The Orchestral Violinist's Companion, Volume 1 + 2

Wulfhorst Martin



The Orchestral Violinist's Companion, Volumes 1 + 2

Foreword / Introduction: Wulfhorst, Martin
Product format: Book
Language(s) of work: English
Publisher: Bärenreiter
Binding: Paperback
Print run: 1st printing 2012
Pages / Format: XXIII, 483 S. - 30,0 x 23,0 cm
Today’s professional orchestral musicians are highly specialized and highly qualified instrumentalists. While the traditional study at universities and music schools gives students an excellent foundation for orchestral playing, it has long been acknowledged that it often does not prepare a musician for all the challenges of orchestral life.
This volume imparts knowledge and skills essential for the orchestral violinist, extending on the musician’s high school or university education. This advice and training manual is intended to serve as a guide for the full course of a musician’s career – from the preparation for an audition to the long-term heavy work load in an orchestra. The volumes cover an abundance of themes, including:
- Practice techniques
- Sight-reading
- Daily practice routine
- Looking after your body
- Bow technique and tone production
- Left hand technique
- Pizzicato technique and other special techniques
- Rhythm and ensemble playing
- Notation and performance practice
- Preparing of orchestral parts
- Italian, French and German terms and abbreviations
- Knowledge of style
- Development of a core repertoire
- Preparation for auditions
- Coping with stage fright
- Coping with orchestral life
- Appreciation for the orchestra as a social environment
- Coping with the long-term physical and mental pressures in an orchestra
Included is a detailed, annotated index of orchestral excerpt collections, thematically relevant books and articles, and recent important studies on “Performance Science”. Chapters on essential practice and performance techniques include hundreds of examples from over 300 orchestral works, which encompass the areas of symphony, oratorio, opera, operetta and ballet from the period between c. 1750 and 1950. In addition, there are exercises specifically designed to advance a player’s orchestral technique.
As well as serving as useful teaching material for courses, these volumes are geared towards students currently in graduate or postgraduate courses specializing in orchestral playing, audition candidates, violinists at the start of their career, as well as experienced orchestral musicians and conductors.
Additional resources and introductory video at
Volume 1: 
List of Illustrations 
List of tables 
1. Training as an Orchestral Violinist: History, Challenges, Concepts 
2. The Orchestral Mode 
3. Learning, Practicing, and Sight-Reading 
4. Basic Orchestral Technique: Principles, Routines, and Maintenance 
5. Bowing Technique, Sound Production, Coordination 
Volume 2: 
6. Left-Hand Technique 
7. Pizzicato and Other Special Technical Issues 
8. Rhythm and Ensemble Playing 
9. Decoding and Marking Orchestral Parts: A Manual of Orchestral Notation and Performance Practice 
10. Repertoire and Style 
11. Profession and Career 
12. Resources 
13. Index (1) and Glossary: Terms, Abbreviations, Symbols 
14. Index (2): Compositions, Composers, Other Musicians 


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