Mungunchimeg Buriad - Ballet Pianist


Mungunchimeg-32001- present:  Company Pianist, The Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, USA
Pianists for singers or the ones that performs with other musicians can play while listening to each other's cues. On the other hand ballet pianists are different from those pianists, because we play while just looking at the ballerinas performing, so it means our rhythms must match their choreography.

It requires that we must have plenty of knowledge of musical numbers because we don't know what kind of music we need during the practice sessions.
Every teacher, and each practice session differs from each other. Each practice session lasts about 1 1/2 hours. Each movement or choreography requires five minutes, so you can do the math when it comes to how much of a musical knowledge is required from ballet pianists. It not only requires ability to know and play musical numbers, but also ability to come up with fresh and new music on our own. We don't get much time to compose. We just have short period of time while the teachers are choreographing the moves. These are just a few, but very important distinction between concert pianists and ballet pianists. Concert pianists can learn how to play with other performers when they are at music school. But ballet pianists don't have same program, so it basically requires us to go out there and learn it while working. So, one of my wish is that I would like to teach and coach those new coming ballet pianists with my knowledge.

Each year USCIS awards number of immigrants for their success and contribution to the society. In 2004, USCIS awarded four people in Chicago area, and I was one of the recipients. It was big surprise to me, and I was little nervous furring the award ceremony. The MC of the award ceremony requested for me to play, so I performed Chopin's waltz #7.

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