Accompanists need good interpersonal skills, because their clients are not always very good players or singers, and they may have personality traits that do not appeal to the accompanist. An even temper and extreme patience are required to produce the best possible outcome for the client. Nerves of steel are needed in concert or other performance situations if the client loses his/her place in the music — the accompanist has to be able to make the necessary adjustments to save the performance from disaster.I also like this comment from Jilliane Stoll at Opera Queensland:
Surely there is no greater joy than to be making music WITH someone. The likelihood of a pianist ever “making it” as a soloist is virtually nil. So one must consider either teaching or accompanying as a career path. Just think about the diversity of musicians/singers that one can play for: individuals, big groups, small groups, theatre/ballet groups … a rewarding collaboration, both musically and socially! Accompanying is fun — so become an accompanist. You won’t regret it.