Practically speaking, I think it is whatever combination of piano + _____ that a pianist can get paid to play with.Billie's definition is anti-academic, to say the least. There is no discussion of collaborative piano's affinity to piano pedagogy in academia, the quest to create a premium brand of accompanists, or the training of graduate students for ever-harder-to-find tenure track positions. Collaborative piano's existence in the freelance world is grounded in the functional, economically viable world of getting work in urban centers, suburbs, opera companies, ballet companies, large and small ensembles, festivals, competitions, and yes, universities too.
I also like the importance she places on talking about the specific genres and skills that have genuine importance and demand (many of which include an emphasis on keyboard skills and stylistic adaptability). There needs to be much more dialogue on the types of work that people actually get hired to do
Take a quick look at my previous post on Career Options in Collaborative Piano--I had to give up a lot of preconceived notions I had learned about the constituent parts could make up a career in the process of gathering information for that list.
But at the end of the day, I still believe that some of the most valuable skills we can bring to the profession (and to musical life in general) include an infallible professionalism, as well as the vocabulary and core skills, pianistic or otherwise, to create a sense of dialogue and partnership in any situation one runs across.
Pianists: What are some of the skills you are using and skill upgrades that you are working on? How has your career path evolved in unexpected ways?
Singers and Instrumentalists: What are the most important skills that you need from the pianists that you work with?