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Concert Pianist (Read 1863 times)

Offline samwitdangol

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Concert Pianist
« on: May 05, 2020, 11:42:18 PM »
Hello,

I am a fourteen year-old pianist.

My current repertoire and pieces I am learning consists of the following:

Chopin Fantaisie Impromptu
Chopin Nocturne Op.9 No. 2
Chopin Nocturne Op. 37 No. 2
Liszt Liebestraum No. 3
Beethoven Sonata No. 27
Scarlatti K. 18
Scarlatti K. 29
Bach Sinfonia No. 1
Bach Sinfonia No. 2
Schumann Papillons
Czerny Op. 740, Nos. 9, 10, 12, 14, 23, and 50
Prokofiev Op 22, Nos 9 and 11

I know there are many variables, but based on the information given above, what are my chances of becoming a full-time concert pianist? Is it a realistic ambition?
Currently working on:

Beethoven Sonata 22 and 27
Chopin Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1
Bach Sinfonia 2
Czerny Op. 740
Scarlatti K. 18

Offline dw4rn

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #1 on: May 08, 2020, 12:46:58 PM »
You said it yourself - the many variables make this question more or less impossible to answer. Nevertheless, why shouldn't it be realistic?

If you love playing, and if you yourself feel that all that repertoire is somehow within your grasp already, I don't think there is anything to stop you from becoming a very competent pianist. If that is what you want, I would certainly recommend it!

How successful your career would be there's simply no way to tell, as I think that that is often, at least in part, down to chance. I myself play professionally, but I think it would be hard to live on as my only source of income. It would be interesting to hear how you envisage a future as a "full-time concert pianist"? 

Offline quantum

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #2 on: May 08, 2020, 11:44:19 PM »
If you want it, you have to work for it. 

Considering your age, it is within grasp that it would be possible for you to enter a university music program and gather the necessary education to put you on that path. 

Think about the style of concert life you would want to experience, as a "concert pianist" is a very broad job descriptor.  Do you want to be highly visible and publicized personality?  Do you like to travel and see new places?  Do you prefer stage, recording studio or some combination of both?  Do you want to perform the warhorses everyone has heard again and again, or dig into lesser known music?

There are plenty of first rate musicians that are little known, play music that is rarely heard by general classical music demographic, but have made significant and meaningful contributions to the art music world and their community. 

Think whether you want concertizing to be your main source of income.  In such cases your repertoire choices could be influenced by your paying audience, would you like that?  Or would you rather have something like a teaching job or other main source of income, and concertize music that you are truly passionate about without having to worry so much if enough people will pay to hear your work.

If you want to be a concert pianist, you have to be willing to invest the time it takes to develop your skill to where you can do that. 
Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline Bob

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #3 on: May 09, 2020, 11:46:40 PM »
If you're a concert pianist, you're a concert pianist.  You're not asking here.  You already are.  You already know it.  You already do it.  You're too busy performing the next concerto to post here.  What does Joe Blow's opinion on the internet matter? 

More to your post though, it's a similar response.  If you have to ask, it's a no.  Why aren't you performing a concerto?  Why does that question even surface in your mind?  A concert pianist is already out performing concertoes by age 14.  So you're late.  Want to be world class?  Then there's still conducting and composing.  For piano?  Maybe you can still be a professor.  The whole set up is aimed at creating more professor anyway.
Favorite new teacher quote -- "You found the only possible wrong answer."

Offline samwitdangol

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #4 on: May 11, 2020, 03:36:09 AM »
It would be interesting to hear how you envisage a future as a "full-time concert pianist"?

I want to make a living solely or primarily by giving piano recitals, but it seems near-impossible considering that I am not a child prodigy and the classical music community is not as popular as it used to be.
Currently working on:

Beethoven Sonata 22 and 27
Chopin Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1
Bach Sinfonia 2
Czerny Op. 740
Scarlatti K. 18

Offline samwitdangol

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #5 on: May 11, 2020, 03:38:32 AM »
A concert pianist is already out performing concertoes by age 14.  So you're late.

