People still don't treat accompanists like real people. Maybe it's better in the professional world, but most student singers don't understand diddly squat about what we go through. In fact, it's worsened by the fact that most student pianists treat accompanying as something they do on the side. They'll pick up a piece, ask the tempo, and plunk out the notes, to give the singer a framework in which to perform. That's it. They are not invested in the piece at all - just providing the backdrop. I don't blame them - I used to be like that too. But we just need to suck up our egos and admit that accompanying is hard. One needs to spend MORE time practicing and preparing an accompaniment than working on a solo piece of comparable difficulty. There are more questions to be answered, because someone else is DOING something at the same time, and you have to sound good TOGETHER. No one seems to acknowledge this fact!
On the other hand, there still many people who consider collaborative pianists to be a bunch of opinionated divas trying to rise above their station. Consider this quote (author not named) from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Accompanists group on Facebook:
Look, all I'm saying is that as a singer I am frustrated by having to deal with hostility from pianists (regardless of their abilities). I am VERY considerate and always provide music well in advance, when possible, and it would just be nice to work with someone who can be pleasant and is not constantly trying to assert their importance by being a pain! (You may be thinking, well, you're just not working with the right person. That may be true, but don't kid yourself into thinking this is not a very common thing among CPs.) Guess what, the way for a CP to make a big career is to hitch a ride on someone else's rising star. I'm sorry, but it's the truth. Look at all the famous and successful CPs, they are all where they are because they were associated with a great singer, violinist, cellist, etc. Those singers, violinist and cellists were surely much better off for having that talented pianist with them, but remember your ambition when you decide to be a piano "diva".
How does a young collaborative pianist rise above these questions about status, fairness, ego, and their role in the musical fabric? There's a whole generation of young cp's still trying to figure out where they fit. My advice on how to rise above the fray: act with dignity and professionalism and put the music first.
Your comments are welcome, as always.