MrMusicTeacher
  aka Gordon Lazarus

"What's Your Musical Journey?"
HI, and Thanks for Visiting MrMusicTeacher
Do you know your own potential? I had no idea, when I started exploring music in middle school. My parents encouraged me to try “anything but violin.” Little did they know! My first strains out of the school oboe sounded like something from “National Geographic” or “Wild Kingdom” and sent everybody out of the house. Suddenly my parents started taking afternoon walks—my first evidence that music is good for your health!

Once I learned how to get a good tone, music became my specialty in school. It helped me build confidence, make friends, do better in other subjects, and “find” my true self. It also got me into college, disproving the predictions of several small-minded grade school teachers and counselors. While in high school I teamed up with my brother and some friends for dozens of successful chamber music events and also entered the Cal Arts Youth Program on a partial scholarship.

College followed, starting at California State University, Northridge (CSUN) on an achievement award. During this time I studied oboe with the legendary John Ellis. Enough work earned me a Bachelor of Music degree with honors including Magna Cum Laude, Pi Kappa Lambda, and outstanding member of the orchestra. While at CSUN I also won both the Chamber Music and Concerto competitions.

After earning my M.A. degree, I “experienced” a year of post-graduate chaos—the year of the musician’s strike. But odd jobs, passion and optimism kept my music alive and flourishing. Soon  winning a graduate fellowship, I began work on my doctorate at the University of Southern California, studying Oboe with William Criss and earning my D.M.A. in 1985.

While at USC, the Kronos Quartet gave a “reading workshop” performance of one of my original compositions, The Psychic Interludes;5 Episodes for String Quartet, for the comp department. “Buzzed” by the audience response, I then had the work officially premiered at the annual Memphis New Music Festival in 1985, by the Memphis Symphony String Quartet. They have used the 4th movement as a staple in their schools outreach program, as a truly weird but fun-to-play example of “Halloween” or “science fiction” music! OK, that’s show-biz!

As a professional musician for over three decades I’ve had the joy of performing concertos and other works by departed (truly dead and famous) composers with orchestras large and small from across the entire “greater Los Angeles” smog belt. That means any place you can drive to and back one (1) day, no matter how bad the traffic!
 
I’ve also had the honor of performing, and occasionally premiering, solo chamber works by  living composers (at least at the time), including Lutoslawski, Krenek, De La Vega, Mateus, Henkel, Fernandez, and others—with the composer in attendance! Talk about pressure—but infinite joy at the same time. Phew!

In addition to playing solo English Horn and alternate principal Oboe with the California Philharmonic, I perform “free-lances” wherever the music takes me, playing in numerous ensembles large and small. I was a founding member of the Whirling Winds Trio, the Nuance Trio, Opus 5 Quintet, and other chamber music ventures. And as an adjunct instructor I've taught private students at CSUSB, CLU, AVC, and Moorpark College.

Currently I teach classes at Antelope Valley College, and private students of all ages. So give me a call or drop me an email and let’s see how I can help you with your musical journey.

MrMusicTeacher
aka Gordon Lazarus

 

Telemann Presto for Oboe

Qualifications
  • Doctor of Musical Arts from USC, 1985
  • BA (magna cum laude) and MA from CSUN
  • Teaching Credential (MS), Chapman University
  • YMF Debut, Cal Arts and American Youth Symphony training orchestras
  • Member of local 47 since 1978
  • Member of ASCAP since 1985
Experience
  • Music faculty at Antelope Valley College since 1990
  • Founding member of the California Philharmonic (solo English Horn/section Oboe) since 1996
  • Mission College Extension since 2003
  • Music teacher, Palmdale School District 1997-2003
  • Private music students since 1976. 
  • Countless performances as a loyal member of: Antelope Valley, Bakersfield, Burbank, Burbank Chamber, Conejo, Inland Empire, Neumark, Pasadena Pops, and other great orchestras.




Some of my students have earned
music scholarships, including full four-
year scholarships, to universities!






Contact Me About Lessons