Some of you reading this may be old enough to remember this best selling business book from the 1980s. What They Don’t Teach You at the Harvard Business School, by Mark H. McCormack. It was popular because it talked about street-smarts, and not about the usual courses taught to future MBA’s at Harvard. Christian Woehr’s article, presented here, is a musical parallel for string players, although other instrumentalists, too, may enjoy this insiders view. Chris discusses things not usually taught in music schools, like how to turn a page, the role of the section leader, how to cue and how to make a variety of different entrances. These are all things string players learn to do by doing but are rarely covered in music school. So—enjoy Jedi Orchestral Skills. We look forward to other similar articles from Mr. Woehr.Read More
The level of musician involvement with programming new music varies from one ensemble to the next, but overall, musician influence is minor. Historically, conductors exercise jurisdiction over these matters, and as a result, an inadvertent divide between musicians and composers has steadily grown throughout recent generations and is, perhaps, wider than ever.
Christian Woehr III is the Assistant Principal Violist for the SLSO and also an avid composer. These dual abilities create a unique dichotomy: as an orchestral musician, he has to work against the tide of conductor influence on programming of new music; but as a composer, the preferred method for getting his music performed is to curry favor with a conductor.
Chris’ article explores these issues and more, in addition to serving as a prelude to Polyphonic.org’s June, 2006, Virtual Discussion Panel.Read More