This week I bring you a new interview! An interview that begins to complete all the interviews to the wonderful Quintessenz Flute Ensemble from Leipzig. You can read the other interviews here. I’m sure you will enjoy them!
In this interview you will know a little bit more the first flute of Quintessenz, but she is also none other than one of the principal flutes of the Gewandhaus Orchestra and, since 2017, Chamber Music Professor on the Music University in Leipzig. She is Anna Garzuly-Wahlgren.
- How did you begin in music?
Being unstoppable at singing in the nursery, my parents were advised to put me in a music school, where we had a lot of choir -what I loved. I started to play the flute at the age of 9.
- What’s the most curious thing that has happened to you in your career as musician?
The most curious things happen while meeting people on new places where you play. Being in a hotel in Houston I asked for a room where I could practice. The manager gave me the only empty room: the biggest conference room on the attic overlooking the city – it was beautiful. It just had to be painted while I was practicing… As it was not a smelly paint I took the hall, shook hands with the painter and started to practice. We worked both hard for two hours, and around me the whole room changed from white to a light blue in this time. That was really lovely.
- How did you join the Gewandhausorchester? Is it so difficult as it looks being part of an orchestra like that?
I was 24 when I`ve got my job at the Gewandhaus Orchestra, just after finishing my studies with Jeanne Baxtresser in NY. My major was called ” Master in Orchestral Performance” – that was the perfect preparation to get through an audition for a big orchestra. Being part of an orchestra always require a dedicated musician, lots of individual preparation, team spirit, flexibility and responsibility. We have the wonderful opportunity to play with great players, get challenged on many levels – it keeps you growing musically and personally the whole time.
- How did you begin with the Quintessenz Flute Ensemble? After more than 20 years, how do you feel in Quintessenz nowadays?
We started Quintessenz right away in my probation year, on the initiative of Christian and Gudrun. What started as cosy afternoon sight reading and having coffee, grew quickly in a professional direction. We started to arrange music for our ensemble, organised concerts and worked eagerly on our ensemble qualities. It was quite an experiment, because there were not really other ensembles like us to compare with. Now I enjoy a lot the level what we achieved together, the uplifting moments of beauty and challenge in the concerts.
- Now you are Chamber Music Professor in the HMT in Leipzig. Where come your love for chamber music from?
Chamber music was always a part of me, even at the very beginning – I hated playing alone, so I was always singing and playing the duetts of my flutebook with myself and my flute. I think that sounded horrible… but I had much more fun with it than playing alone. My music school teacher had a renaissance recorder ensemble which I joined. And I played everything what was required: all kind of recorders, flutes, krumhorn – that was great fun and a good preparation for later. As a professional musician I always kept playing chamber music next to my orchestra job, so now I am very happy to work with students with this amazing literatur.
- How do you see the current musical outlook?
There are wonderful musicians around! The world opened up; we mixed also musically and learned immense through globalization, the level developed everywhere. On the other hand, the urge for perfection and for always new faces are leading the focus away from the real musical personalities. For students it is more difficult to find their right way to choose among so many options and to stick with it. In the musical industry I would wish more fantasie, more flexibility and daring for new ways of doing things.
- And finally, some advise for our readers.
Music is a bless – it doesn’t matter if we are professionals, amateurs or just love to listen to music. The music let us see and feel the world differently, it kicks our fantasy and connects us, we enjoy and get inspired. Keep listening to and making music and pass on this wonderful gift around you!
Thank you so much to my first patron “International Flutist”: Pepe Sotorres
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