Pretty Good

One of our favorite things this weekend was attending a concert by the Eroica Trio at the La Jolla Music Society.  For those of you that might not know, The Eroica Trio is a piano trio (piano, violin, cello) that has made a fairly well-known name for themselves adapting classical and other pieces into chamber music sort of format.

The first thing that you might notice about the Eroica Trio is that they’re women – and attractive women at that.  And rather than the standard stodgy classical-performance black formal attire, they announced their presence with authority* — coming out in flowing gowns in bright spring colors.  The Beloved noted that they were each wearing very good shoes.  They gave a really good performance – with an interesting program that featured pieces dating from the late 18th century into the 20th.  Great night.

After the concert, I was thinking of a book that I had read a couple of years ago about classical performers and how many orchestras had changed their auditions such that applicants were behind curtains or screens – in this way avoiding unconscious (or more blatant, I suppose) biases of the evaluators.  Once that practice became more commonplace, the average orchestra member began to deviate from the middle-aged white guy in a tux – because it turns out that people that are young, heavily pigmented and/or have a uterus can be pretty good musicians, too.
And so, afterwards – remembering that book and turning the idea on its head, I wondered if I would have enjoyed the Eroica Trio concert as much if they’d been behind a screen, or if they’d been three dumpy white guys?  And if they catch the eye of more people by being young and pretty and so bring classical music to some that might otherwise not listen, does that matter?
*bonus points for the reference

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17 thoughts on “Pretty Good

  1. We love live chamber music. Interesting about those "blind" auditions, I was the only person with a uterus in the classical guitar orchestra in college, LOL, It's a real issue. I was saying last night how much more I enjoy the hot new Dr. Who even though Tennant was a more brilliant actor and the writing was better. Then again we got to see the Buena Vista Social Club (all fairly old) and I'd choose them again over any eye-candy nonsense.

  2. The music is awesome and I must admit, even having a uterus and being hetero, they are a gorgeous trio to look at!I SO totally enjoy anything (acting, music….hmmm….the news…there ya go) when it's in an attractive package. I will add a big "But" to this though (shut up)….but, true talent and passion for whatever the person is doing shines through even more than looks alone. If a lovely looking person is just doing something and thinking they look lovely they are just annoying.

  3. Do you find it interesting that their name is so close to the word "erotica?" LOL.. I kept noticing that as I read the post. They are stunning young women and I am sure that helps the enjoyment of the evening, even though it has nothing to do with the music, just the ambiance :-)

  4. Do you find it interesting that their name is so close to the word "erotica?" Beat me to it! Every time I see the Eroica symphony (which actually means "heroic"), I start thinking of bass players and G-strings….John

  5. I blame the fact that it was, like, 3 a.m. when I first read your post, but my bleary eyes, of their own volition, inserted a 't' in between the 'o' and the 'i.' I won't even describe what I thought.

  6. lauri — I completely agree that there's a huge difference between just being physically attractive and being "beautiful". There's no way someone ugly on the inside could pull it off.

  7. Katie — great comment and story. I remember hearing that Joshua Bell "experiment" maybe last year and was amazed. Tells you so much about expectations.

  8. I remember hearing that Joshua Bell "experiment" maybe last year and was amazed. Tells you so much about expectations. Remember the great McDonald's experiment? It turns out that anything tastes better with the Golden Arches on it (at least it does when you are three). In management, they call it the Halo Effect; we consistently let small things such as setting, mannerisms, and body language over-ride more important things, such as knowledge and experience. Used properly, it is a great tool. Used improperly, you can make people do almost anything.John

  9. just wanted to say from vox…read your comments on cat's post and thought…you are very helpful mentioning the wordpress import. I have moved from vox basically to my wordpress blog, but I am a newbie and I had someone set it up for me so i don;t know how to use it very well yet. I like how you have your pics framed. I think I'd like that so I can caption the pictures i post on the blog…maybe one day I will learn how to do that.Anyway…hello and please let's be "neighbours" on wordpress too.G.

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