Adrian Gnam

Photos of a French oboe gouging machine, shaper, tube cane triangle cutter, and four oboe reeds–all given to me by Marcel Tabuteau in Nice in July of 1965. Notice the French Francs under the bed of the gouging machine! Priceless!!! A. G.

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The following additional material was submitted by Adrian Gnam and is being shared on this website with his consent:

Hi Marc and Chick,

I thought you (and others) might like to see these quotes.  I often use them with my students using the MT accent.  Since my lessons were mostly in French (he loved that he could converse with me that way), I had a real insight into his inner workings.  That included the “seastem” [system], numerous dinners, scotch drinking and stories.

I paid for my lessons which lasted on a daily basis sometimes from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and were paid for with Johnny Walker Red and Black Label.  I had my share!!!  This was an experience unlike anything I have ever heard of.  I am forever indebted to Marc for the opportunity.  I made the most of it.




Say young man – you do splandingly (splendidly)

AhGnam – You have the lips of a chicken and the jaws of a crocodeel (crocodile) [AhGnam was the name he called me because Marc Mostovoy sent him a note that A Gnam would be coming to work with him]

Hitch your wagon to a star!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It is Mahjeek (Magic) ((This, following of his playing an orchestral excerpt))

You know, I played for George Szell – He did not like me – but I DID NOT LIKE HEEM (Him) EITHER!!!

I have played for many conductors – now to play for the Devil would not scare me

Say stupeed (stupid) what are you doing?

Not bad for a man 78 going on 79 (then a quick push of my shoulder and an “evil laugh” (this, following an orchestral excerpt or a Ferling etude)

You must exhale first before you inhale

There are three things I don’t understand – Women, Roulette and Reeds

Play on the wind – Keep your air going when you articulate

Make your down inflections with a ‘tah’

You have a beautiful tone – now we must work to make the music beautifool (beautiful)

Now you are beginning to understand (time in between) even though you are still stupeed (stupid) ((evil laugh))

My good friend Ward Fearn (2nd horn of the Philadelphia Orchestra) understood my seastem (system)

Give my regards to Harvey Mahgweer (McGuire – English horn with the Cleveland Orchestra

Spin your sound — Don’t be an ideeut (idiot)

Adrian, thank you for sharing!