Music and Vision homepage


Ask Alice, with Alice McVeigh

The removal of Hwan Lee Scheitzer Jones Joubert,
plus a review of the book 'Some Kind of Genius',
with classical music agony aunt ALICE McVEIGH

Dear Alice,

I am at music college and worried because the violinist in my piano trio doesn't care and won't rehearse and this is part of my degree we're talking about. How can we get rid of him?

a cellist

Dear fellow cello,

Well, this does sound a bit rich. Presumably your violinist (non)friend is aware that your (joint) performance isn't going to shed much light and glory on his own degree prospects, right? Or is he one of these dreamy east European types too smitten by being in London to notice?

I think the time has come for tough talking and you sound like the sort of person (sorry, don't know your gender) to do it. You and your pianist have to sit this boy down and talk to him like a couple of Dutch uncles (unless he's Dutch, in which case he'll be used to it.) The points you have to make are:

  1. He is mucking up your chances of getting a good mark in your chamber music
  2. He is a lazy boring swine
  3. If he doesn't shape up you're going to the director of strings and having him kicked out of your group and in deep kimchee (trouble) with his parents back in South Korea (Note to readers: in case you think I'm making this up, something like 1/2 conservatory students in the UK ARE from abroad. Also: I was born in South Korea, and kimchee is the only South Korean word I know, so I can't resist showing it off!!!!!!!!!!!!!)

You have to give him a deadline -- two three-hour rehearsals within four days or something. If he's just ten minutes late just once, you carry out (3) above. You do this without remorse. Should it come to that, you are doing Hwan Lee Scheitzer Jones Joubert a big favour. He won't get second chances in that big, bad profession out there, and the sooner he gets THAT into his fat head, the better.


Continue to the book review >>

Copyright © 28 October 2005 Alice McVeigh, Kent UK

Ask Alice



 << M&V home              Alice's previous columns >>