Playing (Less) Hurt


Please click here for a high resolution image for media._________________________

Janet Horvath won the gold medal in the Independant Publisher (I.P.P.Y.) Awards 2009! 

Find Janet at the Minnesota Orchestra! Visit the Minnesota Orchestra website for more information.

Let’s talk about something scary, something musicians are even more reticent to talk about than overuse injury. Hearing loss is on the rise and is a danger to all of us. Read Janet Horvath's white paper on hearing loss for more information.

Janet Horvath now has a regular column on Interlude HK a classical music online magazine. Her articles range from health issues relevant to professional and student musicians as well as humorous behind-the-scenes- stories about life as a musician. These articles are of interest to all musicians, giving excellent advice on strategies to deal with existing injuries as well as how to avoid injury, and gives an insiders view of all things music!

Janet Horvath's article on "Posture Pointers" appears in a 2006 issue of Strings Magazine. This article is an excellent overview of the all-important issue of posture and how it relates to tension and injury. Ms. Horvath discusses "Risky Postures," "Tension" and its relationship to posture, "Natural" postures, as well as other points related to appropriate posture for performing musicians.

When you hear the words "Mahler's Fifth," you probably think "great music." Janet Horvath wants you to think "phenomenal athleticism." Horvath, associate principal cellist of the Minnesota Orchestra and a pioneer in performing arts medicine, has been on a mission to get musicians, instructors and management to realize that playing any instrument is physically demanding. (Interview by Chrys Wu)


"If you're an orchestral musician you could be at serious risk of long-term hearing damage. Janet Horvath looks at some simple and effective solutions."The Strad (December 2004)


The Atlantic publishes Janet's essay "A Musician Afraid of Sound"

Janet's hope is that the essay will reach mainstream audiences, teachers and students. Everyone should protect themselves from the possibility of a noise induced injury.

Click here to read "A Musician Afraid of Sound" by Janet Horvath.


Press Kit

Please click on the link below for the Playing (Less) Hurt PRESS KIT -  for more information from Hal Leonard, sample pages, and graphics

The Woman's Connection, New York Television Interview

  This thirty minute interview is a great introduction to Ms. Horvath's work and her presentation style. This mini-seminar is chock full of details about injury prevention.


Musical America Special Report: Musician's Health free download


FREE DOWNLOAD of the Musical America national magazine feature of May 2012. Get pointers, information about health care providers in your area and how to sustain a long injury free career. 


Click here to download an important report on musicians health care.


News, Video Interviews with Janet Horvath, Resources

Click on this link to see several short videos of Janet speaking about her work.


 A Sound Ear II Hearing study

 Click to download the landmark hearing study from the U.K.

The Control Of Noise at Work Regulations 2005 and their impact on Orchestras published by the Association of British Orchestras, February, 2008.
by Alison Wright Reid

Sound Annoyance Research Survey Announced.

Anyone who is disturbed by sounds in thier daily life, or at their workplace is invited to participate.


Audio Interviews:


How can musicians play with ease and avoid injury?

Making music at any level is a powerful gift. While musicians have endless resources for learning the basics of their instruments and the theory of music, few books have explored the other subtleties and complexities that musicians face in their quest to play with ease and skill. With alarming frequency, musiciansamateur and professionalexperience serious injuries. The demands of solitary practice, hectic rehearsal schedules, challenging repertoire, performance pressures, awkward postures and other physical strains have left a trail of injured, hearing-impaired and frustrated musicians who have had few resources to guide them.


Janet's book, Playing (Less) Hurt, is essential for all musicians who want to play better and feel better.

Playing (Less) Hurt, a readable and comprehensive reference work, addresses this need with specific tools to avoid and alleviate injury. Impressively researched, this book is invaluable not only to musicians but also to coaches and medical professionals who work with them. Everyone form orthopedists, neurologists, massage therapists and trainers will benefit from Janet Horvath's coherent account of the physiology and psyche of a practicing musician. Written with knowledge, sympathetic insight, humor and aplomb, Horvath has created an essential guide for all musicians who want to play better and feel better and for anyone concerned with music-making: professional and amateur musicians, teachers and students, doctors and therapists and the managers of student and professional orchestras and schools.



