This oboe soloist’s reed snapped mid-solo, but he recovered like a pro

27 September 2019, 16:19

By Maddy Shaw Roberts

Here is some very rare footage of genuine oboe-based friendship.

In a performance of Hector Berlioz’s opera The Damnation of Faust by the London Symphony Orchestra, Principal oboe Olivier Stankiewicz was about to embark upon the oboe solo at the end of the performance, when he realised there was a water bubble trapped in his keys.

Quickly tapping to clear it, he accidentally split his reed in the process. But second oboe Rosie Jenkins was ready to jump in and save the day.

In a heartbeat, the principal oboist grabbed the second oboist’s instrument and continued the solo seamlessly. And he wasn’t even fazed by the different fingering system on her instrument.

“What we didn't capture on camera,” the LSO explains on their YouTube channel, “[is that] Rosie cleans Olivier's instrument, fits a new reed and hands it back to him, all in time for their next entries.

“And meanwhile, none of the players around them bats an eyelid, and no one in the hall is any the wiser that there has been a drama.”

What a bunch of legends.

Download the concert programme here if you’d like to find out more about each piece. The performance took place at London’s Barbican Centre.