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The Secret Life Of An Oboist

March 6, 2007

The Washington Post reports an extraordinary story about an oboist whose shady dealings in the world of betting might land him in prison for 20 years. Here's the gist:

"From an early age, H. David Meyers had a talent for coaxing sweet, swirling notes from the oboe. At 15, he was performing at Carnegie Hall. Eventually he had a dozen solo appearances with the National Symphony Orchestra. Last year, at 61, he collaborated with musicians of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic, one of Russia's most prestigious orchestras, as the soloist on a recording of a Beethoven concerto whose score had been lost for almost 200 years.

Today, however, Meyers will face the music in a courtroom in Greenbelt. Having pleaded guilty in November to three counts of operating an illegal gambling business and money laundering, he awaits sentencing by a federal judge. Meyers could receive up to 20 years in prison. Even one year away, he says, would surely spell the end of his music career."

Last week, the classical music magazine Muso reported the results of a study surrounding the sex lives of orchestral players. The research claimed that viola players had the most rampant sex lives of all instrumentalists in a symphony.

If a similar study were to be done about crime and orchestral players, the oboe section probably come out as the least likely players to get into trouble with the law. Oboists are nerds. They're so busy scraping reeds and fiddling with mini-screwdrivers and bits of cigarette paper that it's difficult to imagine them running a betting business on the side, much less laundering money. This makes Meyers' story all the more intriguing. I'll have to listen to some recordings of his.



  • If you want to listen to Mr H. David Meyers recording of the Beethoven oboe concerto which has been missing for more than 200 years, go to for this highly acclaimed recording with the St. Petersburg Philharmonic.

    H. David Meyers
    Concert Oboist

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At April 9, 2007 at 11:32 AM  

  • I met H. David Meyers in Aspen at the beginning of September 2009. He was nice and recomended I buy the CD from I did on the spot. It's now been a month and a half since I was charged and I haven't recieved the CD yet. Also, the website no longer exists. any help??

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At October 8, 2008 at 10:49 PM  

  • Dear Curt
    I'm afraid I don't know anything about H David Meyers beyond what I wrote in this blog post all those months ago. I was rather surprised that he wrote a response to the post, actually. I'm not sure what to suggest, I'm afraid.
    Good luck.

    By Blogger Chloe Veltman, At October 9, 2008 at 10:30 AM  

  • Curt,
    You can contact H.David at the e-mail address; and he will send you the CD. He tried sending you the CD, but had incorrect contact information.

    By Blogger Sunshine, At December 23, 2009 at 8:23 PM  

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