An extract on #travelcouple
Careers in cello vary widely by genre and by region or country. Most cellists earn their living from a mixture of performance and teaching jobs. The first step to getting most performance jobs is by playing at an audition. In some styles of music, cellists may be asked to sight read printed music or perform standard repertoire with an ensemble.
In classical music, cellists audition for playing jobs in orchestras and for admission into university or Conservatory programs or degrees. At a classical cello audition, the performer typically plays a movement from a Bach suite or a movement from a concerto and a variety of excerpts from the orchestral literature. Orchestral auditions are typically held in front of a panel that includes the conductor, the Concertmaster, the Principal cellist and other principal players.
The most promising candidates are invited to return for a second or third round of auditions, which allows the conductor and the panel to compare the best candidates. Performers may be asked to sight read orchestral music. The final stage of the audition process in some orchestras is a test week, in which the performer plays with the orchestra for a week or two, which allows the conductor and principal players to see if the individual can function well in an actual performance setting.
Performance jobs include playing as a freelancer in small groups, playing in a chamber music group, large ensembles, or performing solo music, either live onstage or as a session player for radio or TV broadcasts or for recordings; and working as the employee of an orchestra, big band, or recording studio. Many cello players find extra work by substituting ("subbing") for cellists who are double-booked or ill. It is hard for many cello players to be able to find full-time, full-year work at a single job. About the closest that a cellist can come to this is in the case of those who win an audition at a professional orchestra. Even full-time orchestra jobs do not usually last for the entire year. When the orchestra stops playing (which is often in the summer), orchestral cellists have to find other work, either as a teacher or coach, or in another group.
Teaching work for cellists includes giving private lessons in the home or at colleges and universities; coaching cellists who are preparing for recordings or auditions; doing group coaching at music camps or for youth ensembles; and working as a high school music teacher. Due to the limited number of full-time orchestral jobs, many classical cellists are not able to find full-time work with a single orchestra. Some cellists increase their employ-ability by learning several different styles, such as folk or pop.
In some cases, cellists supplement their performing and teaching income with other related music jobs, such as working as a stringed instrument repairer (luthier); as a contractor who hires musicians for orchestras or big bands, composing music, songwriting, conducting, or organizing festivals (e.g., Julian Armour).