Topic: Ralph Gomberg, An Appreciation, by Bruce Weinstein

This was sent to me by Bruce Weinstein, principal oboist of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

                   Ralph Gomberg, An Appreciation       

I first met or rather saw Ralph Gomberg when I attended my first symphony concert at Carnegie Hall. I was seated in the first row and the concert was the Boston Symphony with Erich Leinsdorf performing Mahler's 5th Symphony. I had just started to play the oboe and naturally my attention was drawn to Ralph. I wondered at the time how he could play in two orchestras at the same time not knowing that there were two Gombergs in the business of playing first oboe with the two leading orchestras in the United States. I later went to study with Harold Gomberg at the Manhattan School and kept my association with Ralph when I attended Tanglewood. After Harold retired from the New York Philharmonic and went to live in Italy I returned to Ralph for help and advice that proved invaluable over the years. I found his ability to zero in on a problem and give you the best way to solve it uncanny as was his performance standards right up to his retirement from the Boston Symphony. I remember well the many live concerts and broadcasts I heard and watched and always his playing was exemplary. I was deeply touched by his friendship to me after I became principal oboe with the Israel Philharmonic and seeing him attend rehearsals and concerts that we played at Tanglewood and always with good advice and constant support. In the last few years we maintained a good correspondence via e-mail that again helped me with that wonderful advice and support that I came to rely on. My last visit with him and his wonderful wife Sydelle was something very special. The most influential people in my musical life have left the scene now. Ralph was the last. May his memory live on forever.

Bruce Weinstein