Trumpet Discussion Discuss Where are the Really Tough Musicians? in the General forums; Manny,
I was wondering if you would care to voice any opinions about this business in Boston, where Levine seems ...
Where are the Really Tough Musicians?
I was wondering if you would care to voice any opinions about this business in Boston, where Levine seems to be too much for some of the musicians.
I see your own Janet Horvath is coming to the rescue. Not so sure this kind of publicity will play so well with the overworked general public...
I'll speak for myself by saying how I handle our schedule:
1) I do very little freelance work except for conducting the youth symphony and occasional solo appearances... like the recent apearance in Rochester... because I make a good salary and I don't like taking away work from freelancers
2) I teach when it's convenient to me and on a limited basis
3) keeping my chops up for endurance is job one for me and my practice is geared to that end
4) I rest, eat well, and use my off time well.
That's how I handle our schedule.
That brings up a question I've always wondered about. What is the daily schedule of a professional symphony musician like? Do you go to the concert hall 8 hours a day and rehearse? (I doubt it...I don't know about you, but I'd be dead). Is your day pretty much an 8-5 affair between practice, rehearsal, lessons, or other gigs? Or is the schedule somewhat varried? Just curious.
Do you typically write off Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights during the concert season or do you get breaks from time to time?
There are 10 kinds of people in the world: Those who understand binary and those who do not.
Here's a sample schedule:
Tuesday-------10 reh.(possible 1:35 reh)
Wednesday---10 and 1:35 rehs.
Thursday------10-dress reh 7:30 show
Friday-----------8pm- live broadacst
Sunday---------off or 2 pm show
In there you can fit in individual practice and whatnot.
You do dress the same day as the first concert?
That's got to be rough on some programs... i know that's a lot of recovery time, but don't you need an overnight to be real fresh?
We always do the dress on the same day for pops and family concerts which is hard enough.. Last Sunday we rehearsed Star Trek, Star Wars, Mars, Jupiter, ET, Close Encounters and Star Wars Main Theme for 2.5 hours, took 90 minutes off and did it in a family concert. It was brutal... Oh, i forgot the opening to Also Sprach.
I survived it and got through it, but it didn't 'sparkle' on the concert like it normally would.
I'm not sure how to prepare so that I can handle playing that kind of show on so little rest. Any ideas?
Thanks for your insights.
A while back I remember you mentioning something about not eating too much Indian food before a concert... I personally like to play on a full stomach, just wondering if you had any thoughts on pre-concert food...
PS When I was in Minneapolis in January, I stopped by Brit's for a pint and a shephard's pie before going to hear the MO. Now that's what I call a good pre-concert meal! (Also, bravo on Prokofiev 5 and Sigfried Idyll)
Originally Posted by blutch
Yes, our dress is always on concert day and I believe that 's the statndard for major symphony orchestras. I've never known it to be different. As far as saving up for the show and such, I've always been blessed with having a very quick recovery. Maybe it's that I don't use a whole lot of pressure when I play or some other kind of efficiency. Also I think playing in a hall that lets you play effeciently helps. I'm not having to kill myself to be heard.
I think the key is to play in such a way as to be heard easily but with less effort. A big, wide sound that is powered by breath and not at the expense of lips and corners. Do I get tired? Yes but it takes a lot to get me to that point. But that's my job, isn't it? I practice endurance as part of my daily practice. I don't do it directly, mind you, but it's a by-product of solid fundamental work on a daily basis.
It's like this: the MO has traditionally been an orchestra that was accustomed to two performances in one day. I've done shows that included Mahler 5th and the next season after Mahler 3rd twice in one day. Those were 11am and 8pm shows. The conductor was Eiji Oue and I found it interesting that his interpretations that day were more lean than the next night where he took more time in his reading. The shows went very well because they had to, there's pretty much no choice at this level.
Every player has to be very clever about how to approach this question of endurance. Whether it's playing lightly, leaving out some tutti things, or whatever, it's a way of doing things that is up to each individual.
Since the topic is getting through the shows with enough endurance to last, what do you do to work on endurance?? Do you play through a bunch of Charlier's or long tones or range stuff or what??
I'm on Easter break so I'll be on quite a bit:)
My recommendation is to eat lighter before concerts and rehearsals because your lungs will hit a bit of a wall if your stomach is full and not have the ability to expand as fully if your stomach were emptier. It's harder to do so as you get older and it wouldn't hurt to get in that habit now. I used to do the same thing and I'm glad I changed my ways.
Give it a try.
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