Page Turning Horror Stories

Janet Horvath_019#2 4x5Guest Blogger: Janet Horvath is the author of Playing Less Hurt. Below is a post she did for her blog on Interlude.

I was sixteen years old when I was first asked to turn pages. A fabulous young violinist was making his Toronto recital debut. I was thrilled to be allowed to purchase my first long gown for the occasion— it was lime green. I was an accomplished pianist. I could follow the music –no problem, I thought! The violinist turned out to be Pinchas Zuckerman and little did I know when I was recruited, that every time there was a red star in the piano music, I would have to gracefully and quietly get up from the piano to turn Zuckerman’s violin page and hurry back to the piano to (hopefully) find my place in the fast moving piano part. It didn’t help that I am quite petite. I donned the highest heeled shoes that I could find. Each turn, I nervously stretched across, teetering to the far right of the page, trying hard not to end up in the pianist’s lap.

Christine Newland, a cellist friend of mine, has a similar story. Her first page- turning experience was for Daniel Barenboim at the request of his wife, the great cellist Jacqueline du Pré, for a recital. Christine was not confident that she could read the piano part well enough. She decided to follow the cello part, which is typically written above the piano score. Christine paid close attention to the instructions from Barenboim, to turn early, as most pianists read far ahead. Christine followed orders. Turn early…. As she flipped the first page, she was stunned when one of Barenboim’s hands flew forward. He noisily slapped the page back all the while playing multitudes of notes. After several more seconds Barenboim hastily turned the page himself. Much later Christine was told that Barenboim could be brutal with his page-turners.

Keep reading this article on Interlude!

Playing Less Hurt

Making music at any level is a powerful gift. While musicians have endless resources for learning the basics of their instruments and the theory of music, few books have explored the other subtleties and complexities that musicians face in their quest to play with ease and skill. The demands of solitary practice, hectic rehearsal schedules, challenging repertoire, performance pressures, awkward postures, and other physical strains have left a trail of injured, hearing-impaired, and frustrated musicians who have had few resources to guide them.

Playing Less Hurt addresses this need with specific tools to avoid and alleviate injury. Impressively researched, the book is invaluable not only to musicians, but also to the coaches and medical professionals who work with them. Everyone from dentists to orthopedists, audiologists to neurologists, massage therapists and trainers will benefit from Janet Horvath’s coherent account of the physiology and psyche of a practicing musician. Writing with knowledge, sympathetic insight, humor, and aplomb, Horvath has created an essential resource for all musicians who want to play better and feel better.



Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group, the trade book division of Hal Leonard Corporations, publishes books on the performing arts under the imprints Hal Leonard Books, Backbeat Books, Amadeus Press, and Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.

Posted on February 12, 2013, in Music Fans, Music Industry and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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