What's your favorite seating arrangement?

Discussion in 'Orchestral Technique [DB]' started by csrund, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. csrund

    csrund Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Bloomington, Ind.
    Just curious about your preferences. The vast majority of concerts I've played, the section is relegated to the Stokowski "stage right" position (at times behind the celli; and at other times behind the second fiddles). I've never played stage left, although I think the natural inclination of the instrument and playing posture makes more sense that way.

    A couple of seasons ago for the Verdi Requiem, our director placed us in the operatic or Vienna Phil style arrangement, in an elevated row across the back of the orchestra, behind the woodwinds, which I really loved—great head-on view of the conductor, and it gave the sense that we were washing the bass sounds over the whole orchestra. The downside is being distanced from the other strings. (On an earlier occasion, we were seated similarly, except behind the horns—with bells pointing right at us, blasting us the whole time. Hearing protection definitely required—terribly frustrating and fatiguing, and I hope not to be put in that arrangement ever again.)

    What's your preference for seating arrangement in the orchestra?
  2. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    It all depends on the hall and the size of the piece, but in general I prefer behind the violins. Downside is that horns can get thick sounding and make it hard to connect to the orchestra. Plus is a much better connection treble to bass in the strings for pitch, sound/articulation and timing.
  3. bengreen


    Jan 26, 2016
    San Diego
    Mostly like to be near the cellos since we double so often.

    Left/right, biggest issue for me (as usually 5 or 6 position) is which brass I'm next to. Horns hurt a LOT more than trombones or tuba.
  4. Adrian Holtz

    Adrian Holtz

    Feb 24, 2019
    did the idyllwild stringfest camp a few years back and we sat (starting left to right) 1sts, 2nds, celli, viola, with bass behind the cello and viola. and low brass was stage left. we had a epic viola section so it was awesome to get to hear them so well. the dark tones of the bass and viola blending that well sounded fat af
  5. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    This thread caught my attention because I'm the staff photographer for the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic. The bass section is always stage left behind the cellos. Here's their recent concert at Disney Hall in June.

  6. csrund

    csrund Supporting Member

    Feb 7, 2011
    Bloomington, Ind.
    Is that @LouisF sitting in the assistant's chair?
  7. KohanMike

    KohanMike Gold Supporting Member

    I don't know which the assistants chair is, but yep, Louis Fantasia, @LouisF, is in the bass section. Didn't know he's on TalkBass.

Share This Page