Author Archives: Brant Taylor

The Holy Sextet — Part 2

Part 1 began an exploration of three bow variables that – in addition to the three well-known concepts of weight, speed, and contact point — make up a sextet of basics that should be known and practiced to maximize your control over … Continue reading

Posted in Performance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Holy Sextet — Part 1

Think back to when you were shown how to use the bow to successfully produce different sounds on the cello.  In all likelihood, you learned that there is a trio of “variables” that are combined in certain ways to achieve … Continue reading

Posted in Performance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

When the Music Stops

For those of us for whom a musicians’ work stoppage in the Chicago Symphony Orchestra was something we’d read about in histories of the orchestra but had never experienced in real life, the e-mail message we received last Saturday was … Continue reading

Posted in Orchestra, Performance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What You Did This Summer

We are now in mid-summer, and countless musicians of all types are at various summer music festivals and camps engaging in musical activities that likely differ in some way from the artistic lives they lead during the rest of the … Continue reading

Posted in Self Discovery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Playing Audition Excerpts: Yes, the Devil’s in Them

Although the collection of excerpts on an audition repertoire list may seem arbitrary, each one has a purpose: giving the audition candidate an opportunity to demonstrate certain things about his or her playing and artistry. Audition success involves showing a … Continue reading

Posted in Artistic Vision, Auditions, In the Practice Room, Orchestra, Performance, Repertoire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

What’s the Passcode?

In the reader chats I’ve hosted on this website, certain discussion topics make frequent appearances.  One of those topics, a question I hear often from students and other amateur musicians, is: “How do you practice?”  It’s easy to see why.  … Continue reading

Posted in In the Practice Room, Self Discovery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Passing It On

A few weeks back, I was having a post-concert drink with my friend and colleague Joshua Gindele, cellist of the Miro Quartet, and the conversation turned to teaching. Though we are both associated with ensembles that perform dozens of concerts … Continue reading

Posted in Bernard Greenhouse, Interpersonal Relationships, Teaching | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Myth Busters

Instrumentalists often prepare for an orchestra audition by seeking feedback on their preparation from a teacher or colleague.  Perhaps because my career includes both orchestral playing and teaching, I am frequently asked to coach players who are preparing solo work(s) and … Continue reading

Posted in Auditions, Orchestra, Performance, Repertoire | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Taking it on the Road

One of the most interesting and rewarding aspects of life in a major orchestra is the touring.  After “What difference does the conductor really make?” and “How did the orchestra like _____?” (conductor or soloist), the questions I’m asked most … Continue reading

Posted in Cello Travel, Orchestra, Performance | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Rules

A while back, I accepted an invitation from my good friend Pansy Chang to teach her cello students.  Pansy teaches cello at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  She was taking a sabbatical for a semester and wanted to make arrangements … Continue reading

Posted in Artistic Vision, In the Practice Room, Self Discovery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments