Articles on Rehearsals

Aspiring Musicians Toward an Intense Rehearsal Atmosphere
by Admin

“ Ensembles survive with unity and fail without it. Members of an ensemble should strive for ensemble unity first, interpretive nuance second.” (1)

How we maintain “unity”? Let us take the conductor-less “Orpheus Chamber Orchestra” as the model.

“ The Orpheus Chamber Orchestra (founded 1972) is a Grammy Award-winning classical music chamber orchestra based in New York City. It is known for its collaborative leadership style in which the musicians, not a conductor, interpret the score.” (2)

This video “I am Orpheus” pointed out three qualities they have in achieving their success and popularity;

  1. Democracy, team works and collaboration
  2. Spirit, passion and energy, and
  3. Extreme quality of “community”

How can we obtain these qualities? Orpheus has their trade mark -- “Orpheus Process TM”, an original method that places democracy at the center of artistic execution.

“ The Orpheus Process is built on the principles of individual responsibility, shared leadership, and workplace democracy, and it has enabled Orpheus to achieve the highest level of innovative creativity and sustained artistic excellence for three decades.” (3) 

"The players might disagree, no one tried to dominate or steal the limelight. Every group member has a voice, and is respected for their ideas, opinions and talents. With this level of respect, members might agree to disagree without adversely affecting the music making." (4)

Stanford News Service reported(5) the newly formed Stanford Collaborative Orchestra (SCOr), a symphonic ensemble employing a democratic model of Orpheus: 

"...valuable insights are sometimes lost because team members quell their own voices under a dominant baton. Also, subordinates learn to focus solely on their own roles, ignoring opportunities to develop new skills"..."Pfeffer wrote: "Because people pay attention to one another instead of to one leader, they become more involved. Taking on broader responsibilities, they develop real leadership skills. The result is a sense of ownership that delivers the biggest benefit of all: a collective mind and spirit that comes through in the music." (5)

Here is an article “Playing in groups - chamber music” which further described the detail methods in playing chamber music as a group. This article “Rehearsal Philosophy and Techniques for Aspiring Chamber Music Groups” (1) pointed out the importance of maintaining “Unity” and described how to criticize within the group through “Art of Criticism”. I highly recommend our members to study this article because it also contains the “Specific Techniques of Chamber Ensemble Rehearsal”. 

References:

  1. “Rehearsal Philosophy and Techniques for Aspiring Chamber Music Groups” https://libertyvillehigh.files.wordpress.com/2010/11/rehearsal-philosophy-and-techniques-for-aspiring-chamber-music-groups2.pdf
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orpheus Chamber Orchestra
  3. http://www.medici.tv/#!/orpheus-in-the-business-world
  4. “Orpheus Music meets Business” part 1-4 [see below: YouTube Videos]
  5. http://news.stanford.edu/pr/2015/pr-conductorless-orchestra-scor-060415.html

Orpheus Chamber Orchestra