Friday, August 5, 2011

Entrepreneurship not just a necessity, it's good for you too.

Yesterday I was lucky enough to watch a recital by Olivier Brauld, accompanied by Melisande Corriveau and Eric Milnes, focusing on the very beginnings of the French violin sonata. The list of composers included de Visée, Rebel, de la Guerre, Clérambault, Mascitti, as well as others. It was an excellent performance, and well narrated too! -It was very nice to hear French and English used interchangeably without any repetition.

After the concert I had a long chat with Eric Milnes about my prospects for grad school which proved quite fruitful. Eric had a great piece of advice for me, he preluded with a special pose and said "This is the best piece of advice I can give  you, are you ready for it?". He said that having your own projects were essential to a career in music. Not only if you had a problematic personality - which, by having your own group, would be challenged by personality conflicts, developing a good business practice, etc. - but even just for the fact that you'll feel more satified when seeing your own work come to fruition.

He couldn't be more right.

Many of the books I've read (including 'Beyond Talent', by Angela Myles Beeching; and 'The Savvy Musician', by David Cutler) have put an emphasis on developing entreperneurial skills in order to cope with an almost non-existant job market - especially in early music. I'm sorry, there is no job market in early music!

These books, however, never talked about how starting your own projects could help you iron-out possible personality troubles you might have. Having your own group certainly does make you appreciate other ensemble leaders/administrators who work long-hours just to get us to the rehearsal stages.

Beeching does encourage getting the help you need to fix any personality trouble or discontent, but who would have thought that the project itself could be part of the 'healing process'?


  1. Thanks, Andrew for the shout out about my book, "Beyond Talent"--much appreciated!

    You make a great point about the work of ironing out personality glitches within an esnemble. Chamber Music is a kind of group therapy because we end up confronting our ambition and yearning to become a better musician and better person--always a work in process!

    And if you're interested in more on this topic, J. Richard Hackman has been studying work teams of all kinds for years, and his book "Leading Teams: Setting the State for Great Performances" details learnings from the conductor-less Orpheus Chamber Orchestra's.

    Angela Beeching

  2. Angela, I'm amazed you found my blog! Thanks for the reading recommendation - I'll look for it.

    Since I first read it at Christmas last year, I've really kicked myself into high-gear. I have two copies of your first edition (I'm sending them off to friends) as well as a copy of the second edition, which I'm currently reading. Each read-through is just as enlightening as the last.

    Thank you for championing your cause!



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