Ever heard of TwoSet Violin? This entertaining Australian pair, comprised of Brett Yang (the one with the glasses) and Eddy Chen (the one without glasses) make comical videos about life as a classical musician. The topics, while musician-specific, are relatable to anyone: reacting to child prodigies nailing difficult passages in a violin competition (feeling miffed when a 20-something millennial gets promoted over you); embarrassing stories, like leaving the violin at home (when you had a HUGE sales pitch and forgot to dress accordingly); having to sight read a difficult violin sonata with no prep (when your boss drops a pile of figures on your desk and says, “analyze and be ready to present in 15 minutes”).
In this video below, the topic is “Things Never Said by Orchestra Musicians”. What you may not know is playing in an orchestra is incredibly hard work. I wish I could find the article, but years ago a journalist wrote how lovely it must be to “sit and play beautiful music all the time”, suggesting it was all unicorns and rainbows. I will never forget the reaction from my musician friends as this article went viral on social. Comments flew back and forth, about the physical strain of holding an instrument in an asymmetrical manner for decades; the strain of working evenings and weekends (and rehearsing by day); dealing with difficult stand partners (the orchestra equivalent of sharing a cubicle with that annoying person); and finally, the toil of being an expressive person by nature – leading to a career in music – but being told what to play and how to interpret it, all career long. Obviously, there is an intense love of music that lead to this career choice, but make no mistake: it is very hard work.
Below, TwoSet Violin made this video, detailing what you’ll never hear an orchestral musician say. Enjoy!