Thursday, March 17, 2011

Eddie Rabin, Ninja Audition Pianist

Wednesday's Wall Street Journal features a fascinating article about Eddie Rabin, one of New York's top musical theatre audition pianists. About Eddie's skill set:
Unlike many other audition pianists, "Eddie can follow the singers wherever they go," said James Nadeau, casting director at Stiletto Entertainment, whose clients include the cruise line Holland America. "If they skip an entire bar or speed up and jump to another page of the song, he is right there with them. He can also play anything these singers put in front of him as if he has played it his entire life."

Mr. Rabin, a compact man in his 60s, can familiarize himself with 32 bars in less time than it takes a singer to clear her throat. "But," he said, "the more you play auditions the less you have to sight-read, because at this point I know 85% to 90% of the songs people bring me."
One thing about long-time audition pianists is their uncanny ability to tell within a few bars whether or not a singer will be in contention:
After almost 30 years in the business, he can tell within three bars if a performer has what it takes. "I'm sometimes tempted to say, 'Kid, you haven't got it,'" Mr. Rabin admitted. "But it's not my place. And I figure they'll find out for themselves in a few years."
Didn't Get That Role? Don't Blame the Piano Player by Joanne Kaufman


  1. It is wonderful to contemplate the diverse array of talents owned by individual musicians - each perfecting a niche and fulfilling a place in this vast universe where music means so much - This story inspired - Thanks - Wayne