I love this post! It presents a foot in the grey areas of the careers of the collaborative pianists in their early stages. I think the lines of right and wrong are crossed by both the soloist and the collaborative pianist, at the same time. It is true, sometimes, that instrumentalists/ vocalists don't give their counterparts enough time with the music, thus creating a disconnect when time comes to put together. Oftentimes, certain things that are worked upon during rehearsals go out the window onstage (which, I find, happens with young performers quite often). I find these to be the significant moments where collaborative pianists find their reputation (and mental health) at risk, and feel that they are left to take the blame.
On the contrary, there are many young collaborative pianists who are at fault - ones who don't know how to coach, and feel that they are there just to "play the piano part" (which is counterproductive, as this deters from the musical learning experience, as well as doesn't give a proper frame of reference, other than the notes for the other musician), and also those who don't speak up for themselves when they aren't given enough time (rehearsal or prep) to invest upon the music.
The success of collaborative pianists are not warranted by whose career they hitchhike upon (in which here, I will say, I strongly disagree with the author of the last quote from PEToA). I think they produce an equally brilliant career by presenting themselves as artists who work together, sharing the limelight with other musicians (be it an instrumentalist, vocalist, or even artists or dancers), and producing an illustrious musical presentation.
It's ultimately a two-way street - no matter if it's success or failure. As we all fall back onto the true reason for being there in the first place - that is, the music making. The outcome will be the creation of a memorable collaboration, and a reputation built upon three important factors - as Dr. Foley reminds us - dignity, professionalism, and, most of all, the music.
Thanks for taking the time to write such a well thought-out response, JY. Only one thing I would take issue with: this is the casual atmosphere of the blogosphere and we're on a strictly first-name basis here--feel free to call me Chris.