AT FIRST, Emma Feilding didn't think she would be able to become a professional oboist. But she persevered, and found that as time went by enough work came her way to enable her to earn a living.
Nowadays she enjoys the range of work she gets – which includes performing new works with the Britten Sinfonia, as well as performing with opera and ballet companies, symphony orchestras and chamber ensembles.
It would be easy to think that a professional musician’s life is a heady round of glittering engagements, like that of a celebrated conductor or concert pianist. But most professional musicians’ lives are not like those of these ‘stars’ – nor would they want them to be. Like Emma, they are happier with regular and varied work, and the opportunity to make music with good colleagues who enjoy doing what they do.
Most professional musicians stress in their advice how resourceful and cooperative professionals have to be. Not getting on with people – or not being on the same wavelength as your fellow musicians – is a recipe for an empty engagement diary.