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Max Raimi’s Tips on How to Get a Job in an Orchestra

Max Raimi’s Tips on How to Get a Job in an Orchestra

Do you have any advice for aspiring violists who would want to be in an orchestra?

Record yourself. Make sure you know what you sound like. One thing I did when I auditioned was that I would record myself and then tap the beats as I listened to the recording. You can play along with a metronome, but you can get to where you depend on it, and when you’re not playing with the metronome, you may not realize it when you’re not playing rhythmically. If you can just tap rhythmically along with your recording and everything lines up, you know, then you know you’re playing rhythmically.

On the other hand, try to think musically. Try to think about what story you’re trying to tell. One essential thing to remember is that people will be listening to you. Somehow, we must create a congregation engaged in the very spiritual experience of witnessing something beautiful together, sharing emotions. If all you’re thinking about is, “Am I playing it right?” then we have lost what it is really about.

Play for friends, play for a tape recorder and listen to the music — the whole orchestra part — to understand what is being expressed. Play in whatever orchestra you can and as often as you can, even if it doesn’t pay that well, to get the experience. The other thing is that there’s only one reason you should be going into music, and that should be because you can’t imagine doing anything else. If you’re smart enough to get an orchestral job and have that kind of drive and intelligence, then you could probably make a lot more money doing something else. Only do it if you can’t imagine any other life for yourself.

See Also

Max Raimi’s artist profile at CSO website: https://cso.org/about/performers/cso-musicians/strings/viola/max-raimi/

Full Interview: “Try to Think About What Story You’re Trying to Tell”
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