Performance anxieties...

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Bear, Mar 4, 2005.

  1. ponce

    ponce New Friend

    Nov 9, 2003
    New York

    I am curious if you know of any professional orchestral players who are calm enough in their playing as 2nd and 3rd chair players, but who could never be principal players because the increased exposure would confound their nerves? Does such an animal exist? I don't expect you to name names, unless you really want to!
  2. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
    Dear Ponce,

    As far as todays players I'm sure there are folks who have that aversion. There would have to be. That explains why more people turn out for a section chair than do fpr principal.

    The most classic case of that is one of the most interesting stories in trumpet lore so, sit back and get a cup of hot chocolate.

    When you ask William Vacchiano who were among the greatest players he ever knew of he'd rattle off names of players who predated him like Gustave Heim and Georges Mager. He'd also mention players who were his contemporaries like Harry Glantz and Bud Herseth.

    But the one player who was a constant in his respect and collegial affection was the 2nd trumpeter of the Philharmonic, Nat Prager.

    When I asked him about Prager he say "The guy could play anything. He was the only symphonic player he knew that could play a Double High C (on his symphonic equipment)". Prager was a godsend to Vacchiano as he was always ready to help out and play a measure or two here and there but always with impeccable intonation and with a great capacity for blending with him. There is a videoclip of Vacchiano playing the ballerina's dance from Petrushka and Prager plays a couple of measures for him and it is absolutely seamless. He didn't do this all the time but, for whatever reason, Vacchiano asked Nat to play on that occasion.

    Well, the one idiosyncracy of Prager's was that he would never play first trumpet. The Philharmonic brass were always being called to do a variety of freelance gigs and Vacchiano offered many times to have Nat play first, such was his respect for Nat's playing. Nat would flatly refuse.It wouldn't matter how difficult something was, if it was marked 2nd trumept, Nat would play it but he detested the pressure of playing principal!

    It got so that arrangers would actually write the lead part into the 2nd part at Vacchiano's request so that Nat would play lead even though the part was marked second!

    Sadly, Nat died on the job of a massive heart attack at a rehearsal of the New York Philharmonic. He was a trumpeter's trumpeter: solid as a rock with no nonsense to his playing and a devotee of the Bb trumpet for most of his career.

    So,Ponce, yes... there have been and are players with the occasional aversion to playing principal but none with so unusual a story as Nat Prager's.

  3. Anonymous

    Anonymous Forte User

    Oct 21, 2003
    Thanks Manny! That was some great info!
  4. Mikey

    Mikey Forte User

    Oct 24, 2003
    Performance Anxiety?

    Since I've discovered how to reach Nirvana, I never have to worry about "Performance Anxiety."

    (A little Viagra helps too).............

  5. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004

    Check out the post by Dave Bacon about Maynard Ferguson from 1993! It has very relevant information that I think you'll get a lot out of. It's in the Fundamentals section.

  6. Rimshot

    Rimshot Pianissimo User

    Feb 14, 2005
    Manny, speaking of principal players and pressure, and knowing you've done some gigs here in Atlanta, I curious what you think about a "kid" like Chris Martin taking the Chicago lead chair. Don't know how familiar you are with him, but do have any shareble thoughts, or "advice"!?
  7. wiseone2

    wiseone2 Artitst in Residence Staff Member

    Nov 19, 2003
    Herseth was even younger when he joined the CSO.
    Harry Glantz was in his teens when he got his first principal trumpet gig.

    It's about how you play!

  8. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    Sep 29, 2004
  9. Bear

    Bear Forte User

    Apr 30, 2004
    Roger that,


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