Having an exceptional and committed pianist is so important to the perception that a singer will bring to an audition. Yet why do so many pianists not take this kind of work seriously? Susan Eichhorn's latest take on auditioning is worth a look, especially for the care and commitment she asks for which needs to come from both singer and pianist:
If you call yourself an audition pianist then you need to know the repertoire. Period. You need to be an excellent not competent, sight reader. You need a fantastic sense of time and rhythmic pocket. You need to know how to re-organize the repertoire - what to play and what to leave out - to support that singer. You are not auditioning - the singer is. You need to support that singer. They are nervous. You need to given respect, AND GIVE IT BACK. Your attitude needs to be checked...
...Singers - BE PREPARED. It is up to you to be so prepared for that audition, that even if things de-rail you can make it work! Again, singers who are under-prepared will often play the blame-game. Stop it. Prepare! Don't think by learning that cut the day before will allow you to nail it. It won't. If the first thing you do is blame the pianist and not look at your own preparation, you need to really rethink what you are doing. Again, if the attitude is larger than the talent, the craft or the preparation, perhaps it's time to sit down and have a reality check.Of course, the number of pianists who don't take audition playing seriously is often matched by the number of singers who don't do their preparation and recon work prior to auditioning. I've noticed that singers who take the time to either rehearse with me or discuss relevant cuts, marking them in their painstakingly organized scores, often sing at a higher level of preparation and artistry on audition day than the ones who haphazardly toss me messy photocopies as we walk into the room.
Singers and pianists: what are your best practices for auditions?