symphony. In 1959 he played one season with the Cleveland Orchestra under George Szell and then won the principal oboe position at the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra serving there from 1960 to 1977. He then joined the Boston Symphony as associate principal oboe, subsequently assuming the principal position from 1987 until his retirement in 1998. He performed at both the Marlboro and Casals Festivals for many years and taught at New England Conservatory and Boston University.
Harold Wright (1926-1993) began his clarinet studies at age twelve and later entered the Curtis Institute of Music as a student of Ralph McLane, principal clarinetist of the Philadelphia Orchestra. While at Curtis, he attended many of Marcel Tabuteau’s wind classes, absorbing the oboist’s phrasing concepts. Upon his graduation in 1951, he became a member of the Houston Symphony, and the following year, principal clarinetist of the Dallas Symphony. He went on to become principal clarinetist of the National Symphony in Washington D.C. until joining the Boston Symphony as principal in 1970, where he remained until his untimely passing in 1993. He performed at both the Marlboro and Casals Festivals for many years and taught at New England Conservatory, Boston University, and the Tanglewood Music Center.
More on Alfred Genovese: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Genovese
More on Harold Wright: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wright_(clarinetist)
More on David McGill: https://www.music.northwestern.edu/faculty/profile/david-mcgill