Dating site for classical musicians
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Each time, before I went on stage, I began to think, ‘How can I go on playing the piano, if this is what it’s going to be like? Many musicians have similar terrors, and often they involve alarming physical symptoms such as a racing heart and trembling fingers.Classical performers are especially prone to it, because accuracy and virtuosity are at such a premium.
Unsurprisingly most musicians like to keep their problems with stage-fright under wraps, but one or two have spoken out.In her autobiography, starry American soprano Renée Fleming says her worst bout of stage fright began after being booed off the stage at La Scala in Milan in 1998, when she was playing the lead in Donizetti’s Lucrezia Borgia.She began to shake, and carried on shaking for days.For months afterwards walking out on stage was sheer torment.Stage fright is like madness; it comes without warning, out of a blue sky.That’s how it came to Scottish pianist Steven Osborne, one of the most intelligent and sensitive pianists around.
About ten years ago, during a performance of Mozart’s 23rd Piano Concerto, he suddenly started worrying that he was about to forget the next note.“The feeling got stronger and stronger,” he recalls now.“I didn’t actually forget anything but it felt like the water was rising and lapping just under my nose.” Osborne was so disturbed by this experience he sought help from a cognitive therapist.“I learned a few tricks, like imagining I was somewhere lovely and unthreatening before a performance, like a flowery meadow.It helped, but I never felt it was a long-term solution.” Then, a few years later came the real bombshell, during a performance of Rachmaninov’s First Piano Concerto.“This was like an earthquake because this time I really did have some memory lapses, and this made me think the whole performance was about to go off the rails. I really began to wonder whether my career was over.