Tension between ensemble players can be avoided if each person learns how to put their ego aside and work together for a communal goal
When I was young my mother told me that if you have a talent and are passionate about it, it’s a pity to waste it. You need to push your limits in order to achieve your dreams.
Tension between ensemble players can be avoided if each person learns how to put their ego aside and work together for a communal goal: making music at the highest possible level.
Even though taking criticism from your peers is a difficult thing, it is the only way to ensure you grow as a musician and have harmonious relationships in rehearsals and concerts.
Finding the right words to criticise your colleagues constructively and to get the best out of them can be difficult. But don't forget you chose to play with each other, so you must admire each other's playing to a certain extent.
Remain a student all your life. You should never stop learning, developing and drawing inspiration from everyone you encounter.
Keeping an open mind in all situations can only benefit you in the long run.
Remember that music should speak to people and touch them. If you achieve that, you are on the right path.
First published in The Strad, November 2011. To download the full issue go here.
Photo: Ronald Knapp