SFCM Student on Playing Alongside San Francisco Symphony

SFCM Student Daniel Gurevich Plays Oboe

Student Daniel Gurevich spent a week playing with the San Francisco Symphony. The oboe player explains how it came about and what made it uniquely special.

By Mark Taylor

It’s a rare opportunity many young musicians dream about, but few get to experience. Playing with a top-tier symphony. That’s just what student Daniel Gurevich got to do this week after he was asked to substitute with the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra (SFS). The oboe player is currently in the second year of his master’s at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

The call inviting him to play came while he was between classes, “They said we need a second oboe for the week and I couldn't believe it, I said ‘please let me do it!’” Gurevich said of the surprise request. Orchestras frequently hire substitute players depending on the demands of the repertoire, musicians are out, or in this case, members are double booked.

Gurevich played a number of rehearsals with SFS and was able to participate in the season-opening concert, which was exciting for him, “I am so elated by it. They all treat me extremely professionally from the first call, to getting the music to you, it feels like you are part of the section,” he added.

For Gurevich, the opportunity is uniquely special as the California native has spent years watching SFS performances, and now has participated. “I got to play with people I have admired and listened to for almost a decade now. It was very exciting!” he said.

Some of those people include a number of SFCM faculty members, including his own teacher, Eugene Izotov. “I have been studying with him for a while now and he is very supportive and gives really good advice. It feels great to play alongside him on the Davies stage.”

The invitation actually stems from Eugene Izotov who recommended Gurevich as a fill-in player, “Having a strong oboe studio at SFCM is not just something that makes me proud, but also is an excellent resource for the San Francisco Symphony, as well as the SF Opera and Ballet,” Izotov said. Providing unique opportunities like this to students is something that is important to him as an instructor and a musician, “I remember what it felt like for me to play for the first time with the Boston Symphony when I was a student and subbed with them — it is thrilling and really challenges you to expand your perception to a symphonic scale. I am always happy for my students when they have an opportunity to play with us,” Izotov added.

The excitement continues for Gurevich, as later this month he is traveling to Oregon to play with Rogue Valley Symphony where he is principal oboe. He is excited for what is next in his music career and will enter that phase with the memory of having already achieved at least one dream, “Some people might think that this is just a little gig or a little blip on the road to a real career proper, but ever since I got the call, I have just been in heaven, just basking in the glory of playing with the symphony,” Gurevich said.

Learn more about studying oboe at SFCM.