Friday, November 27, 2009

Pianists Healthcare Bill

Jeremy Dink's healthcare plan for concert pianists, Legislating from my Bench, addresses several important points, including basic piano rights, dealings with piano technicians, bad outfit insurance, and more. I think I enjoyed Division D the most, however:

1) Pianists who request backstage meals and enter their dressing room to find a plate of carrots and celery with ranch dressing shall be permitted to make a nuisance of themselves; henceforth, hurling Ranch dressing shall not be considered a crime within the confines of Performing Arts Centers.
2) Pianists shall be insured against the possibility of bad hotel room service meals, particularly against Midwestern Alfredo Sauce; but also not-entirely-unfrozen Mozzarella Sticks; and any boneless chicken breast which has been grilled more than fifteen (15) minutes. For each incidence of the foregoing, the pianist will be permitted one preposterous head-toss during the course of the concert; or one inappropriate flirtation with a member of the orchestra with which he or she is appearing, whichever comes first.
3) Pianists who post results of the following quizzes on Facebook:
a) What Chopin Etude are you?
b) What Beethoven Sonata are you?
c) What Great Composer are you?
… and any other similarly constituted or equivalent quizzes, as deemed by a representative panel of musicologists and social networking experts, relinquish all rights to all insurance heretofore enumerated."

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

More Patron Saints for Pianists

Due to extraordinary interest, further investigation into the patron saints of pianists . . .

Saint criteria is pretty challenging. Not only do saints need to live a life worthy of respect, but they need at least two miracles to their credit, post-death. I consider only two individuals on the 'canonized list' even vaguely appropriate as patron saints for musicians:
St. Gregory, who abandoned wealth and respect to become a broke monk (he also fiddled with the church liturgy) and St Cecilia, who sang when she was crucified, beheaded and killed. Neither really seem to have experiences relevant to musicians in general, let alone pianists. Better suited to the job is intercessor Blessed Hildegard von Bingen, who actually was a musician - the only snag is that she is on the almost-but-not-quite-saint list. I've pulled together a list of saints that, while not musicians, may be more effective in addressing causes that aggravate many pianists:
There are some eerie parallels that can be drawn between career pianists and those canonized as saints. They both often take vows of poverty, spend hours and hours in seclusion and study, and self-flagellate for various reasons (over lack of piety or lack of practicing). That might explain the amount of interest. Or maybe on a subconscious level, pianists are seeking actual patrons.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Piano Job Scrounging - the Big List

For the dedicated scrounger . . .

Academic - University
College Music Society's music vacancy list - student rate is $35/year
Bridge Worldwide Connection - New England Conservatory's job collection website, lists all kinds of gigs (church, high school, university, festivals, etc) - $55 and well worth it
Mannes Career Services Blogspot - a good source for musical opportunities, all areas

Music Theatre Gigs

Cruise Ship gigs

Church Gigs


Choral gigs and Various - Choral gigs, Church gigs
Cirque de Soleil - hires keyboardists
Craig's List - Save time with this useful link on setting up a RSS feed with job keywords

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mr Bean - Concert Pianist, Drummer . . . Chef

British humor is not for everyone, but Rowan Atkinson's unique performance of Beethoven's Pathetique Sonata is worth a view (watch until 2:07 at least - if that doesn't crack you up, you can forego the rest). Further music related silliness: Atkinson discovers an Invisible Drum Kit.

And finally - in anticipation of the upcoming holiday - the Mr Bean and the Thanksgiving Turkey episode is essential viewing for all.