James Bennett II is a staff writer for WQXR.
Step Inside the Life of LA Phil Pianist Joanne Pearce Martin
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 10:36 AM
Several weeks ago, digital media platform Mashable launched How She Works, a series that profiles professional women and their diverse occupations. Their most recent entry centers on a day in the life of Los Angeles Philharmonic keyboardist Joanne Pearce Martin.
As you would expect, Martin’s life revolves around music. She starts every day with some playing, even if it’s the simplest of pieces. And practicing is as non-negotiable as brushing one’s teeth. “There are no shortcuts,” she explains in the profile, “and as a pro, I need to be [at the] top of my game every day.” Martin also explains how she takes excellent care of her hands — in the world of a concert pianist, your ability to play really is everything and a routine task like chopping up produce is “more dangerous than skydiving.”
But the best part about her job right now is the privilege that comes with playing at the Walt Disney Concert Hall. She’s in love with the atmosphere, acoustics and the colleagues with whom she gets to talk about music every day. One hour before performances, she slips into a private room and sits at a piano. Martin focuses on the music at hand and channels a “healthy excitement” before going onstage to share the gift with an eager audience.
Check out her profile, then continue on to watch her organ work.