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On That Note: Staying Healthy as a Working (and Traveling) Musician


Every month, Lake Effect talks with cellist Robert Cohen about life as a professional musician in the On That Note series.

When we spoke last month, Cohen was on his way to Finland to participate in a brand new festival on music and wellness. Since then, his own wellness has been tested by the constant traveling that often comes with a musician's work. 

"One is reminded, every time you do it that suitcases are very heavy sometimes, and getting in and out of trains and cars and sleeping in strange beds, or not sleeping properly in strange beds, and eating at odd times, all of things; none of those things really... [help with] a healthy existence," he says. 

Despite the stresses of traveling, he and his fellow musicians manage to pull it together when it comes time for a concert and remain relatively well throughout a tour. 

"You can feel absolutely, completely wiped out in the morning after a long concert, after days of traveling. And yet, somehow, you can pick yourself up, go into another rehearsal, work again on the music and how to improve it, and then get back on the stage that evening," says Cohen. "Somehow the adrenaline and everything lifts you." 

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Bonnie North
Bonnie joined WUWM in March 2006 as the Arts Producer of the locally produced weekday magazine program Lake Effect.
For 35 years one of the worlds leading cello soloist, Robert Cohen is an award-winning recording artist, conductor, artistic director and pedagogue who has been broadcast on TV and radio throughout the world. His passionate views on the art of learning, performing and communicating music have been widely published.