24. January 2011 · Comments Off on Well …. · Categories: Read Online

“How much nicer would it be if you, the pianist, provided the programme notes? So you are talking about the composer before you play and then you can hang out afterwards and have a drink with the audience, as opposed to being some guy who sits up on stage and doesn’t communicate at all other than playing the piano.”

I read it here.

Okay, we “classical” folk are often told we come across as snobs when we perform. I really dislike that, and I would love to change that image. I’m all for changes that take a bit of the distance away as well. But I don’t think we are the only ones who sometimes keep a distance. When I played a Rod Stewart show he not only didn’t stick around to talk to the audience, but he didn’t come to the rehearsal that we orchestra folk attended and he didn’t talk to us either. When I played another “pop” sort of thing (I wish I could remember which one it was but I can’t, so I won’t name the group) we were told we had to go outside and around to get to the stage rather than stay indoors in the warmth because we would go through the group’s room and they didn’t want us there. Period. And that was their choice and we had to abide by that. I was a bit put off by the latter group’s rules, but I wasn’t at all bothered by Rod Stewart. He put on a great show. That’s what people came to hear and see, and that’s what I came to play. (It was loads of fun, by the way!)

Please know I’m not saying we shouldn’t be more accessible. I’m just saying this isn’t only in “our” world. It’s the world of the performer. There are some who will hang out with you after, but many — I would suggest most — don’t. So please don’t tell me that classical performers are a dying breed because we won’t hang out and have a beer with the audience after we finish working. (Although I’d be happy to do that if someone wants to drive me home after! Well, maybe I would; I’m a bit of a loner, really.)

This is not to say, either, that we can’t do some changing. I’m all for change as long as it doesn’t lower the quality of what we do.

And … well … about the line above “other than playing the piano” … hmmm … communicating to me by playing something incredible on the piano (or any other instrument, or with the voice) is good enough for me. I’ve never heard Mr. Rhodes live. But if I felt that he had “fed” me with his music, I really wouldn’t need more than that. Honest and true.

Ramble ramble … am I making any sense at all? Who knows? Surely not I!

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