MET Musicians are leaders in their craft, and most are highly sought-after teachers. A recent internal poll shows that the average MET musician began music lessons at the age of 6, and lessons on their primary instrument at the age of 9. Compare that to the leaders of most other fields: doctors, lawyers, and business executives all start specialized training in college. From time to time, we will be featuring specialized pieces by musicians that showcase a particular set of knowledge.
At the beginning of the opera, the oboist gives the orchestra an "A". That's usually the last time anyone makes a definitive statement about intonation. After that, it's up to each musician to overcome the hurdles of their instrument and the piece to try to stay in tune with one another. To make matters worse, each instrument has different tendencies that can change with the weather, the key, the length of the opera, and other variables. For instance, a piccoloist has control over the subtle differences in pitch of every note she plays, while the piano is completely set in its pitch.Read More