Monday, January 30, 2006

You're a what? Part III

What never fails to puzzle me are the numerous ways that pianists are listed in concert programs when they perform with others.

Let's start with the standard and preferred way in which pianists are listed on a program in any situation in the format used by most concert series, recordings, universities, and summer festivals, and the format in which I prefer myself and others to be listed:

(pianists's name), piano

You'd think it was that simple. List the name of the performer followed by a comma, then list the instrument they play or their voice type. These are a few of the many other formats that I have seen:

Accompanied by: (pianists's name)
Accompaniment: (pianists's name)
Accompaniment will be provided by: (pianists's name)
Assisted by: (pianists's name)
(Soloist) will be assisted by (pianists's name)
(pianists's name), accompanist
(pianists's name), piano accompanist
(pianists's name), accompaniment
(pianists's name) accompanying at the piano
(pianists's name) at the piano

Slightly better, I have recently seen:

Collaborative Artist: (pianists's name)
Collaborative Pianist: (pianists's name)
(pianists's name), collaborative pianist
(pianists's name), collaborative artist

Better, but most pianists of my acquaintance still prefer to be listed simply as a pianist. Unfortunately, there have been many times when pianists (even major artists) have simply been omitted from a program, with only the soloist's name being mentioned.

What's the purpose of this rant? Probably a desire that the way that collaborative pianists/accompanists are perceived in the profession will automatically improve if we are listed on programs in a professional way as an actual performer on the concert and as a performer of our instrument.

How to do this? It always helps to get a proof of the program before it goes to press, but this doesn't happen all the time. Asking either the presenter of the concert or the soloist to be listed in a certain way is also a good idea, and beats complaining to the presenter on the day of the engagement.

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