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Any Classical Musicians on DL?

What's it like to tour, especially an international tour?

How has it changed over the years?

How does a musician, say, like a violinist, get jobs?

by Anonymousreply 34Last Thursday at 4:28 AM

Also, How does a classical musician build his/her repertoire? How does one get an agent and all of that? How important are having connections?

If you are difficult to work with, how does that affect getting work? What are the differences based on countries?

by Anonymousreply 103/09/2021

violinist here

well, right now it is nothing, I'm doing my first real gig for a video this week after a full year.

"Getting a job" is actually quite hard, basically is all about your reputation and where you went to school. and even then without strict union rules in place, that gig could disappear overnight, just ask the orchestra at the Met.

touring is stressful but a lot of fun, I look at non-musicians lusting after vacations in exotic locales and I think, "yeah, I did that with the tour I had with Phillipe Jarousky". a vacation for me is staying at home because I used to travel so much. of course that is changed a lot recently. . .

by Anonymousreply 203/09/2021

r1, once a profesional you "build your repertoire" but getting hired. and yes, the connections are entirely everything. Agencies can provide that but most non-singers just rely on their own publicity skills, that's why Facebook is super popular amongst performing artists.

indeed, if you are difficult to work with , depending on your craft, you likely won't get hired again, or people will at least think twice before hiring you again.

I can only speak about hiring in a few countries in Europe but if anything it is more insular and tightly bound to your reputation and schooling there than in north america. Also, less pay and union representation so more musicians striving for lower paid work. But germany for example has four times more full-time orchestras than the US for example. . .

by Anonymousreply 303/09/2021

R2 and R3, I appreciate the information. Thanks so much, both of you.

Do musicians get 'angel money' from sponsors - for instruments, clothes for appearances, travel and what have you?

How does a soloist get work? How did greats like Heifetz and Perlman become so successful?

by Anonymousreply 403/09/2021

I’ve heard of a friend of friend helping by an instrument, I think some solo singers have very ardent fans who might help in that way but I’m not aware of those situations. It’s mostly blood, sweat and tears

Heifitz and Perlman both had management that helped with getting solo gigs, and a Christian teztlaff or Anne-Sofie mutter would too. But i do know solo singers and violinists who do their own management. I manage my own string quartet and it simply means getting on the horn and making a LOT of calls, all the time

by Anonymousreply 503/09/2021

Is it better to be with a symphony? Or freelance?

by Anonymousreply 603/09/2021

better than what?

being a fully contracted member has security benefits, but freelance means you are ultimately your own boss

by Anonymousreply 703/10/2021

Are there agencies that specifically work with classical musicians?

by Anonymousreply 803/17/2021

I haven't toured internationally since the late 90s, so maybe things are different. I was contracted with an established symphony. The schedule was put out long in advance, and I had plenty of "me" time on my last tour (Germany, Austria, Italy). Best advice: learn the word for bungee cord in every country you are visiting. Expect no air conditioning -bring light-weight performance clothes for summer months and have a plan to acclimatize your instrument before you being performing.

by Anonymousreply 903/17/2021

I saw an interview with Amihai Grosz and he basically said his instrument was found and paid for by philanthropists who loved his work. It's on the Berliner Digital Hall (the interview is).

We are talking about rare instruments that cost a few million.

by Anonymousreply 1003/17/2021

You must be new around here OP. Most DL never leave their mothers' basements.

by Anonymousreply 1103/17/2021

[quote]Are there agencies that specifically work with classical musicians?

yes, many

speaking of classical music, the old pervert is dead

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 1203/17/2021

I remember reading a wonderful text by a former student of this Levine fellow. I cannot find it again. I think the author was African-American.

by Anonymousreply 1303/17/2021

oh, dear. . .

by Anonymousreply 1403/17/2021

The former student wrote about the ongoing sexual abuse (starting out as "improvising" exercises, to get the students to know one another or whatever) and how long it took him to rebuild after such an experience. He was very clear that Levine had a preference for African-American boys, of underprivileged backgrounds if possible (easier to abuse/keep it under wraps in exchange for money that the Met sent to the family). Anyway, it was an excellent text. Found it online. Can't remember the title, haven't found it again.

Sorry, I thought all of this was known by my fellow literate DLers.

by Anonymousreply 1503/17/2021

his death is triggering a lot of people right now

by Anonymousreply 1603/17/2021

I see Levine and Leonard Bernstein had the same tastes in young boys. So sad. When you’re traveling, do you carry your violin with you? Any horror stories about fighting with fellow musicians or a conductor who you didn’t like?

Why does classical music attract so many people of Asian ancestry?

by Anonymousreply 1703/23/2021

[quote]When you’re traveling, do you carry your violin with you?

yes, you mean to a gig? of course, and it is Hell, all of you travelers with your fucking roller bags who won't check them can go die.

[quote] Any horror stories about fighting with fellow musicians or a conductor who you didn’t like?