I agree. There are people under the age of ten playing concertos.
Perhaps I should focus on something else, but I can't imagine a future that is not music-related. I could be a teacher or an accompanist I guess.
Currently working on:

Beethoven Sonata 22 and 27
Chopin Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1
Bach Sinfonia 2
Czerny Op. 740
Scarlatti K. 18

Offline quantum

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #6 on: May 11, 2020, 04:29:35 AM »
A concert pianist is already out performing concertoes by age 14. 

Unfortunately, that is the image the industry wants to project.  It doesn't have to be that way, but there is a good majority of people more interested in spectacle than in musical content. 

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline quantum

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #7 on: May 11, 2020, 04:45:28 AM »
I want to make a living solely or primarily by giving piano recitals, but it seems near-impossible considering that I am not a child prodigy and the classical music community is not as popular as it used to be.

Most successful professional musicians don't just limit themselves to one thing.  Unless the influential ones select you as one of the few artists that is always in demand such that you don't have to do anything else to bring in income. 

The majority of musicians diversify themselves: teaching, directing, collaborative piano, composing/arranging, ensemble work, research, writing, etc. They also make time for whatever their core interest is, for example, doing solo recitals. 

Those that limit themselves to one task, will quickly find they have placed themselves out of the market for a good amount of jobs.  For example, if two people apply for a teaching job, one can only do recitals; while the other can do in addition to recitals: collaborative piano, conducting choirs, vocal coaching, composing, and is a published author of a few journal articles - who do you think will get the job?

Made a Liszt. Need new Handel's for Soler panel & Alkan foil. Will Faure Stein on the way to pick up Mendels' sohn. Josquin get Wolfgangs Schu with Clara. Gone Chopin, I'll be Bach

Offline dw4rn

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #8 on: May 12, 2020, 08:36:29 AM »
 
The majority of musicians diversify themselves: teaching, directing, collaborative piano, composing/arranging, ensemble work, research, writing, etc. They also make time for whatever their core interest is, for example, doing solo recitals. 


I just want to say that I can testify to this, and that I agree with everything else quantum has written.

Of course, if the OP:s question was to be interpreted like:
- Can I become like the stereotypical image of a concert pianist, that learns their first Beethoven sonata at age 7, is out playing concertos when they're 12, and keeps being in constant demand at the world's greatest halls until they make their farewell recital at 85?

- then it would have been unnecessary to post here. As it interpret it, I think its a very relevant and important question, one that many of us probably thought about when we were fourteen, and one that quantum has answered very thoroughly and usefully.

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #9 on: May 13, 2020, 03:05:59 AM »
Go start organising performances, there is no time to wait you need to get experience how it is all set up. No one is going to spoonfeed you through the process, just being able to play the piano well is not enough to draw people in you need to be very interested in the way in which concerts are set up and then with enough experience you can start trying to make them financially viable. Start with small venues, play for free, get experience how it all works.
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Offline rachmaninoff_forever

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #10 on: June 01, 2020, 01:00:15 PM »
Itís like 40% how good you are and 60% being at the right place at the right time and having people like you
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline ajlongspiano

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #11 on: June 02, 2020, 03:26:08 AM »
If it's your passion then just compete as much as possible and take advantage of every performance opportunity you can get.  :)


Offline sdphins

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #12 on: June 04, 2020, 07:10:20 PM »
Yeah, go for it, if you really love it, I'd go for it.

Offline cuberdrift

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #13 on: June 17, 2020, 02:30:34 PM »
Well, I certainly dream to be a concert pianist, but as far as I've experienced I get bored of the routine-oriented lifestyle consisting of sitting on the piano all day to "get the pieces into condition".

There's just so much in life to explore than sitting around practicing passages thousands of times. To get them to perfection. Unless perhaps you somehow have a fantastic technic and sight reading skill (which I lack) which allows you to plow through the hardest Sonatas and Etudes at ease...but even then, you gotta polish them musically.

When you live in a third world country aswell...classical music is like the furthest thing in your mind most of the time, unless you live in gated communities.

