oboe shapers everywhere!

24 04 2007

oboe shaper collectionBefore there were online doublereed supply houses – before American oboe giants such as John Mack had his name attached to a specific shaper model, oboists had few options of shapers to use. There were a few American oboists who also were machinist. Wally Bhosys (formerly of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra) learned how to fashion shaper tips. This is how I acquired my first shaper. Engelbert Brenner loaned me a backup shaper tip to send to Bhosys. The resulting copy was a decent shaper which I used for years. After Brenner’s death, I inherited all of his reed-making equipment. Here is a picture of the collection. Absolutely none are stamped with a ‘maker’s mark’, so I can only report that many (with the old, short handles) were French-made, and many were probably ‘tweaked’ by either A. Wales or Wally Bhosys. I have been using both the oboe & English horn shape that Brenner used in the latter part of his career since 1986, when they became part of my studio.



5 responses

28 04 2007
Jeannette Lamy Clemons

I am beginning to understand that learning oboe after DECADES of fluting is an entire CULTURE SHIFT, its like moving to a new country… It will be a very long time before I may be ready for initiation into the Secret Society of Reed Gougers and makers.
Sprekkenzie Double Reed?

29 04 2007

This is amazing. How do oboeists continue? And English Hornists? Do they skulk in dark alleys, mugging oboe players, stealing their reed-shapers, as they come out of gigs? Do you worry that your musician friends are waiting for you to die to inherit your collection? Is this some sort of sordid plot to limit the number of oboe players? Pan flutes and recorders should have this trouble, in my opinion, not oboe players. And bagpipers. they should have to stitch their own wheedly bags. Do you know why bagpipers walk as they play? To get away from the noise.

6 05 2007
Cooper Wright

I go nuts, playing around with my four tips. I can’t even imagine trying to play with 20 of them!

14 04 2009
Bruce Weinstein

It was nice to see Wally’s name on your blog. I had known him for some 40 years as a craftsman par excellance in this business. Wally had made me gouging machines and shaper tips and was a wealth of information regarding the oboe world. I would regularly visit him twice a year to shapen the gougers blades and just to talk. I learned much from him regarding all aspects of reed making and cane selection. One of the more memorable people I’ve known throughout my career. He is missed today. Bruce Weinstein, principal oboist Israel Philharmonic Orchestra

15 05 2012
Carol H. Jewell

I’m sure my late mother, Ruth Goldstein, used shapers made by Wally. Her business, in NYC, was called “JMC Reeds.” She was also a classically trained woodwind-ist as well as pianist and harpsichordist.

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