Playing second fiddle is often associated with something ”secondary” and used as an expression when someone feels they have secondary status, as in the affection and attention of another. This could not be more wrong, at least in Stockholm.
I went to a concert with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra the other day as they played together with recorder player Alexis Kossenko (this guy sure knows how to articulate, what a way to attack each note:)) and was conducted by Jean-Christophe Spinosi. Besides these two charismatic and energeric performers one person stole the show…The leader of the 2nd violins, Julia-Maria Kretz. Each time I listen to the Royal Sthlm Ph Orch and she is playing I find myself watching her. She steels my attention everytime and is a fantastic musician with a precense and a commitment I’ve hardly ever seen.
…the first time and so far the only time I’ve experienced the Berliner Philharmoniker. I sat below the last chairs of the 1st violin section and they were even more engaging than the concertmaster himself. Each member of the orchestra performed like there was no tomorow. I have not experienced that in any swedish symphony orchestra. It was as if they were playing for their lives. Very intriguing. But then I’ve heard that their seats are never safe, that you could audition for a better chair than you first auditioned for. What a nerve-racking situation. That would make me want to play for my life too. Lousy job security but as it seems a pretty exciting artistic outcome.
Something to apply in swedish symphony orchestras perhaps?