04. May 2005 · Comments Off · Categories: imported, Ramble

At Adaptistration Drew McManus posted a question from a reader. It’s one I think about frequently. Someone wrote to ask about the cost of tickets (you can read the full question at this link.

I have students, friends and family who don’t attend any concerts I’m involved in unless I can get them free tickets. Some say they simply can’t afford the tickets. Others aren’t interested enough to go unless they get freebies. I’ve often suggested they make at least a small donation to the organization that’s given free tickets, but no one has ever told me they have done so.

Tickets are expensive. I know that. I wish they weren’t. Shoot … I can’t afford to go to a lot of concerts either. (I’m thankful that I have one of the best seats in the house when I play!) I wish tickets were affordable to all. But what can we do about that? I really don’t know!

I can tell you that I don’t earn a living off of my income from performing. I don’t even expect to earn my living of of “merely” performing. (Those in the top orchestras do, but I’m not in groups at that level.) I teach at two universities, and I teach privately as well. I love all of what I do. It’s a good life. Really. But if lowering ticket prices causes my income to go down I’m not sure I could handle it.

So how can prices be lowered without hurting what income we musicians have? It’s a tough thing to figure out!

Anyone have any suggestions?
—–

I really did think that I had very important parts in the last symphony concert. The conductor graciously gave me a couple of solo bows (one for Don Juan, and one for Eroica). But sometimes I think I’m more important than I am, I’m sure.

So far, the reviews of the concerts suggest I thought far too much of what I did. I always fear getting arrogant. So not being mentioned is, perhaps, a good thing for me. I wonder.

After reading the Metro review of the concert I simply had to laugh at myself. Nary a mention, and the clarinetist not only was complimented, but specifically named.

So now I take a step back. I tell myself I’m awfully silly for wishing I’d have been complimented. I don’t … I can’t … I won’t play for reviews. I play because I love to play. I play because music is a part of my soul. I play because it’s something I actually do well (sometimes!). I play because I can’t imagine doing something else. I play because I can’t imagine being as satisfied and fulfilled as I am with music making. I tell myself it isn’t about the kudos. And it honestly isn’t, although it feels good to occasionally get a nice mention.

Oh … and I tell myself, too, that I’m thankful no reviewer bashed me to pieces. I will be honest here, though, and say I really do think I played well and wouldn’t have been bashed … but one never knows! (Those of you who know me well probably dropped to the floor in shock reading that last sentence. I know I rarely say anything positive about my playing. How about that?!) Have I been bashed? Yes. The one review I have memorized is the one where I was critiqued harshly. Funny how that’s the only review I have by heart. It’s also the only one I didn’t save.

Now I’m on “down time.” I have no concerts or rehearsals this week. (I, thankfully, still have students … they keep me on my toes!) I have reeds to work on, and I have one work that needs attention. I also need to think about what I’ll be playing for next year’s UCSC faculty recital. But after last week I feel a bit empty this week. When you’ve really given something your all it’s sometimes a let down following the concerts. All that work and energy, and now it’s over. I’m sure it’s that way with anything, not just music, yes?