What to wear for gigs? An epiphany

Earlier this month I was getting ready for a gig and agonizing over what to wear. Long dress? Short dress? Pants? All black? Color? As usual, I had a closet full of clothes and nothing to wear. I settled on a nondescript, semi-formal, all-black outfit and hoped I would not appear on camera.

When I arrived on site and met my collaborator, I thought, “He’s so lucky. All he has to do is throw on a black suit, and he’s perfectly dressed for any occasion.” And then it hit me. I, too, can throw on a black suit, and who’s going to stop me?

The more I thought about it, the more appealing wearing a suit became. If I’m required to wear all black, I can wear a black blouse under the jacket. If I’m feeling bold, I can swap in a colorful blouse or statement jewelry. If it’s cold, I can easily layer both tops and bottoms. (I swear by Uniqlo Heattech.)

A suit may not be the right attire for every occasion, but it’s an easy, safe default for a collaborative pianist. A girly-girl at heart, I’ll keep wearing dresses in warm weather, but for the other 9 months of the year (thanks, Boston), don’t be surprised to see me in a suit!

Repertoire List: 2017-2018 Academic Year

Song cycles, sonatas, concertos, etc. were performed in their entirety unless otherwise specified.

Works performed in public:

Beethoven Cello Sonata No. 4 in C major, Op. 102, No. 1
Beethoven Romance in F major, Op. 50
Bellini Dolente imagine di Fille mia
Bellini Ma rendi pur contento
Bernstein “Jupiter has seven moons” from I Hate Music
Biber Rosary (“Mystery”) Sonata No.1 in d minor (The Annunciation)
Bruch Violin Concerto No. 1 in g minor, Op. 26 (Allegro moderato)
Chilcott, Bob Put Memory Away
Copland Violin Sonata
Debussy “C’est l’extase” from Ariettes oubliées
Debussy Clair de lune
Debussy “Il pleure dans mon cœur” from Ariettes oubliées
Debussy Nuit d’étoiles
Donaudy Vaghissima sembianza
Fauré Clair de lune, Op. 46, No. 2
Foss Three American Pieces
Gardner, John Tomorrow shall be my dancing day
Grieg Violin Sonata No. 3 in c minor, Op. 45
Handel “Lascia ch’io pianga” from Rinaldo
Ibert Flute Concerto
arr. Johnson, Craig Hella Lo how a rose / The Rose
Lotti Pur dicesti, o bocca bella
Mahler, Alma Die stille Stadt
Mahler, Alma Laue Sommernacht
Mendelssohn-Hensel, Fanny Die Mainacht
Mozart “Ah Scostati!…Smanie implacabili” from Così fan tutte
Mozart “Deh, vieni alla finestra” from Don Giovanni
Obradors Canciones Clásicas Españolas
Piazzolla Le Grand Tango for cello and piano
Poulenc Clarinet Sonata (Allegro tristamente; Romanza)
Rorem Early in the morning
Rutter When Icicles Hang (Winter Nights; Blow, blow thou Winter Wind; Hay, ay)
Satie Je te veux
Scarlatti Le Violette
Schubert “Der Neugierige” from Die schöne Müllerin
Schubert “Nur wer die Sehnsucht kennt” from Goethe Lieder
Schumann, Clara Die Lorelei
Schumann, Clara Liebst du um Schönheit, Op. 12, No. 2
Schumann Flügel! Flügel! um zu fliegen, Op. 37, No.8
Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35 (Finale: Allegro vivacissimo)
Vaughan Williams Six Studies in English Folksong
Weber Clarinet Concerto No.1 in f minor, Op. 73 (Allegro)
Weber Clarinet Concerto No.2 in E-flat Major, Op. 74 (Allegro)

Works prepared for competitions, masterclasses, and recordings:

Arditi Il Bacio
Britten “Johnny” from Cabaret Songs
Britten The last rose of summer
Chausson Le colibri, Op. 2, No. 7
Duparc Chanson Triste
Mahler “Des Antonius von Padua Fischpredigt” from Des Knaben Wunderhorn
Mozart Als Luise die Briefe, K 520
Puccini “Quando m’en vo” from La Bohème
Rachmaninov Veter perelyotny (The Migrant Wind), Op. 34, No. 4
Ravel Don Quichotte à Dulcinée
Schubert Der Hirt auf dem Felsen, D 965
Sibelius Violin Concerto in d minor, Op. 47 (Allegro moderato)
Vaughan Williams “The Vagabond” from Songs of Travel
Vaughan Williams “Whither must I wander?” from Songs of Travel

How to Make More Money in the Arts: Ask!

We’d all like to earn more money, but asking for a raise or negotiating your fee in an endangered arts economy can feel awkward at best and inappropriate at worst. Working in an industry where cost-of-living raises and annual salary reviews are not the norm, you most likely won’t receive higher pay unless you ask.

I offered my advice on negotiating fees at the Boston Singers’ Resource blog today. I hope it inspires you, and I wish you success!