Topic: Wayne Rapier

Wayne Rapier; BSO oboist founded record company; 75

By Richard Dyer
Boston Globe
October 15, 2005


Wayne Rapier, who played oboe in the Boston Symphony Orchestra for 25
years, died yesterday in Dana-Faber Cancer Institute. He was 75 and died
after a battle with cancer.

Born in Tyler, Texas, Mr. Rapier studied at the Eastman School of Music
and privately in Philadelphia with the legendary principal oboist of the
Philadelphia Orchestra, Marcel Tabuteau.

At 19 Mr. Rapier began his orchestral career as principal oboist of the
Indianapolis Symphony, and later played in the orchestras of
Philadelphia, Kansas City, and Baltimore and at the Santa Fe Opera prior
to joining the Boston Symphony in 1970. He taught at New England
Conservatory, Longy School of Music, and several other schools. He was
also a commercial pilot and certified flight instrument instructor.

After his retirement from the BSO a decade ago, Mr. Rapier continued to
perform, but concentrated his energies on the record company he had
founded, Boston Records, which he ran out of his home in Duxbury. Its
catalogue grew to more than 80 compact discs of solo and chamber-music
performances by major orchestral players of the past and the present,
including such BSO colleagues as clarinetist Harold Wright, bassoonist
Sherman Walt, oboist Alfred Genovese, bassist Edwin Barker, flutist
Jacques Zoon and harpist Ann Hobson Pilot.

There are also three very beautiful records by Mr. Rapier himself; he
knew the soul of his instrument.

Mr. Rapier was a congenial fellow, a Southern gentleman who never lost
his Texas accent and generous style of going about his business. His
longtime BSO colleague, former principal oboist Ralph Gomberg, said
yesterday: ''Wayne was very talented, a solid musician who worked very
hard. He understood the difficulty of maintaining a good sound on the
oboe, but he could do it, and he played with spirit and sensitivity. He
loved music, the Boston Symphony, and his many friends in the
orchestra."

One of Mr. Rapier's postretirement engagements was to play the ''Vaughan
Williams Concerto for Oboe" with the Plymouth Philharmonic; his
daughter, Bonnie Rapier Harlow of Plympton, is a longtime member of the
orchestra in the cello section, and his wife, Toni, a member of the
Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra, also frequently plays in Plymouth.

Music director Steven Karidoyanes said yesterday: ''The way he played
that piece was luscious. In the dancing sections, he was sprightly and
light on his feet, and when it needed to be long and plaintive, it was
just that. He humanized the part. He knew this meant not playing with
the most gorgeous tones all the time. He was always asking what the
music was trying to say, and his response was always 'Let's get at it.'
That was a great lesson."

In addition to his wife and daughter, Mr. Rapier leaves two sons,
Christopher of Mentor, Ohio, and David of Mansfield; and four
grandchildren.

There will be a wake Monday at 5:30 p.m. in Shepherd Funeral Home in
Kingston. A memorial service is scheduled for Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. in
Pilgrim Church in Duxbury.

Paul Barrett
   -Principal Bassoonist, Honolulu Symphony
    -Lecturer in Bassoon, University of Hawaii

2

Re: Wayne Rapier

Wayne Rapier was a real gentleman and what a colleague to oboists everywhere! He will be remembered for his invitations each summer to travel to the Vaar region of Southern France to enjoy visiting the cane fields there along with master players and teachers such as John de Lancie and Laila Storch. A little known accomplishment of Wayne and a fellow-texas born and bred oboist and student of Marcel Tabuteau, Wayne gave Rowland Floyd his own tape recorder to take to Nice when Rowland went on a study tour there and became Tabuteau's final pupil. The maitre passed away during Rowland's time studying with him. Rowland was very nervous asking Tabuteau to speak into the microphone to make the famous tape of "The Art of the Oboe" by Marcel Tabuteau. But the work was accomplished and Wayne then gave the world so many thousands of copies of the finest recorded teaching ideas of his mentor Tabuteau to open up the eyes and ears of so many legions of oboists. We will not see the likes of Wayne Rapier for a very long time, I think, if ever again. He was a real oboist's oboist. Sincerely, Gerald Corey Ottawa

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