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Moonlight Trapped in the Sonata Form?

How can we explain the immense popularity of the sonata for over two hundred years? What makes it so satisfying, so complete? Here we listen to a recent performance of the Moonlight Sonata by pianist Yundi Li from a popular TV-show in Japan. His interpetation is quite traditional with a slow and beautiful rendition of the first movement. But there is another completely different way to interpret it. Which do you prefer? Read more >>

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Author Topic: Anyone actively touring? What is your day to day life like?  (Read 1121 times)
nickc
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« on: November 07, 2017, 06:00:49 PM »

 The prospect of touring is slowly becoming a reality for me and I'd like some input from the other pianists/musicians as to what it is like? It seems enjoyable but at the same time quite stressful... I would love to know what the average week is like for those of you that do tour and any tips you might have. If any of you tour internationally, I'm even more curious! Thanks!

Nicholas
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nickc
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2017, 10:56:00 PM »

anyone?
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louispodesta
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« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2017, 12:27:01 AM »

You bet!

1)  In 1974, a Conductor/Composer/Pianist (whose nickname was "Lenny") declared that Solo Piano Recital performance "was dead!"

2)  As of today, Martha Argerich no longer plays solo recitals.

3)  Christina Ortiz is married to the top Classical Music Promoter in all of Europe.

4)  Maurozio Pollini is 75 years old.  You figure it out.

5)  Leon Fleisher can "barely pay with two hands.  Yet, he is widely booked to unsuspecting audiences who are conned into believing that he has made a miraculous recovery.

6)  Murray Perahia almost cut off his thumb in a home kitchen accident years ago, so the partially paralyzed Fleisher is commonly asked to substitute for him on Tour.

7)  Therefore, Yefim Bronfam, who does not have any associated Artist In Residence "gig," is the only U.S. Classical Pianist "On Tour."  And, that includes Andre Watts.

Cool  For the last three years, has anyone seen Lang Lang on television or mentioned anywhere else in terms of actual performance?

Does that answer the OP's question?
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nickc
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« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2017, 01:32:20 AM »

Yes it does... I'm very thankful, that I'm not a Classical Pianist!
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louispodesta
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« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2017, 11:53:25 PM »

For all of those who honestly and sincerely weigh-in on any post, I proffer the following, which I have related before:

1)  This is an "Open Post," however that does not connote or denote a "Whatever" post.

2)  Per the OP, does anyone seriously believe that those who commonly post here would ever broach this detailed so-called "Professional" post on Concert Pianist epistemology.

3)  Consequently, when I "called him on it" (Poker terminology), he "folded."

4)  The point is that:  If you and yours continually allow us to be treated like "Morons," by the rest of Piano Academy, then the causal logic is not linear.  It is circular (what goes, comes back around).
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vaniii
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« Reply #5 on: November 28, 2017, 12:17:59 AM »

I have colleagues who tour; they live out of a suitcase and spend most of their time in a hotel room working on the instrument provided.  Occasionally they get to leave and 'see the sights'.

The problem is they literally play the same pieces over and over for months before returning to normal life. 

There is always off-season; Did you make enough money to tide you over to the next 'tour', or where ever your agency sends you?  More often than not, you are on a cruise ship or doing private functions.  Occasionally you get a concerto/solo gig, but they are far and few between.

The names that were dropped are the 1% of concert pianists.  Why compare yourself to them.

The rest have to supplement income with teaching, composing, writing and/or examining.

If you are lucky enough to win a competition and get a record deal, your album sales will help supplement your income when you are not booked for gigs.

It's not all 'Feux Follets', flowers and applause.
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nickc
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« Reply #6 on: November 28, 2017, 12:26:17 AM »

Again, I'm thankful I'm not a classical pianist. Is there any musician on this forum that can provide insight into this topic? Whatever "genre" it might be? Thank you all.

Nicholas
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ronde_des_sylphes
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« Reply #7 on: November 28, 2017, 05:52:55 PM »

I can't say I've toured but I've certainly given several recitals where I've been nowhere near home and having to do the hotel thing. My attitude would probably be different if I was doing it day in, day out. It's cool if you are staying with a fellow musician, like after a joint recital, or with a friend, but the contrast from being the sole focus of attention and then going an hour later back to an anonymous solitary room can be unnerving.
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nickc
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« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2017, 04:43:25 PM »

I can't say I've toured but I've certainly given several recitals where I've been nowhere near home and having to do the hotel thing. My attitude would probably be different if I was doing it day in, day out. It's cool if you are staying with a fellow musician, like after a joint recital, or with a friend, but the contrast from being the sole focus of attention and then going an hour later back to an anonymous solitary room can be unnerving.

