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JOHN CAREY COMPOSITIONS SERVICES
My rates vary considerably depending on the nature of the event for which I am hired. Please try to include as much information as possible when contacting me, particularly:
 
 
  1.  Date and time of event
 
  1.  Location of event (will I be required to travel? If so, will travel expenses be payed for?)
 
  1.  Type of event (concert, wedding, funeral, audition, cocktail party, etc.)
 
  1.  Type(s) / genre(s) of music I will be playing (names of specific pieces / songs, if applicable)
 
  1.  Will sheet music be provided?
 
  1.  Will I be required to improvise?
 
  1.  Will my playing be featured, or in the background?
 
  1.  Will there be a break?
 
  1.  Will I be playing solo or as part of an ensemble?
 
  1.  Size of audience
 
  1.  Will the performance be recorded?
 
 
Once all the pertinent details have been discussed, I will send an email with a contract containing my signature. I will only consider myself committed to the event once this email has been signed and returned to me. I will generally expect to be paid immediately at the conclusion of the event / performance unless otherwise designated in the contract.
Background as a Pianist
 
Since my earliest memories, the piano was with me. My first foray into composition was at about age four, when I began to take an interest in improvisation (at this point I had virtually no musical education). When I serendipitously discovered major/minor triads and the pentatonic scale, I would sit at the piano for hours, not knowing what I was doing, but overjoyed at my newfound vehicle of self-expression. At about 7, I learned the fundamentals of piano technique and how to read music from my mother, and slowly started playing through a course of lesson books for children, but my development was rather slow. I loved to play, but I hated to practice, and for quite a few years my primary interests were found in other activities (specifically computers and creative writing).
 
Piano remained a hobby of mine that I enjoyed but hardly progressed with, until the age of twelve, when I discovered Beethoven’s Sonata Pathétique. Upon first hearing this work, I experienced feelings that I had no idea existed within me, let alone could be conjured through the simple act of listening to music. In that instant, I vowed to learn the piece, despite the fact that I had yet to learn much of anything outside my beginners’ lesson books.
 
Nevertheless, I proceeded to learn the sonata, never feeling discouraged about my complete lack of any real technique. And somehow, against all odds, I learned it. And from that point forward, no challenge seemed insurmountable. I soon began taking piano lessons for the first time in my life, and within two years, I had expanded my repertoire to an remarkable extent (learning works such as Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, Mendelssohn’s Rondo Capriccioso, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, and Liszt’s Mephisto Waltz No. 1), given my first solo piano recital, performed abroad in a Jazz band, and developed a formidable reputation locally as an accompanist.
 
Though I have been told that the pace at which I developed is quite unusual, it honestly never struck me as unusual until quite a few years had passed -- I merely decided that I was going to tackle a new challenge, and followed through with it, never once wondering if it was beyond my capabilities. This attitude I had of never considering limitations combined with the help of my first piano teacher, Marie Mendelow, who nurtured my abilities without ever restraining my unceasing ambition, allowed me to develop musically at an extraordinary rate, which has led me to achieve a level of playing where there is virtually nothing within the standard repertoire beyond my technical abilities.
 
 
Professional Experience
 
Accompanist / Collaborative Pianist
 
I have performed extensively as an accompanist in a wide variety of venues. Some examples of settings in which I have been hired to accompany other musicians are:
 
  1.  Auditions
  2.  Demo tapes
  3.  Lectures
  4.  Master classes
  5.  Solo recitals
  6.  Religious services
  7.  Theatrical productions (operas and musical theatre)
 
To successfully accompany another musician, a pianist must view both the rehearsal process and performance(s) as a team effort -- this is why, in recent years, the term “collaborative pianist” has become preferred by many accompanists to describe their work. The best accompanists will work closely with those they are accompanying to ensure that they achieve dynamic balance and provide musical nuance in the same way they would in a solo performance. In my work as a collaborative pianist, I first endeavor to truly understand the composer’s intentions; when this is accomplished, I then strive to assist soloists in achieving their own musical vision. In the case of orchestral works that have been reduced for piano, I believe it is important to study the full score in order to best imitate the sound the composer originally desired.
 
 
Concert Pianist
 
My primary area of expertise is in the realm of concert music, and I am reasonably comfortable with the technical demands of most composers. Because of this, and the fact that I am also a composer, I try to make an effort to expose the works of composers that are performed less frequently -- this includes both contemporary works, and works of the past by composers considered to be “obscure”. To provide an example, here is a performance I gave of a piece by Kaikhosru Sorabji, a 20th century composer and a musical genius who has literally written over a hundred works (many exceeding three hours in length) that are virtually never heard.
 
I am always thrilled to be approached by fellow composers who want me to perform their music. When performing contemporary works, I make an effort to highlight the music’s unique qualities, as well as provide a sense of showmanship to my performances to help make pieces that are challenging for most audiences more accessible -- for example, I recently gave a recital that contained works by Berg, Cage, and Sorabji, and found that almost everyone in the audience (even those with no musical background or experience with modern music) responded to the 20th century works better than the Beethoven and Scarlatti sonatas I also included in the program! I believe that with enough attention to detail and musical nuance, as well as a sense of performance flair on the part of the musician(s), many audiences who might have shied away from most contemporary works in any other circumstances can find something to appreciate and even enjoy in music that they might have otherwise considered inaccessible.
 
 
Studio Musician
 
Due to my Classical background, the music that I am required to play in most professional settings is rarely challenging, and usually sight-readable. This is quite beneficial in the studio setting, where flawless performances are required despite having little to no opportunity to practice the music. I consider sight-reading to be one of my biggest strengths, along with being able to perform accurately under pressure, two traits that are generally considered to be essential for studio musicians.
 
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What I have listed above are the situations for which my services are primarily needed. If you need a pianist for an event / performance that does not fit into any of the above categories, please contact me with a description of the services required -- it is likely to be something that I have done before and am capable of.
 
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Detailed information about the variety of services I provide.