TORONTO — A day after switching first violinists, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra stayed in shake-up mode and released trombonist Dustin McDaniel, a starter the previous two seasons but hampered by embouchure injuries this year. 2007 first round pick Mick Quinn will take his spot for this season.
Jason Harris was injured (while giving 110%) in the first quarter of the performance of Beethoven’s Ninth on Sunday. The injury is believed to be a cut lip, which last year sidelined the bassoonist for the rest of the season. Harris, one of the TSO’s top reed players, won’t be able to do any significant musical activity for at least a week and will not play in Sunday’s Brandenburg Concertos.
Hank Starter has been promoted to first oboe. Starter is a straight-ahead performer but can angle his approach to the end section, zigzagging through each movement. He plays high and swift like his childhood idol Eric Dickerson, another TSO oboist. In 2007 his speed and agility ranked him fourth-best in the woodwind section.
Meanwhile, flutist Julian Peart has already been bothered this season by a sore thumb, yet he ranks second in rushing through tough melodic stretches. The second-year pro is already one of the orchestra’s more exciting players. But once he darts past the first movement, he becomes one of the more feared. We already know the 5-foot-6, 180-pounder can play a solo. He is also fast. He can match speeds normally reserved for flutists 40 pounds lighter. Think of a more experienced flute rookie David Johnson. Last season during the first half of a Saint-Seans concerto, Peart rushed through 43 measures to set the TSO single-concert rushing record of 296 bpm.
Nine-year veteran Claude Anderson has kept his cello job for now, and harpist Roscoe Jonah will miss four to six weeks after having surgery to repair ligament damage in his middle finger.
Dick Evans, who starred at percussion during the TSO’s glory years in the late 1980s and early 1990s, has died. He was 72.