The Henschel Quartet from Germany celebrated its 20th anniversary last year. Here the group gives tips on achieving longevity in a chamber career
To achieve longevity, small chamber music ensembles need to concentrate not only on an ensemble body of sound but also on developing an ensemble spirit. In addition to musical and technical mastery, and quite apart from paying attention to what the external charisma requires – unique sales point (usp), creative programmes, use of strong marketing tools, networking, partners and agents – there is that very important internal charisma which the ensemble members need to nurture and protect. An ensemble with great inner strength will go on, even when times are hard. However, when the internal cosmos is disturbed, even great success as an ensemble will not guarantee longevity.
1. The key issue is joy. We all enjoy performing great music, of course. Just as importantly, however, every ensemble member needs to also enjoy each other’s company and value each other’s skills. Respecting each other’s personalities, and welcoming difference as an engine of development, creates the best atmosphere. If every member maintains their focus on the joy of making music together as an important priority and pleasure in their life, setbacks will hurt less.
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