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Performers with a bad attitude, not enough PR effort?


rufviol
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The recent reference to an article on Ann Sophie Mutter's poor performing attitude had me thinking..

I've somehow been avoiding performers who don't do encores or interact with the audience in anyway, sign CDs etc.

Which is why I've thoroughly enjoyed performances by Nadia Salerno, Hillary Hahn, Julia Fischer(yes Dad, you can be proud)...

I should add, I do a lot of this for my daughter. Believe me. While I've enjoyed witnessing for example the career of racing driver Michael Schumacher and attended Formula 1 races all over the world, I've never left my seat(except for or because of excess beer) for his autograph - or anyone else's.

Julia seemed so eager to sign CDs, Hillary I've pestered so many times, recognizes me now either in the audience or in the line outside and doesn't even ask my daughter's name anymore, just starts writing

On the other hand I've kind of had it with not just bland performances, but otherwise insipid behaviour. Can't make the time to smile at the audience, utter a humorous word or two, do an encore, sign a CD - why would I bother going, I probably already have their work on CD, or Heifetz's version

I won't name names here. I'm not in the know about their professional contractual obligations to music labels, but pray someone tell me why an artist won't do more to engage the audience. Do the major music labels agressively strive to control all of the performer-public interaction, merchandising channels?

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Hi all,

We should not be unfair to any artist or to any soloist who perform in public. Not everyone has the right to criticise them neither that person is well qualified (as a music critics of a magazine) to do so. Sometime, it is biased and sometime it is out of jealous. There were audience, Respect the auduence too.

They do not want to be told.

I like Heiftez's records, and I like Mutter's DVD. I do not have to just like one not the other.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Erika

Have you tried the "green room"? Artists who don't come out to the main lobby are usually available back that way. It's much quieter and less frenzied than the main lobby.

I never have, yet. But thanks for the suggestion Erika. If it is possible at all, I'll give it a shot.

Although I was also commenting on the bigger picture regarding general performer PR...

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My guess is that players like great athletes have to establish a special mindset to play at their peak...'get in the zone' so to speak.....Being 'in the zone' a state of deep focus and concentration and being personable might not always be possible for some people and transforming between the two states of mind might be a faster process for some than others. I think an audience should respect this, also that a musician should be allowed some space after a performance if they might need it. As for the green room...I could be wrong but I do think admitance should be by invitation only. Regards, M

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quote:


Originally posted by:
Melving

My guess is that players like great athletes have to establish a special mindset to play at their peak...'get in the zone' so to speak.....Being 'in the zone' a state of deep focus and concentration and being personable might not always be possible for some people and transforming between the two states of mind might be a faster process for some than others. I think an audience should respect this, also that a musician should be allowed some space after a performance if they might need it. As for the green room...I could be wrong but I do think admitance should be by invitation only. Regards, M

You do bring up a good point, thanks!

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I don't know the situation elsewhere, but the green room here is public and there's a note with directions in all the programs (unfortunately it's on the same page as the coat check & first aid info, so I'm not sure anyone sees it). There are several sets of security doors down that hallway, so if a guest artist really did not want to see anyone, it could be closed off afterward... or he/she could sneak out through the backstage stairwell. But I've never seen anyone do that. I think it's nicer than the lobby because you don't have to contend with a thousand people rushing coat check or stand in cold drafts when everyone swarms out the exits into the cold.

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Not enough PR? One of the attributes of a fine performer is the

ability to concentrate to a degree most mortals cannot even

imagine. Concentrate not just on the own lines but also what's

going on in the orchestra, with the conductor etc. So we should

realize that an utmost exhaustion after such a performance might be

the rule, not the exception. Sometimes I wish the audience would be

more sensitive to the artists needs after observing the person in a

"Green Room", and leave quietly, just happy the guy is still alive.

FMF

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FMF, I'm not sure if you got from my initial post, that I was very pleased with you daughter's performance and public manner - I have two signed CDs from her, both presented with a smile to my daughter who wants to be just like her (watch out)

Besides I think if F1 racing drivers can meet the public before and after a high concentration high stakes effort, surely musicians also can. If heart surgeons can meet the family before and after a four hour multiple bypass, surely musicians also can. I most certainly appreciate their PR efforts.

I also have several Mutter CDs and two of her DVDs. I can always enjoy the music in the comfort of my home and even though many can't stand her interpretations, I welcome the diversity of expression. It is the complete lack of public acknowledgement at times, and not just by her, that gets me. Don't much care for the performer simply walking up playing, then disappearing for good.

Everyone can play their part, not just lament about the declining influence of classical music on our youth of today!

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rufviol, I am glad you've enjoyed the music and the treatment

you've received from Julia Fischer. My contribution here did not

deal with her specific situation, that's why I did not mention her

personally.

Sometimes leaving the artist alone for a few minutes right after a

performance can be a proper way of expressing respect and

admiration. And I agree that part of a musician's education should

deal with attitude and communication skills, it would certainly

help.

Comparing F1 racing or heart surgery with a public concert

performance is a way to approach some problems around classical

music. It's certainly not the only one. I am not sure if the

imagination of an assistant close to the soloist handing over fresh

bows and drying the artists forehead during performance impresses

or amazes me. In any case the soloist would  be less exhausted

after the concert, that's right. Also nice: A team of 2-4 technical

assistants who change strings between the movements, re-rosin the

bow hair: good teamwork!

FMF

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Just went to one of the most amazing rehearsal by Nigel Kennedy. He was walking around checking the sound (outdoor concert) and he stopped right in front of my daughter, me and a few other people watching the rehearsal. He shook our hands and I jokingly asked him to play Czardas for may 8 year old daughter who is learning that piece. He played it right in front of her, 6 inches from her, and the whole time concentrating on playing the song to her. At the end of Czardas, he asked her for her name and told her that this was specially played for her. Boy, it was incredible hainving Nigel Kennedy doing that for her. After the rehearsal, we waited for him to sign the DVD we brought with us and sure enough, he came out and talk to us and signed the DVD. He was casual and extremely friendly and there was no what I call "superstar" syndrome about him at all. He was joking iwth the orchestra members during the rehearsal too. Wish we can meet more of these artist.

We met Vadim GLuzman as well about 2 years ago and he actually took him Strad out and showed us - of course we were not allowed to touch it but who cares, it was fun to see a real strad, played by Vadim. He was really a nice guy too.

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quote:


Originally posted by:
allegro

We met Vadim GLuzman as well about 2 years ago and he actually took him Strad out and showed us - of course we were not allowed to touch it but who cares, it was fun to see a real strad, played by Vadim. He was really a nice guy too.

He played with the Charlotte Symphony last fall. We didn't stick around after the concert, but I looked up his website the next day or so and sent him a short note telling him how much we enjoyed his performance (on said Strad). Within 24 hours, I got the most wonderful personal reply from him. Very classy act, Mr. Gluzman. I hope to hear him again (and told him so).

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I went to a Tanglewood concert a few years back when they were playing Don Quixote with Yo-Yo Ma and Yuri Bashmet. Afterwards I thought I'd try to get Yuri Bashmet's autograph (since I'm a violist and had really admired his CDs). Yo-Yo Ma was extremely friendly to those coming to see him, but Mr. Bashmet rushed out the door and away, refusing to interact with anyone. It was disappointing, and I'm afraid my opinion of him soured a bit.

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