PEOPLE

Maggie Faultless

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

A few words of wisdom from the UK Baroque violinist

Try not to have a set idea of your function in a piece

Engage with the what and why of how you play. Many things influence your decision-making, for example the history, form and performance practice issues of the repertoire, the venue and the audience, but it’s liberating to understand how these factors inform rather than restrict your performance.

Music is social. Look at the score and understand how it’s constructed. Use that knowledge to create imaginative relationships between the parts. Who is leading, and why? What is your role at any given point? Try not to have a set idea of your function in a piece. Instead, develop it in the way you would a conversation.

Involve the audience in your performance. It creates the third part of a triangle between the music and the performers and makes the whole experience come alive.

Believe that you’re worth listening to and that you have something to say. As the legendary violinist Emanuel Hurwitz once said to me, ‘Try to sound more expensive!’

If a rehearsal seems to be losing its way and you can’t agree how to play, let go of any complex suggestions, stop talking and just play the music.

Be flexible. Musicians today need to have many strands to their work. Be an entrepreneur, try out different ways of making music and never be surprised by other people’s suggestions.

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