“We musicians seem to be willing to self destruct in order to achieve our goals."

"We are willing to tolerate any obstacle in order to recreate the great masterworks of music with passion, and musicality, only to be thwarted by pain and injury. Our identities are wrapped up in our playing. It is our life not merely a vocation. When an injury occurs, our devastation is such that we feel that we are not only inadequate musicians, we feel undesirable and failures as people. This book is intended for any instrumentalist and those who care for them. Our goal is to play with more ease and to prolong our careers. Unlike other athletes, a musician's career oftentimes lasts decades. In order to be successful and avoid the possibility of injury, we must understand the challenges that may occur. Professional and amateur musicians, teachers and students, classical, jazz and rock musicians and doctors and therapists need to understand the risks, the danger signals and what to do should injury strike,” says Horvath, the Minnesota Orchestra’s Associate Principal Cellist for more than three decades.


In the United States today there are nearly 63 million instrumental musicians, both professional and amateur.

These musicians pursue their passion for making music on a daily basis. Musicians are prepared for the many challenges they face, which include a highly competitive environment, performance anxiety and the isolation and innumerable hours of solitary practice, but only recently have they begun to grapple with the biggest challenge of all: the significant obstacles of physical pain and disability.


In her book, Playing (Less) Hurt, Horvath addresses subjects that are pertinent to any instrumentalistt.

The first chapters of the book address how injuries can arise in the course of one's musical life. The second section goes into considerable medical depth to explain various injuries common to instrumentalists. The next section offers a wide-ranging compendium of preventative and restorative approaches, and finally the last section contains a comprehensive multi-page resource guide.


“This is a practical, usable guide with a wide range of hints,” Janet Horvath explains.

“Teachers will learn how to select an instrument appropriately sized for their students and to learn injury prevention techniques. Performers can take the injury susceptibility quiz to determine their vulnerability. Ms Horvath's book provides a wide compendium of information covering proper posture, ergonomics, good practise habits, warmups, instrument modifications and rehabilitation strategies. Ninety stretches and onstage tricks are drawn in caricature form, whimsically done and approachable for the youngest musician. These very helpful tips for tension reduction and for injury prevention can even be done onstage while performing. There are photos of the latest in instrument modifications, chairs, props and splints.”


Playing (Less) Hurt, is an indispensable resource.

Horvath has compiled an extensive resource list that includes books, videos, articles, and web sites for further information. She has listed where to find ergonomic products, modified instruments and other tools which can increase the comfort of playing a musical instrument. Performing arts medicine facilities and doctors knowledgeable in the field are also listed - all vital information for any musician.


As a professional symphony orchestra musician, a soloist and chamber musician, Horvath has become a trail-blazer in the music world.

Horvath openly speaks and writes about the physical stresses she and many other musicians have experienced. She has contributed importantly to improvements in working conditions and in awareness for musicians’ work-related ailments and their prevention. She has written numerous articles which have appeared in National and International publications including the Strad Magazine, Strings Magazine, The International Musician, The Suzuki Association of Americas Journal and Orthopedics Today. She has been the subject of numerous interviews in newspapers,and musician newsletters. One such interview appeared, in Symphony Magazine in the March/April issue of 2003. An Associated Press article appeared in 2003.


Playing (Less) Hurt, Injury Prevention Seminars, Lectures and Private Consultations, Classes and Consultations

Nationally recognized authority and pioneer in the area of the medical problems of performing artists, Horvath founded the Playing (Less) Hurt Injury Prevention Conferences. She has published articles in professional journals, she has appeared on radio and television programs, and she is in demand for her injury prevention seminars. Ms Horvath has presented seminars at several national conferences, colleges, conservatories, universities and for symphony orchestras including The Utah Symphony, The San Francisco Symphony, The San Francisco Opera, The Boston Symphony, The Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra  the International Conference of Symphony and Opera Musicians (ICSOM) and the New World Symphony (Miami). 

