The day I broke free from my shoulder restmain
Nathan Cole, associate concertmaster of the Los Angeles Philharmonic, is one of the most upfront violinists to be found on social media.
He writes with flair and candour about surviving auditions, preserving your voice in an orchestra and, now, getting rid of your shoulder rest.
One day, when nobody was looking, I left the rest in the case and walked on stage for a rehearsal.
At that time I was with the Chicago Symphony. For those who are curious, orchestra rehearsals and concerts are perfect for experimenting with just about any change: hours and hours of playing, day after day, without the chance to second-guess your technique. In fact, check out this 360-degree video of me rehearsing Bartok’s The Miraculous Mandarin with Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic: use your mouse or mobile device to “look around” the video and you’ll see me in my usual spot, sans shoulder rest!
For thirty years, I’ve had you pressed against me. I’m sorry to say that the joy is gone.
Read on here.