The Basics: Leonard Bernstein's "5 Priorities"

BernsteinSam Pilafian was recently a forum speaker here at BYU. He gave an excellent talk on his musical influences, among whom was Leonard Bernstein, who taught him at Tanglewood. According to Sam (and I realize this is 3rd-generation information, but it’s good advice anyway), Bernstein said he had 5 priorities in picking musicians for an orchestra. No real surprises—the first three I often call the “3 non-negotiables” of performance—but the list is a good reminder of basic priorities:

1) Tone

2) Rhythm/Time

3) Intonation

4) Dynamics

5) Musicality