Friday, June 29, 2007

The Secrets of Playing in an Orchestra

Dear Flutists,

Firstly, I discovered a series of videos has gone up on the net about what it's like to play in an orchestra (flutist Anna Pyne of the U.K.).
What a summer holiday/rainy-day treat!!

Then, as it was pouring with rain, over the course of today I began to make list of all the coolest links for flutists interested in the orchestral life, and please suggest more, and comment!!

Is it raining? Are you on vacation? If so help yourself!
See below. Best, Jen :>)

Orchestral informational videos by Flutist Anna Pyne (UK) videos describing her life as an orchestral flutist. (each "article" at this page has a 1-2 minute video; so double-click play button at each link):

Next; to listen to while washing windows :>)

A fabulouso BBC Radio show about orchestral life (featuring the opinions of two flutists: Richard Davis and Paul Edmund-Davies) - BBC Radio online listening:

Title: The Secret Life of an Orchestra ( Parts I - III in 20 minute long mp3s to listen to):

Scroll down upon arrival to see....
Title: The Secret Life of the Orchestra
Part I:Secret Life of the Orchestra 1 Private and Public - the life of an orchestral musician as chequerboard of wildly differing events and commitments - a complex balancing act, splitting time between family, work and other activities
Part II:Secret Life of the Orchestra 2 Heat and Dust: the technical nightmare that is running an orchestra - from getting to halls, to raising the piano, to problems of heat and cold, and the rigours of touring...
Part III:Secret Life of the Orchestra 3 Love, Hate and Death: the emotional landscape of the orchestra - liaisons dangereuses, loyalties, enmities, esprit de corps, maestros we love to hate...

Summer reads: Books on Orchestral Life:

1. The Cambridge Companion to the Orchestra Series: Cambridge by Colin LawsonRoyal College of Music

2. Becoming an Orchestral Musician: A Guide for Aspiring Professionals by Richard Davis

3. Documentary-style account of a trumpet player and a conductor:
Book: In Concert: Onstage and Offstage with the Boston Symphony Orchestra (Paperback) by Carl Vigeland

4. Serious: search your library for: The Maestro Myth by Norman LeBrecht

5. Humourous Book: Real Men Don't Rehearse by Justin Locke

6. Trashy summer hammock read: Jilly Cooper's paperback novel: "Appasionata" Massively hilarious--you'll fall out of your hammock!!!

Other flute/musician books listed here.

Hilarious essay about being a music student: "Music is My Bag" by Meghan Duhn:

Yes, there are even blogs: Blog about orchestral life
"The Orchestral Life"Internet Articles:
Article about "realities of orchestral life" by Doug Yeo

A 2nd violin/principal's speech about courage and love in music careers, given to orchestral musician recent graduates

Article about the realities of Orchestral life with changing financial structure in today's UK

Article about life as orch. musician and sacrifices made to play in a regional symphony to try and raise a family
More musician videos about orchestral life:
Additional orchestral interview Videos of all sorts of orchestral players

Hope everyone adds additional links of this kind for our summer edification!! :>D
Comments (6)
Blogger justin said...

thanks very much for the recommendation of my book (real men don't rehearse)! note folks can buy it/ read excerpts/see videos of me telling the crazy gig stories at best, justin locke

Sunday, July 01, 2007 7:16:00 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a fascinating website, Jennifer! The positioning together of thoughts about artistic, professional and personal experience is something on which all aspiring (and practising, professional) musicians should reflect.

As a close bystander, I see the real issue - as I've tried to explain in my web article, which you kindly feature - as being that professional musicians have to start believing in their financial, as well as their artistic, worth.

These two matters are not at all separate issues when it comes to professional orchestral life.... and at some point, often 'too late' for easy resolution, this realisation dawns for most serious musicians.

The challenge now is to find ways of making the career of professional (classical / orchestral) musicians sustainable as just that, professional, for individuals over the longer term.

Monday, July 02, 2007 4:30:00 PM

Blogger jen said...

Thankyou dearly, Hilary and Justin for visiting my blog and leaving your very very welcome comments.

I think this whole topic is fascinating, and would love to continue it further.
Readers, please visit and and read, muse, and comment. Love to talk more about flexible careers for well-trained musicians.
Jen Cluff

Monday, July 02, 2007 5:15:00 PM

Blogger Sheila said...

Wow, what a fantastic collection of resources! I have just barely scratched the surface of the list, but over the Summer I think I'll enjoy doing a bit of that reading. :)

It is so refreshing to read all about these people and their lives in the orchestra and realize that I am standing before a wide open gate, about to set out on an incredible journey which so many other musicians have already traveled. It's amazingly encouraging!

Thank you so much!

Monday, July 02, 2007 10:17:00 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to collect and post all these fantastic links! I have had so many curiosities about life as an orchestral musician and I never feel as though I have enough time to discuss these topics with my teachers.

Monday, October 12, 2009 10:30:00 AM

Blogger jen said...

Well huge thanks to you too, you guys who commented.
Thank YOU! Wonderful to hear from you that these are helpful links.

Monday, October 12, 2009 1:06:00 PM


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