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Humbert Lucarelli

Humbert Lucarelli has been hailed as “America’s leading oboe recitalist” (The New York Times). The New York Daily News wrote that he “has proven his preeminence among oboists today.” Prof. Lucarelli has performed extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe, Japan, Australia and Asia.

He is the author of “We Can’t Always Play Waltzes: Conversations with Bert Lucarelli,” an insightful and illuminating series of conversations betweenBert Lucarelli and Daniel Pereira reflecting on his life, performing, music, and philosophy. A fascinating document covering Bert’s recollections of rehearsing and working with great conductors and musicians such as Stokowski, Solti, Krips, Reiner, Kondrashin, and Stravinsky.

“We Can’t Always Play Waltzes”

Memoirs of performing artists seem to follow a fairly predictable structure. They typically begin with a recounting of the genesis of a musical career, followed by a list of triumphant professional performance highlights, and sprinkled along the way with some amusing tidbits of not-too-candid backstage gossip. But actual insights into the art of music or the act of performing are rarely offered. Serious introspection and critical self analysis seem to be foreign to memoirs.

Such is not the case here. Humbert Lucarelli, one of the rare classical musicians )and perhaps the only American one) who enjoy a successful career as a solo oboist, has engaged in very serious (but not humorless) conversation with Daniel Pereira. This is extraordinary because it offers a window into the music and philosophy of one of America’s most important musicians. The probing, knowledgeable questions asked by Dr. Pereira González play a major role in drawing out Bert’s most deep and intimate musical thoughts.

One special attribute of this set of “conversations” is they offer genuine meaning and value to both casual and knowledgeable music lovers alike, as well as to the professional musician, a bridge not that easy to build. The relaxed and interpersonal tone of this memoir makes for easy reading; one can almost hear the voices of both participants even if one has never heard them speak. This very human and warm tone offers the reader a privileged look into Bert’s very special world.

—from the foreward by Henry Fogel to “We Can’t Always Play Waltzes”