I seen a wonderful BBC television documentary showing behind the scenes of the Berlin Philharmonic last week. As well as showing the interesting way in which the BPO is run, it interviewed many of the musicians upon their thoughts and feelings about professional working life. The program demystified and brought a very open and honest perspective upon a world which many amateur musicians aspire to and sometimes glamourize. For me it highlighted some interesting issues about world class musicianship which i had never thought about before.
Firstly playing in an orchestra with so many "big personalities."
The feeling of isolation and critical (sometimes bitchy) ears when a new person is on trial.
The feeling of isolation and critical (sometimes bitchy) ears when you don't feel as though you are at the same level as your colleagues.
The fact that it never gets any easier when you rise to that top level. Some of the musicians stated that they found it more difficult maintaining the BPO level of musicianship, than actually becoming a professional musician and getting into the BPO.
The fear that a conductor feels (in this case Simon Rattle) when trying to harness and exploit the massive potential of a bunch of big personalities. Indeed ego-centric by there own admissions.
My questions to you are:
What is/was the most pressurized situation that you have had to face as a professional musician?
How did you deal with it?
What things do find most difficult about being a professional musician?
Sorry for the gloomy questions.