Things to do before orchestral audition: get stung by sea-urchin

Things to do before orchestral audition: get stung by sea-urchin


norman lebrecht

November 01, 2018

From our diarist Anthea Kreston:

In the last day of our Greek vacation, we have eaten a lion‘s share of tzatziki, counted 163 cats, gotten stung by a sea urchin, and explored nearly every beach on our island. Jason and I head to Brussels for a piano trio concert next (Schubert and Beethoven Post-Ghost), after which I take my first ever orchestra audition.

I have found myself, at times this week, nearly paralyzed with the amount of things on my plate. Desperate to practice for all of the things coming up, addressing myriad details about the „Inside Music“ tour, and staying present for my family, I have had trouble sleeping a full night. I feel vibrantly challenged, and up to the tasks at hand.

Our neighbour from Berlin texted me last night – they said that our back door was standing open, but that they had closed it and it isn’t broken. It’s at this moment when a person stands at a crossroads – two very different paths ahead. I decided to just put this bit of information into the bag labelled „unexpected emergencies that arise while on a trip“. The instructions for this bag are direct – „do not examine the contents of this bag, do not look for blame, and do not dwell – but instead look forward to retrieving these amusing tidbits for sharing at parties and receptions“.

It reminded me of the time in Peru with Jason. We were in Puno, the small town which is the gateway to Lake Titicaca, the world’s highest navigable lake, and had gone to the cash machine to withdrawal enough Nuevo Sol to take us through the next week. We were headed to a boat which would bring us to a small island, where we would stay with an indigenous family for 3 days. We had already attracted a fair amount of attention, being so tall and obvious, and so I wasn’t too surprised to sense activity behind us as we walked towards the water. I did take a look behind us after a block or so, and was surprised to see a short trail of cash following Jason, after which a handful of boys were running after currency floating in the breeze. You see, Jason had thought he had put the large wad of money in his money belt, but had actually just shoved it down his pants, and had been leaving a trail of cash, dribbling out the bottom of his jeans, for two blocks.

We were able to find enough money still between his belt and socks to last the next days, and chalk up this experience as a great investment in any conversation lull at a dinner party.

By this time next week, I will again be immersed in a heavy quartet rehearsal period, and will have made it through my first orchestra audition. After all the stories I have heard about auditions, I am very curious about what it will feel like from the inside….



  • Mike Schachter says:

    Always such fun reading her blog

  • fierywoman says:

    Re the audition:
    May all of your angels be with you.
    The only thing you need think about is being the very best Anthea-the-musician you can possibly be at that point in time.

  • Marg says:

    I think your ability to compartmentalise is what enables you to lead a very full and demanding life on several fronts at once, without having a total meltdown! And do let us know how the first ever orchestral audition went!