Thanks for your response. I will be performing in different cities across the east coast of Canada next Spring. The tour will be about 2 weeks so I think it should be manageable. Although I have no control over the pianos, I have decided to bring my piano chair with me. I find that comfort is half the battle... Thankfully, my wife will be joining me so I'm not worried about the solitude. Again, thanks for your response. Take care!


For all of those who honestly and sincerely weigh-in on any post, I proffer the following, which I have related before:

1)  This is an "Open Post," however that does not connote or denote a "Whatever" post.

2)  Per the OP, does anyone seriously believe that those who commonly post here would ever broach this detailed so-called "Professional" post on Concert Pianist epistemology.

3)  Consequently, when I "called him on it" (Poker terminology), he "folded."

4)  The point is that:  If you and yours continually allow us to be treated like "Morons," by the rest of Piano Academy, then the causal logic is not linear.  It is circular (what goes, comes back around).

Louis, what are you on about? Although this is predominantly a classically focused forum, not all of us are classical pianists. Your post is full of condescending false assumptions and is not helpful to anyone. Also, I'm not sure where you learned to play poker but I believe the correct terminology is "called his bluff". Wish you all the best, take care.

Nicholas

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louispodesta
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« Reply #9 on: November 30, 2017, 12:08:16 AM »

I have colleagues who tour; they live out of a suitcase and spend most of their time in a hotel room working on the instrument provided.  Occasionally they get to leave and 'see the sights'.

The problem is they literally play the same pieces over and over for months before returning to normal life. 

There is always off-season; Did you make enough money to tide you over to the next 'tour', or where ever your agency sends you?  More often than not, you are on a cruise ship or doing private functions.  Occasionally you get a concerto/solo gig, but they are far and few between.

The names that were dropped are the 1% of concert pianists.  Why compare yourself to them.

The rest have to supplement income with teaching, composing, writing and/or examining.

If you are lucky enough to win a competition and get a record deal, your album sales will help supplement your income when you are not booked for gigs.

It's not all 'Feux Follets', flowers and applause.
Please delete your very well thought-out post.  Otherwise, you will be ridiculed/trolled for speaking the truth!

I highly commend you for your honesty.  And, for the rest of you out there, this person is the exception regarding one of tens of thousands classical pianists who will not (unfortunately) soil themselves with this ("Fictitious") level of discourse.  Absent that, they would collectively "put you in your place."

That means the OP's post/thesis is nothing more than a non-reality fiction.
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Bob
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« Reply #10 on: November 30, 2017, 12:18:15 AM »

From what I've heard...
Lots of traveling.  Sounds like that gets old fast.  Maybe you're the one driving or controlling things, and that wears on you too.  Ideally, it's someone else... Planning everything and telling you where to go.  All the new -- places, people, buildings -- that wears on you too.

Finding a decent place to practice is a concern.  I think some have that in their contract.  Also having a person available 24/7 who is local to the area and will drive you wherever or fetch whatever you need to too.

I remember a few "outside" people who have showed up who pretty much holed themselves up in a practice room all day.  So you could physically be in a famous place but have zero contact with it really.  You're just there.  Do the performance, move on to the next place.

Traveling at night right after a performance vs. waiting until the next day to travel.

If you're actually earning enough of your income where you're surviving somewhat by performing, there's still the business aspect, that "job."  It takes up time and attention.  Unless you have someone doing that all for you.  I've heard the admin side of performance is equal to a part-time job, maybe 20 hours/week devoted to that.

Having guaranteed times, a place, and a decent instrument sounds wise.  And having that person who will go do whatever you want, who knows the area, sounds like a plus too.  The more you don't have to devote energy to, the better.

Pay-wise, I remember hearing about a world class pro who got paid half up front, half after the performance.  Then he was off traveling that night.  

I've heard of college/university profs doing small tours.  If it's an option, maybe do a single show travel, then multiple stops, then more.  Build up that way.  

