Hello Alena. Thank you for coming today to tell us about yourself, your fellow musicians and your music. Perhaps you would tell us first of all how you met Niklas and Pavel.
Since the summer of 2011 I have been taking part in the Verbier Festival, one of the very best music festivals in Europe. It is held in a little village in Switzerland, but there is an amazing concentration of world-leading instrumentalists, singers and conductors. The Festival has Symphony and Chamber orchestras, plus one youth orchestra and also has a very prestigious Academy – for soloists and chamber musicians.
During the summer of 2014 the Reaching Out programme for entrepreneurs was launched there and I was one of those lucky enough to be selected. All Academy and Reaching Out musicians received an invitation to an open party one evening, where we could enjoy playing through chamber music together. I went to that party and happened to be the only woodwind player there and no music was available for flute. However, I was invited to join the piano quintet and shared the 1st violin part with a very handsome violinist who was great fun to play music with: that was Niklas.
I did my Bachelor studies at the Royal Academy of Music, which I still consider my second home. One morning I came to the Music in Community lecture to discover that we had representatives from Live Music Now to talk about that amazing organisation. A pianist, who had studied at the Academy, gave a talk; I found it very interesting and approached him at the end to ask some questions. We discovered that we both knew about each other!
I had heard a lot about Pavel from several good friends of mine, but never got to meet him until that day. We both thought it would be a great idea to one day play through something together and have a chat over a cup of coffee. Two weeks after we met and played some chamber pieces together and since then we have played lots of concerts and won several auditions together. He has become one of my best friends as well as a great chamber partner.
How did the three of you come to play music together?
I have played with both of them on different occasions. I felt that both Pavel and Niklas had a similar approach to rehearsing and musical ideas were so similar between the three of us that I knew I must suggest for us to play together. Definitely it was one of the best suggestions I’ve ever made!
A happy beginning! The programme you are going to play for us looks very interesting.
Yes, flute, violin and piano as a chamber combination is very rare, but very exciting! We thought we would play all: trios, duos, solos to allow you to experience different sound worlds. We hope you will enjoy the pieces we have chosen just as much we love playing them!
And what about future engagements. Are you going to be busy in 2016?
Pavel is going for a solo concert tour in South Africa straight after our trio concert tour finishes. Niklas is a real jet-setter, never in one country for more than a week. I feel so privileged that he is joining us for this tour. In Spring he will be giving a solo recital and trio concert at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint-Petersburg and will be playing the Elgar violin concerto with the Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra in April, as he was awarded the Danish Critics Award in 2015. And as for me, in February I will be touring around Scotland with my wind quintet Atéa, giving 9 concerts altogether. And straight after the tour, I will be flying to the USA for a concert tour with my harpist Katherine Ventura. There I will also be giving flute masterclasses in several universities. And another event that I am very much looking forward to: Pavel and I will be giving a shared recital at the Wigmore Hall. So Winter and Spring are quite busy, but very exciting!
Thank you very much, Alena, for taking time out of your busy schedule to visit us here on the CMS blog. We look forward to your concert next month. Best wishes to all three of you for 2016.