Concert musicians "Brahms and Liszt" with stage fright
By Roger Boyes in Berlin
Doping is not just the preserve of suspiciously muscular Tour de France cyclists and incredibly swift sprinters but also, it seems, earnest frock-coated musicians playing Brahms and Liszt on the world's best concert podiums.
"Between 25 and 30 per cent of musicians regularly take tablets or alcohol to combat performance anxiety," says Helmut Möller, head of Berlin's Kurt Singer Institute for Musical Health. Almost paralysed by stage fright, many musicians – and Professor Möller is not talking about Amy Winehouse or the usual suspects from the rock scene – guzzle beta-blockers, medication usually prescribed for heart problems.
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