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Bruges Bandstand. Photo: Valerie Kampmeier

 

“Every artist was first an amateur.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Over the years, as a professional musician, I have often heard the term ‘amateur’ used in a pejorative sense. It is frequently used to mean someone who is a second-rate musician or artist, or not serious about what they are doing.

Yet what does the term amateur actually mean? The original word derives from the Latin ‘amator’, lover, from ‘amare’ to love. And how often do we experience that an amateur can be more in love with what they are doing than a professional? [···]

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