I learned from my niece, Mary, this summer that the proper title for "accompanist" is now "Collaborative Pianist". I don't know... I kinda like the old term better. It is true that accompanists work extremely closely with those whom they "accompany", and often the piano portion is just as difficult as the soloist's portion. But, the job of an accompanist is to work alongside, to do all they can to help their soloist do their best. That's my role and I like it. The term "Collaborative Pianist" elevates the position to a much more "equal" standing with the soloist. I like that too, but don't want to forget that I'm not the one people come to hear when they go to a concert or recital. I am there to help... to play in such a way that the soloist (ensemble) is in the spotlight. It's much like a frame around a picture. The right frame only accents the beauty of the picture. Too "gaudy" of a frame detracts attention, too simple of a frame doesn't do it justice.
Hmmmm.... just thinking.... that's how we should all be, I suppose... living our lives to focus on the ONE who truly deserves the attention, the praise, the focus. It's not about me.
Having said all that...anybody need an accompanist? I'm available and my rates are reasonable.