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San Francisco Symphony's Oboist Collapses During Performance

SAN FRANCISCO -- The musician, William Bennett, suffered a brain hemorrhage and was in the hospital in guarded condition, the Symphony said.

The principal oboist of the San Francisco Symphony collapsed in mid-performance of Richard Strauss' oboe concerto Saturday night and was taken by ambulance to the hospital. An orchestra spokesman, Oliver Theil, said the musician, William Bennett, was standing on stage before the orchestra and performing when he passed out. He said Mr. Bennett, 56, suffered a brain hemorrhage and was in the hospital in "guarded condition" on Sunday. The oboist joined the symphony in 1979 and has been principal since 1987.

In a review of an earlier performance this week, the critic Joshua Kosman, writing in The San Francisco Chronicle, said Mr. Bennett gave "a rare and eloquent rendition" of the work. "Bennett, who last played the piece with the Symphony more than 20 years ago, sounded as virtuosic and forthright as ever," Mr. Kosman wrote. "He sailed through the technical challenges of the opening movement, and brought limpid purity of tone to the slow movement."



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