I always like to ask how the great pianists and composers saw this kind of life. Or maybe they practiced differently than me - I don't know...but to me the ardous labour of any seeker of concert virtuosity feels like the anti-thesis of art...you can't enjoy it until the product is done...and even after you need to do new pieces...etc.

Just sharing my thoughts.

Offline samwitdangol

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #14 on: June 19, 2020, 12:12:55 PM »
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, everyone!
Currently working on:

Beethoven Sonata 22 and 27
Chopin Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1
Bach Sinfonia 2
Czerny Op. 740
Scarlatti K. 18

Offline pianolover91

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #15 on: July 03, 2020, 11:21:46 AM »
Go start organising performances, there is no time to wait you need to get experience how it is all set up. No one is going to spoonfeed you through the process, just being able to play the piano well is not enough to draw people in you need to be very interested in the way in which concerts are set up and then with enough experience you can start trying to make them financially viable. Start with small venues, play for free, get experience how it all works.

Yes, the most important thing is getting used to the experience!

Offline lostinidlewonder

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #16 on: July 07, 2020, 11:17:06 AM »
Yes, the most important thing is getting used to the experience!
Yes. Too many think you have to win a competition, or have to graduate from some prestigious school, or or or. They don't just go out and do it, learn the ropes. Even more sad is those who study very very hard and then are total beginners at setting up concerts and give up at the thought of it all when they try. I wonder why it is not taught at schools?
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Offline mrcreosote

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #17 on: July 23, 2020, 09:41:31 PM »
...

Think whether you want concertizing to be your main source of income.  In such cases your repertoire choices could be influenced by your paying audience, would you like that?  Or would you rather have something like a teaching job or other main source of income, and concertize music that you are truly passionate about without having to worry so much if enough people will pay to hear your work.

...

Truer words were never spoken.  If you have to invest time and effort to play music that does not move you, you could end up hating it.  On the other hand if you like playing with an orchestra above all, then you might not mind the Old War Horses.

Now if you are especially gifted and can get a concerto ready for rehearsal and memorized in 5 days, then you can still spend most of your time working on stuff you like.  The "concertizing" can be your "side job."

Offline dreampianist

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #18 on: July 27, 2020, 09:30:41 AM »
I believe it's doable, but more than the perhaps "traditional" way of building a concert career through competitions and the like, I think the one thing that many people often overlook is finding a "niche." Is there something about you that stands out in an appealing or unconventional way? It doesn't even have to be music related. For example, Lang Lang and his performing in sneakers in his early days, Yuja Wang and her dresses. Other musicians develop their hobbies and or other talents/skills that complement themselves... such as Rosemarie Umetsu, a pianist turned designer, who designs many famous classical artists clothes. Josh Wright and his YouTube channel. Ray Chen and TwoSet Violin with their funny and informational videos. Whatever you pick, it has to be something you like though, don't do it for the sake of just trying to be different.
Anyway, these are thoughts for the future, I believe right now the best thing to do is to hone your piano skills because at the end of the day, you still have to play well.

There's my two cents worth on it.   :)

Offline timothy42b

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #19 on: July 27, 2020, 11:38:17 AM »
Of all the thousands of ways to make a living at the piano, you have narrowed your focus to the single most difficult and risky way. 

It doesn't matter what age you start or even what your talent level is, this choice means the odds are stacked against you. 

I suspect reaching the standard of playing necessary to be a concert pianist IS within your grasp.  Turning that skill into that very narrow career is highly unlikely at any age, and more so at yours. 

On the other hand, there are many ways to earn a living in music that are definitely possible for you.  And, considerably more fun. 
Tim

Offline samwitdangol

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Re: Concert Pianist
«Reply #20 on: July 27, 2020, 02:22:54 PM »
Thank you for your responses, everyone!

I am no longer considering being a full time concert pianist, which now seems unrealistic, but I will definitely do something music related.
Currently working on:

Beethoven Sonata 22 and 27
Chopin Nocturne Op. 15 No. 1
Bach Sinfonia 2
Czerny Op. 740
Scarlatti K. 18