36 Years Ago

36 Years Ago, Vienna 1971—A Student Journal

Day 044: My new horn teacher–Professor Gabler


Vienna 1971—A Student Journal
A year of music, study, travel, sightseeing & friends.

Day 44 — My new horn teacher—Professor Gabler
15-September-1971 (Wed.)


In morning, I went to the Volksoper to see Professor Gabler [my new horn teacher]. For a few minutes, I played, and he told me a few things—I will have to really try to straighten (literally) my embouchure out.

Then went and sat in the [orchestra] pit of the rehearsal for ”Der Wildschutz”—a rehearsal for the whole opera. It was very interesting. I would watch the conductor, the other musicians, and the singers.

The best thing is that musicians are the same everywhere. Horn players, I guess, must have it built in to talk with each other, etc. (exactly like I would do in orchestra in school).

That night’s performance of “Lucia di Lammermoor” [Donizetti] was very good. Some very good singers—good horn parts.

I am beginning to really enjoy opera, and I’ll try to go as much as possible.


My new horn teacher. Yes! I finally get to meet my new horn teacher, Professor Gabler. He is a truly nice man and a great horn player. As I mentioned earlier, I learn today that he is the first horn in the Volksoper.

I play for him and he comments. As you know, I am totally convinced that I need to change my embouchure (lip position) to become better. I am not that bad of a horn player but not as good as others. If you want to be a pro in the top orchestras, you can
never make a mistake. And I make a few mistakes when I play, especially on very high parts. So, I am ready to begin my journey on playing the horn.

In the pits. I actually met Professor Gabler at the Volksoper. After our meeting, I am suddenly sitting next to him in the orchestra pit for a rehearsal of the German comic opera, Der Wildschutz [The Voice of Nature] (1842) by Albert Lortzing [Opera 02]. How cool is that! I’m getting to see first hand what a professional horn player does at a rehearsal for a professional opera house. Ok, they talk a bit. It was great. At Montclair State College, I played in plenty of orchestra pits myself for theater presentations and musicals, and on-stage for many other concerts. That was college—this is pro. Just like being in the pit of the Metropolitan Opera.

That was a great experience. It was very kind of him to give me that opportunity. Thanks, Professor Gabler. [I am now using some last names in the blog.]

Opera— Lucia di Lammermoor. At night, I’m at the Volksoper again, at a performance of the Italian opera, Lucia de Lammermoor (1835) by Donizetti [Opera 03]. I’m learning to enjoy opera, and hope that I’ll go more often.

Here are two Wikipedia articles on these operas.
Der Wildschütz:
Lucia di Lammermoor:

Isn’t Vienna great? The city of music.


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