Chamber groups nearly always play with the music, as of course do orchestras. It's just soloists that seem to be expected to play without a score.
Do You Memorize Exam Pieces?
Posted 14 April 2017 - 10:31
I really think that generalisation is dangerous. I wouldn't want to write off the millions of professional and amateur musicians who prefer to perform with sheet music open in front of them as lacking heart or feeling without first testing the hypothesis: given a set of recordings of professional musicians, some using music, some playing from memory, can a bunch of normal audience-members tell which is which? Anyone tried it?
Sure, but we are talking about exam pieces here. Personally I play with the score in front of me though it's likely I don't look at it during the exam performance.