The oboist: Andrew van der Paardt, acting principal oboist of the Fresno Philharmonic, is recognized by the conductor and asked to stand up at the end of “The Firebird” Sunday at the Saroyan Theatre.
The applause: Is it my imagination, or does Andrew get a smidgen more applause than the other soloists? He must have some very enthusiastic supporters in the house.
The “Firebird” solo: As performed by Andrew, it’s absolutely gorgeous. I’m always a sucker for the oboe, and the solo in the piece’s “Lullaby” movement, described by Geoffrey Burgess in the aptly named book “The Oboe” as “dripping with oriental fragrance,” is wonderful.
The awww factor: This would all just be another fine day at the orchestra, but then Andrew’s father, Pete, a very fine musician himself (he wowed me last year as conductor of CenterStage Clovis Community Theatre’s “Beauty and the Beast”), tips me off to a fun fact. The performance was the first time Andrew performed together with his mother in a professional setting: Tammy on percussion and Andrew as acting principal oboe. Could his parents be any prouder?
The potential: Andrew graduated from Clovis High School in 2011 and is in the Class of 2017 at the Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Next he’s making the New England Conservatory his home for a couple of years doing another degree. Just think how superb an oboist he’s going to be when he gets finished. It’s nice to see a central San Joaquin Valley student musician doing promising things.