Her book has been used as a textbook at numerous colleges and Ms. Horvath has addressed college classes at McNally Smith College of Music, Winona State University, and Boston Conservatory, the Longy School of Music and Concordia University. She has presented at festivals including at Tanglewood and the Bowdoin International Music Festival and at hospitals including the Artists Health Centre at Toronto's Western Hospital.

In May of 2003 the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra set a precedent as the first major American orchestra  to host her seminars as a mandatory administrative service for musicians using rehearsal time for the presentation. She is also available for master classes and for private consultations. For more information regarding the content, lengths and fees of her presentations click here (Coming Soon)


"I couldn't be more thrilled with how the word is getting out"

"The field of Performing Arts Medicine is growing fast and the new information in the new Hal Leonard edition keeps current with the latest developments. Based on the many letters of thanks I have received from musicians, teachers, students, parents and medical professionals, it is extremely gratifying to see that the book is filling an important need. It does not have to hurt to play. Playing (Less) Hurt has spurred more interest in the field of performing arts medicine and professional orchestras and teachers are becoming more proactive in working to prevent injuries. Conferences and seminars on injury prevention are now springing up all over the country.”



For general questions about Playing (Less) Hurt - An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians, please email

For inquiries about consulting or seminars with Janet, please email

Publicity is being handled by Jamie Nelson from New Jersey. Her contact information is via telephone at (973) 337-5034 ext 203 or via email at

Hal Leonard Books ISBN# 9781423488460



Janet Horvath, author, cellist, advocate

Janet Horvath, wears many hats. She has been the associate principal cello of the Minnesota Orchestra for over three decades, is also a soloist, writer, anti-racism spokesperson and award winning advocate for injury prevention.

Orchestra Musician and Soloist

Born in Toronto, Canadian native Janet Horvath joined the Minnesota Orchestra in 1980 as associate principal cello. She has appeared frequently as soloist with the Minnesota Orchestra as well other orchestras.

In 2010 she was the guest soloist for the choral group One Voice and performed a Holocaust Cantata for chorus, soloists, solo cello and piano.


Horvath made her international recital debut in London’s Wigmore Hall in 1986; she has subsequently performed in recitals throughout the United States, Canada, Europe and Asia.

Chamber Musician

An active chamber musician, Janet has performed at the Mainly Mozart Festival and the Marlboro and Blossom festivals. In 2010 she performed the Bloch Piano Quintet, Ravel Trio for violin piano and cello, Elgar’s Piano Quintet as well as Astor Piazzolla’s Grand Tango for Cello and Piano for which she commissioned Tango dancers.

Anti-Racism Educator

Janet is committed to fighting genocide. She has recently created written and produced a multi-media anti-racism work entitled

It’s Not Too Late to Stop the Hate. She tells her parents' story in verse while 175 archival photos are presented in a slide show and she performs her cello at several key places in the work. Intended for students and their families it is 25 minutes of reflection on lessons from the Holocaust and other Genocides.


Horvath is a recognized authority and pioneer in the area of medical problems of performing artists. She is a recipient of the Richard J. Lederman Lecture Award presented by the Performing Arts Medicine Association. She has published numerous articles in professional journals on the subject. She initially self-published her book,

page1image17312Playing (less) Hurt—An Injury Prevention Guide for Musicians.

Her 2009 edition won the gold medal in the health category from the Independent Publishers Book Awards 2009, and attracted the attention of the world- wide publisher Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group. The book is now available Internationally at and in a rewritten, redesigned and updated 2010 edition.

Horvath’s noted seminars have been presented for professional orchestras, for youth orchestras, at conservatories, conferences, festivals, workshops and for hospitals from coast to coast and recently at the Westminster Reference Library of the Performing Arts, in London England.

A trail-blazer in speaking and writing openly about the physical stresses experienced by musicians she has contributed importantly to the awareness of musicians’ work- related ailments and their prevention.

Horvath received a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto and a Master’s degree from Indiana University. Her teachers have included George Horvath (her late father) who was a member of the Toronto Symphony for 38 years, Vladimir Orloff and Janos Starker.