I have a feeling having a contract is wise and would help relieve stress.  If someone's supposed to pick you up at an airport, then it's on them.  If they fail at that, it's not your fault, but do you still get paid?

And then piano has the accompaniment element to it.  If the pianist isn't the soloist, they "tag along" as the accompanist.  A lot of decisions are already made and it might be more of making sure no one forgets or overlooks something you really need.

Always try the piano you'll perform on ahead of time too. Smiley


Glancing over some posts...
Do you, can you, keep your teaching schedule?
Any masterclasses or students lined up so you can walk in and teach some lessons for extra money?
Ditto on being locked into the same material and not really having a chance to grow things until after the tour.
Ditto on the lull in income.


If you are doing everything yourself, along with the idea of starting small and building up, you can also repeat the 'tour circuit.'  When it's repeated you'll know what to do and what to expect more.  Fewer surprises.  Less energy drained.
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Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."
louispodesta
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« Reply #11 on: November 30, 2017, 12:30:27 AM »

From what I've heard...
Lots of traveling.  Sounds like that gets old fast.  Maybe you're the one driving or controlling things, and that wears on you too.  Ideally, it's someone else... Planning everything and telling you where to go.  All the new -- places, people, buildings -- that wears on you too.

Finding a decent place to practice is a concern.  I think some have that in their contract.  Also having a person available 24/7 who is local to the area and will drive you wherever or fetch whatever you need to too.

I remember a few "outside" people who have showed up who pretty much holed themselves up in a practice room all day.  So you could physically be in a famous place but have zero contact with it really.  You're just there.  Do the performance, move on to the next place.

Traveling at night right after a performance vs. waiting until the next day to travel.

If you're actually earning enough of your income where you're surviving somewhat by performing, there's still the business aspect, that "job."  It takes up time and attention.  Unless you have someone doing that all for you.  I've heard the admin side of performance is equal to a part-time job, maybe 20 hours/week devoted to that.

Having guaranteed times, a place, and a decent instrument sounds wise.  And having that person who will go do whatever you want, who knows the area, sounds like a plus too.  The more you don't have to devote energy to, the better.

Pay-wise, I remember hearing about a world class pro who got paid half up front, half after the performance.  Then he was off traveling that night.  

I've heard of college/university profs doing small tours.  If it's an option, maybe do a single show travel, then multiple stops, then more.  Build up that way.  

I have a feeling having a contract is wise and would help relieve stress.  If someone's supposed to pick you up at an airport, then it's on them.  If they fail at that, it's not your fault, but do you still get paid?

And then piano has the accompaniment element to it.  If the pianist isn't the soloist, they "tag along" as the accompanist.  A lot of decisions are already made and it might be more of making sure no one forgets or overlooks something you really need.

Always try the piano you'll perform on ahead of time too. Smiley


Glancing over some posts...
Do you, can you, keep your teaching schedule?
Any masterclasses or students lined up so you can walk in and teach some lessons for extra money?
Ditto on being locked into the same material and not really having a chance to grow things until after the tour.
Ditto on the lull in income.


If you are doing everything yourself, along with the idea of starting small and building up, you can also repeat the 'tour circuit.'  When it's repeated you'll know what to do and what to expect more.  Fewer surprises.  Less energy drained.
I am 66 years old/young and yesterday I had an 80 year old "Ear Tuner" work on my instrument.  He knows what he is doing.

You, sir, do not have a clue as to what it takes to make a living playing the piano for a profit on the Concert Stage.
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nickc
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« Reply #12 on: November 30, 2017, 11:54:06 PM »

Hello Louis, would you care to share your personal touring experiences with us all? You seem to have all the answers, so It would be wonderful, if you could elaborate and provide personal insight into the life of musicians who make a living playing the piano for a profit on the Concert Stage. Thank you!

Bob, I thank you for your reply! I am 26 and I am an improviser. As I stated earlier, I will be on tour for a period of two weeks and will travel across the east coast of Canada.

I don't have to worry about repertoire, as my music is always new! The joy of being an improviser, is that each new environment, spawns new musical ideas. The drawback to being an improviser, is that each new environment, spawns new musical ideas... It's always new and one has no control over the musical direction... ( in my case, it's the emotional direction that I have no control over) which is wonderful. The music is always moving forwards...

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