Percussion Soloist vs Solo Percussionist

Ah, semantics at play, but a real distinction here. I’ve been reading a lot lately about various people being solo percussionists. Now, they all play with various orchestras and chamber groups. Hmmmm, let’s look at the word solo:
  • solo |ˈsōlō|
  noun ( pl. -los)
  1 - a thing done by one person unaccompanied
OK, I admire these percussionists a lot and find no fault with their actual performing or percussion abilities, but I do ask, “Are they really solo percussionists?” 
Let’s look at someone like Andrea Centazzo. He has a one man percussion & electronics performance, Einstein’s Cosmic Messenger (ECM), that he has performed around the world, with just himself playing on stage. This is a true solo performance. Even for myself, I perform my GONGTOPIA shows alone, with no other musicians. In the true spirit of the word solo, I would say that Andrea and I are solo percussionists. In the realm of percussionists who mainly play concertos and percussion solo pieces with orchestras and other groups, I would call them percussion soloists. This might sound picky, especially over a matter of semantics, but for the past 10 years I have performed, alone on stage, as a solo percussionist. So I feel that there is a real distinction between the two ideas.
~ MB


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