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Topic: How do I get into an Orchestra?  (Read 1569 times)

Offline tyler_johnson

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How do I get into an Orchestra?
on: June 02, 2006, 11:42:16 PM
If I want to play for say, the local Orchestra, how would I go about doing that?  If anyone has any expirience with this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Offline jre58591

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #1 on: June 02, 2006, 11:55:43 PM
well, i dont know too much about getting an orchestra other than by saying tyhat your teacher can help get you one to play a concerto. my teacher has scheduled me to play with my school's orchestra next year. other than asking your teacher, i dont know of any other ways.
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Offline tyler_johnson

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #2 on: June 03, 2006, 12:09:44 AM
I'm talking about professional.  Like, union orchestras.

Offline jlh

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #3 on: June 03, 2006, 01:48:10 AM
How about sending an info packet with a recording to the orchestra administrators?  Tell them what you have available to play and tell them about your experience, education level, etc.  Then call them to discuss any possibility of you playing with them.

Also, many orchestras have concerto competitions you could enter as well.

Do you know any arts managers you could bribe into giving the orchestra a good word about you?
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Offline astroboy

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #4 on: June 03, 2006, 01:49:21 AM
do you mean as a concerto soloist?? or as an orchestral pianist?

Offline walking_encyclopedia

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #5 on: June 03, 2006, 03:04:31 AM
i assume you're talking about soloing with an orchestra performing a concerto?

well then unless you're a well-known pianist, then you need to enter a competition and win it. unless you know of an orchestra that's out looking for a soloist for its season.

most orchestras have concerto competitions that you could enter, especially if you are of college age or less.

Offline tyler_johnson

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #6 on: June 03, 2006, 06:16:29 AM
hmm, thinking more along the lines of film-scoring, things like that.

I'm not too ineterested in concerto's, unless it's Tchaikovsky's Bb.

Offline tompilk

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #7 on: June 04, 2006, 05:47:03 PM
hmm, thinking more along the lines of film-scoring, things like that.

I'm not too ineterested in concerto's, unless it's Tchaikovsky's Bb.
you could have chosen a better one :(
Tom
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Offline jre58591

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #8 on: June 04, 2006, 06:03:17 PM
you could have chosen a better one :(
Tom
heartily concurred
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Offline tyler_johnson

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #9 on: June 04, 2006, 07:51:16 PM
Well, i'm not a huge fan of concerto's.  I have heard many, and one of the only ones that really intrigues me is Tchaikovsky's Bb.  So overplayed, but a fascinating piece of music.

Offline bartolomeo_

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #10 on: June 05, 2006, 05:56:12 PM
Well, let's see.

The easiest way would be to take up an orchestral instrument, particularly violin or viola, because orchestras frequently can't get enough of either, while their needs for pianists are limited.

The top-down way of doing it has already been presented by other posters.  In broad terms, you would want to get a degree in music performance with piano as your instrument (in the course of which you would learn a good deal of the concerto repertoire and have many ensemble opportunities), and then go on to win a major piano competition or two.  Then you would be in a position to audition for a job with an orchestra.

For smaller local orchestras you could start by accompanying individual violinists or cellists, which would give you valuable experience as well as getting you an introduction to the local players.  String teachers are always looking for talented accompanists for their students.

Overall, the trouble is that the number of public performances of orchestral works that involve piano is very small, the standards very high, and the competition considerable.

Offline timothy42b

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #11 on: June 06, 2006, 06:01:13 AM
However, session work in a recording studio is another matter. 

Tim

Offline whynot

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #12 on: June 07, 2006, 02:47:15 PM
This is a job in which your education is not important.  Well, it is to the extent that it has prepared you with the right skills, but for studio work, no one cares where you went to school (or IF you went to school).  It's skill-driven.  To do film work and similar recording projects, you need to be extremely fluent on your instrument overall, an outstanding sightreader, proficient in many styles and techniques, and experienced at following any and all conducting.  And you need to be known by the local contractors.  The contractors are the people hired by conductors, studios or organizations to form pick-up groups (ensembles gathered for a specific project, as opposed to a long-term orchestra with fixed personnel).  The conductor will often have a few key people in mind, like the concertmaster and featured soloists, but the contractors choose the rest, so you need to get in their radar.  Even in a big city, there are only a few people contracting all the big jobs, and actually, a pretty small group of musicians who play for almost everything.  The world of classical professionals is small, and when you narrow it down to fantastic readers who can play many styles and be dependable in general, that world is even smaller.  So if you get known as someone who can do these things, you'll get to play a lot.  Piano is competitive, but there is work.  Film scores usually have piano parts, and some have several pianists playing at once.  If you know anyone (or friend-of-a-friend) who plays for a lot of high-level classical events in your area, ask them who usually contracts them for those jobs.  Film work isn't classical playing, but those are the players they'll use.  Then you can talk directly to the contractor and ask them what they would want to see from you to get work.  I don't expect it would be an audition, exactly, but they'd want a demo or a chance to hear you in other concerts.  The contractor's reputation is based on being in the know about who's good at what, and who's reliable, easy to work with, has any unusual skills etc.  I have a pianist friend who does major film work, and he really likes it but says it's pretty high-pressure.  Everything has to be perfect right away, and sometimes works are conducted by their composers who might be terrible conductors, and you still have to give them what they want even when it's hard to tell just what that is.  And huge amounts of money are being spent every minute, so when things go wrong, someone gets apoplectic.  But obviously there's excitement in all that, and the money's great.     

Hope that's helpful.  Good luck!

Offline tyler_johnson

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Re: How do I get into an Orchestra?
Reply #13 on: June 07, 2006, 11:20:07 PM
Wow, thanks.  That's exactly the info I was looking for.  I'm moving to San Francisco in July so i'm sure I won't have a problem finding piano work there.
 

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