I've always steered clear of conductors and generally just avoid meeting their gaze. One I work with in NYC isn't a fan of mine and demoted me at one point but seems to be fine with ignoring me if I stay out of his way. Musicians tend to disagree with each other a LOT, but by the very nature of the craft have to make amends with each other for the performances. I do know a number of musicians who I parted ways with after working with them . .

[quote]Why does classical music attract so many people of Asian ancestry?

you mean in the US. this isn't the case in Europe. Asian american immigrants with kids consider studying music, and yes, especially violin and piano a sign of prestige, you've arrived solidly in middle-class, also it helps with college admissions, so a win-win, if little daisy doesn't like it, fuck her. If MANY more asian kids study from a young age, that means more of them self-select to go into music later in life. Still, look at a symphony orchestra and it isn't generally the brass section that is asian-american, it's mainly the violins.

by Anonymousreply 1803/23/2021

Yes the US, my apologies for not being specific.

Who usually populates the brass section?

Is there a gay clique in classical music? Gay or straight, I imagine that there’s a lot of hooking up with fellow musicians, yes?

by Anonymousreply 1903/23/2021

here is the chicago symphony brass, pretty fucking famous. and mainly male, mainly white

gays and even gay males are oftentimes a quorum in classical music groups, but only certain areas. Early music seems a big draw, and organists, well, it's hard to find straights. But though i know gay trumpet players and saxophonists, they are not as gay as other parts of classical music. I've done a couple opera productions though where every single man standing on stage was a gay male.

Offsite Link
by Anonymousreply 2003/23/2021

Keep it coming fellas, I'm loving it.

This Levine queen...I guess I'll have to read the old DL threads about him...I'd glance at them and go "tsk-tsk" but sounds like he was a superpredator.

I've been rediscovering classical music on YouTube. Ages ago, I loved only the piano, but now I am loving the violin and some other string instruments. Recently fell in love with La Stravaganza by Vivaldi and Tartini's Devil's Trill (sp?). I didn't know that there were other humoresques besides Dvorak - Sibelius and Clara Schumann, but she doesn't have one for strings, does she? Are there others?

by Anonymousreply 2103/23/2021

classical music is in an uproar about him, no one is really directly defending him, but some use the excuse " he was brilliant, just look at X, but deeply flawed" and with what's been going on lately most others aren't having it. the age of mighty tyrannical conductors is over, and possibly for good reason.

by Anonymousreply 2203/23/2021

[quote] I didn't know that there were other humoresques besides Dvorak - Sibelius and Clara Schumann, but she doesn't have one for strings, does she? Are there others?

the name implies a mood piece, chasing moods or such, so it is great as a short solo piece for piano, but arrangements of these have been made for violin and piano too

by Anonymousreply 2303/23/2021

Dvorak's seems to be the most popular. Sibelius' to my ears, is a bit more subtle. But I like them both.

by Anonymousreply 2403/23/2021

How many violins do you own? Do any of you carry two of them when you're touring? What about tuxedos and gowns and stuff?

by Anonymousreply 25Last Monday at 4:56 PM

I own three viols and three violins. all different backgrounds and values.

travel with an instrument is terrible, especially on airplanes and their vague and ever-changing requirements.

of course, we don't travel anymore so, for the airlines.

by Anonymousreply 26Last Monday at 6:20 PM

Classical organists are a bit different. Most of the really good ones are represented. You see their ads in AGO and other magazines and they all have "represented by xxxx" in the ads. Many of them also have positions in churches as well. There are only a small number that rely solely on concertizing.

by Anonymousreply 27Last Monday at 11:41 PM

I should have said that many have positions in churches or colleges/universities.

by Anonymousreply 28Last Monday at 11:47 PM

I only traveled within the US for the brief time I was semi-pro and it just wasn't for me. Carting around either a baritone (euphonium) for the occasional chamber piece or symphony performance was the pits. I played solo classical guitar as well and it's a nasty field, years of professors and professionals grabbing my guitar out of my hands without even asking permission, uninterested in any young musician unless they could potentially manipulate them into a sexual relationship. Grotesque.

Everybody always asks, and yes, Christopher Parkening is insufferable.

by Anonymousreply 29Last Monday at 11:49 PM

He seemed it.

Yes, organists are a separate breed, sometimes not in a good way. Classical guitar seems a bit that way too

by Anonymousreply 30Last Tuesday at 3:59 AM

Surprised that sexual abuse is so rampant in the classical music industry. It’s everywhere, it seems. How silly am I? Thinking that folks in that world were too sophisticated and refined to engage in such base activities.

by Anonymousreply 31Last Tuesday at 9:02 AM

at my school in the late eighties and early nineties, male teachers sleeping with their female students was rampant, and common elsewhere too

by Anonymousreply 32Last Tuesday at 6:34 PM

Men are pigs.

Compared to today, though, it must have been a challenge to travel as a musician in the days before planes and fast cars.

by Anonymousreply 33Last Wednesday at 3:08 PM

no, it wasn't, you just didn't book gigs that far away. I mainly work within a train ride from my house now in 2021

by Anonymousreply 34Last Thursday at 4:28 AM
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