Where you stand when you play with piano
My middle school age son plays with a bunch of different piano accompanists and some of them have preferences on where they want the violinist to stand during performance. My son sometimes is uncomfortable in certain locations if he doesn't feel he can communicate with the pianist directly.
I'm curious where performers prefer to stand and why. Do you stand in front of the accompanist? In front of the keyboard? In front of the logo on the piano? In front of the curve? Somewhere else? And why?
In my opinion, it is up to your son to stand where he feels most comfortable. After all, he is the performer. I think most like to be in front of the curve and within eye sight of the pianist.
There are a lot of things to consider here.
In general, I prefer to be in front of the piano, on the pianist's right, directly parallel to the keyboard, so that I can glance over and have eye contact.
If you draw a line along the length of the piano bench and extend that towards the edge of the stage, that's where I like to stand. Easy communication and my violin still projects out towards the middle of the audience.
Agree with Lydia. Don't stand in the curve! Either you will have your back to the pianist, or you'll be directly facing the audience with your f-holes pointing toward the side--both are terrible options.
I've seen youth concerto competitions in my area where the teachers let (or didn't prevent) the student from standing about 15 feet in front of and way to the house right of the piano. It looks very tacky and 19th century.
Thank you for your feedback. Mary Ellen Goree we've done exactly that -- watched videos of performers, and we were quite surprised at the diversity of choice! My son is comfortable between the piano bench and around the keyboard, and prefers to be closer to the piano bench. If he stands in the curve he ends up spinning to try to see the accompanist. I guess he will learn to be more assertive in justifying his choice!
Diversity of choice among professionals and pre-professionals? hmmm. All the ones I have seen stand more or less where I stand, which is to the right of the pianist, parallel with the keyboard.
It's also fairly common to see violinists stand to the right of the pianist, slightly behind the piano bench, so as to not block the pianist from the audience's view. This is more practical in larger venues than in small ones.
Actually upon reflection I think I stand slightly behind the keyboard.
It depends exactly on many factors: importance and presence of the violin, acoustics of the concert hall/auditorium, sometimes the piano can't be moved and you need to experiment with different position to see which one worka better, etc...
Actually I’m very surprised whenever a violinist faces the public. It is the F holes that should be pointing at the public.
Well, a violinist is not a statue. Violinists, specially soloist, tend to move a lot to not make the show boring. The f-holes are pointing all around, and actually never at the public. The f-holes are pointing specially at the ceiling. Also, in an auditorium, it doesn't really matter if the f-holes are pointing to the ceiling above the public or to the right or to the left, the sound will be huge everywhere. Sure there will be exact points and angles where the sound is the best possible, but that's just impossible to make since the violinist is not a statue. Also, the public is in many auditoriums all around the soloist/pianist, so there's actually no "public" area. Anyways, even if you consider the front public the "public area", soloist face them, just watch any video. You will notice the f-holes are pointing to the ceiling most of the time, and the soloist moves a lot and it's all around.
I agree with Mary Ellen. I was taught (and have found this effective) that the baseline position should be directing the F holes to the audience, to the extent possible. Usually that means you'd want to stand at an angle toward stage left, which incidentally gives you a better view of the pianist than if you stood with your torso directly facing the audience.