A Sad Day: SFSymphony Oboist William Bennett Has Passed Away

After suffering a brain hemorrhage during his performance of the Strauss Oboe Concerto, San Francisco Symphony Orchestra Principal Oboist William Bennett passed away. Bennett served as the orchestra’s Principal Oboist for 26 years but was a member of the orchestra 34 years.

William BennettThe orchestra released a statement on 2/28/2013 and there have been numerous articles recounting his career, accomplishments, and consummate musicianship.

H/T to Brian Wise at WQXR for posting this wonderful clip of Bennett performing the oboe solo from Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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