Juilliard’s voice chief spills some secrets

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    • Not to worry. Soon we’ll have collaborative singers (if not already). The perfect term for what passes for singers in this deconstructivist, postmodern, experimental workshop scene.

    • Don’t know who invented the term, but it’s very useful. At the top echelon of ability, there are pianists who are primarily interested in solo careers, and pianists who are particularly good at working with singers, or in chamber music. “Collaborative pianist” doesn’t equate with “accompanist”, which is more mundane and doesn’t demand the same artistry.

      • I think that “collaborative pianist” is an ugly and awkward euphemism for “not a soloist.” Musically it means a good listener, or someone with a degree in good-listening, isn’t that so? (Ja ja I know, this could entail learning partners’ parts and so on, that’s what a good listener does when such things are possible.)

        How about “chamber pianist,” which covers the same ground & more, without sounding so artificial and calling attention to itself? “Collaborative piano” could still be used in curricula descriptions, where it sounds more impressive in an aca kind of way.

          • @Ainslie: Well you are choosy. You know there are sound associations with Pianist that are worse than Pot. Especially at this moment in history, as in: it’s safer not to have one.

            Then there’s Collaborationist; oi.

            Maybe you could invent a term, preferably some non-word…

  • In Hungarian all performers in any form of classical music are usually described “with the collaboration of” or something very similar. I suppose it implies equal importance so perhaps positive?

  • I heard what would probably be called a collaborative pianist, and his ego was all over the stage, he played too loudly, too soloistically, and he overwhelmed the singer. When the accompanist becomes a celebrity in his own mind, as a few have, he becomes a rotten accompanist. But what instrumentalist can really understand singing?

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