Monthly Archives: March 2011

On the Not-So-Glamorous Life

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My fellow singing waiter Mark Hernandez notified me (and all his other Facebook friends) of this cutting “dark bio” from regional opera performer Robert Orth:

Robert Orth’s “Dark Biograpy”

While it’s tongue in cheek (and damn funny) it offers an honest glance into the not-so-glamorous life of most working musicians that’s much more common than the still-not-as-glamorous-as-you-might-think lives of the brand name soloists in the classical music world. Consider the countless hours of practice and numbers of auditions Mr Orth had to endure to get to even this level, then realize how many fail to even get this far, and you can see why any father worth his salt would encourage alternative means of getting by.

But we do it anyway. Because, for the most part, it’s a lot of fun. And if we’re really lucky we get to participate in something amazing, perhaps even enduring. And sometimes, even if it’s neither amazing nor enduring, even if it’s getting paid to sing the same Puccini aria you’ve sung dozens of times before, while wearing a name tag and polyester apron and pretending to be a waiter at an annual reward dinner for the regional association of  morticians, the enthusiastic cheers of the crowd, genuinely appreciative of  the talents and skills you’re sharing, will make it all worthwhile.

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Schick Machine: A One (White) Man Blue Man Group

Part sculpture, part monodrama, part concerto for virtuoso percussionist, Schick Machine is a genre defying performance piece that combines its disparate elements into a surprisingly delightful 80 minutes. This collaboration of composer Paul Dresher, percussionist Steven Schick, instrument builder Daniel Schmidt and writer Rinde Eckert may not be life altering theater, but it is aContinue ReadingContinue Reading

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Some better advice for young artists

This link is just too good to stay hidden in the comment section of my last post. My friend Natalie has great advice for young artists hoping for a career in the capricious lotto game of artistic endeavors. Her points are specific, useful, insightful, and should be required reading for those folks who, in fact,Continue Reading

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Advice to a young composer: “Get a real job”

There comes a time in one’s life (usually around junior year of high school) when you have to answer the question, “What do you want to do with your life?” More often, this question comes in the form of “What colleges are you looking into?” and “Have you picked a major yet?”. But the underlyingContinue ReadingContinue Reading

4 Responses to Advice to a young composer: “Get a real job”

  1. What a great post, Brian. And it is so wonderful that you actually had the presence of mind to accept that advice when you were young and plot your life out in such a way to allow you to become what you have become. Kudos to you. I was too starstruck to hear any such advice when I was in college…. But I now advise young people with the advice I wish I had been given (or wish I had listened to):

  2. Elaine Fine says:

    There are a great many young musicians who do not have the math and science “chops” to be accepted in the engineering department of an Ivy League university. There are a great many who simply cannot afford to go to a school outside of their state university system. There are a great many people who dream of working at Pixar and who dream of being involved in the kinds of musical organizations you are involved with, and there are a great many people who would not be wise enough to heed the kind of advice your father and your teacher gave to you.

    You are a very fortunate man, and you were certainly brought up exceedingly well. Brains, talent, sense, and support is a rare combination indeed. Use it well.

    • Brian Rosen says:

      Elaine, all very true. I’ve had a wonderful combination of luck and upbringing here. My parents made decisions (and sacrifices) that created opportunities that I was very fortunate to be able to capitalize on. But SO much of it was luck and timing. A few weeks or months one way or the other and things would have been very different…

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A Brief History of Love and Poetry – World Premiere April 23rd

I’m excited to announce that on April 23rd several of my new pieces will be premiered in San Francisco in an evening length concert dedicated to my work as a composer. A Brief History of Love and Poetry is a song cycle I composed late last year for baritone and mezzo soprano. It’s a settingContinue Reading

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