August 19, 2012 at 2:23 PM*sigh* I dislike how quickly the violin community labels someone as a virtuoso. I just listened to a performance of a young 'virtuoso' and honestly...I was disappointed. Yes,you may say I'm just being picky but here me out. We overlook mistakes that virtuosi make because we know that can play without any,but that same respect shouldn't be given to someone who makes sloppy shifts,uses frightened vibrato,and has to chase harmonics Have our expectations lowered that much to where anyone who can play a few showpieces gets called a virtuoso? I'm sorry but a certain level of playing much be reached before someone receives that status. Virtuosi are master musicians,not someone with good talent that's still developing. No one would call a chef a virtuoso in the kitchen if his food was too spicy,or if the food was cold. Why should we do the same for violinists? It bothers me to see people cheat there way to what they think is the top. Maybe they don't get it...being called a virtuoso doesn't make my heart drop during the performance. It doesn't make me remember your name,or look up more of your work or concerts. That word...that title...is for true masters ONLY. No amateurs allowed.
It is a bit like the misuse of "expert" which was once defined for me by a colleague at a technical meeting in work when he turned to me and said, "Trevor, you know more about this topic than anyone else here. Let's have your expert opinion." So I woke up from my stupor ...
Honestly I was rather put off by your derogatory use of the word "amateur" at the end of this otherwise thoughtful blog. "Amateur" is not synonymous with "poseur" or "poor player." A true amateur, meaning one who plays for the love of the instrument and the music it makes, would be just as embarrassed as you are by the misuse of the word "virtuoso." It's not a title to be applied for, it's a description earned over years of hard work, dedication, and true mastery.
Hasn't anything to do (I agree with Karen) about amateur standing. It's the VIRTUE of the performance, the mastery of it--and that has nothing to do with whether or not one receives $$.
@Trevor:Sadly,it is becoming a relative term. As a violinist myself I hope we raise the standard of a virtuoso. Not only would this weed out the lesser players but it would give the select few that earn the title a greater feeling of accomplishment and self satisfaction. Thanks for your comments! :)
But you may as well tilt at windmills as to try to stop the evolution of the language - eventually virtuoso will probably mean someone who became a performer as (and hinted above) maestro means you can stand in front of an orchestra with a baton.
what has happened as part of the decay of the language is that as words erode in meaning we are forced to use more of them. Thus, 'this virtuoso is in the elite pantheon of violinists' sounds odd now perhaps - but give it a few years when there are so many virtuosos that we have to grade them!
how long before you can be 'quite pregnant'? I could go on....
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