Essential guide: How not to treat your pianistmain
The Strad has published a hilariously condescending guide to string players on how to relate to the accessory they once called an accompanist. Someone should tell them that times have moved on.
The Strad list is beyond parody, but we’ll have a try:
1 Remember that the person at the piano is a human being. He or she may have human rights. And a musical background. Maybe even a name. Try to remember it.
2 Make sure they can read music. Then give them a score. Allow them time to absorb it. Check that they have a rehearsal diary and can read English.
3 Try to read the pianist’s part in advance. It might have something to do with what you’re playing.
4 If the pianist makes a suggestion in rehearsal, pretend to take it on board.
5 Make sure the pianist’s name appears in the programme and is properly spelled. The name does not have to be the same size as yours, but spelling is important. Practise taking a stage bow together. Do not take their hand and raise it above your heads (that would be too much equality). Make an effort to smile at their agent, that always eases the green room atmosphere. Do not pat any part of the pianist’s anatomy. This person is not your friend.