When I was nine, I started learning the piano and soon after I began playing the saxophone at school. I was then given a flute as a present and enjoyed trying to teach myself how to play it. The flute quickly took over from the other instruments and I was soon given a place at music school. My time at St Mary’s Music School in Edinburgh was amazing. I had so many fantastic opportunities to perform and learn with the best musicians and teachers in the country, and it was an inspiring place to grow up as a young musician.
At the age of 17, I began my studies at the Royal College of Music (RCM), where I was fortunate enough to study with almost all of the RCM’s brilliant flute teachers. During my time there, I was given the opportunity to work with conductors such as Bernard Haitink, Vladimir Ashkenazy and Roger Norrington who all inspired me towards a career in orchestral playing. In the final year of my master’s degree, I was selected for the BBC Symphony Orchestra Pathways Scheme, which gave me the chance to rehearse with the orchestra throughout their entire season and be mentored by the orchestra’s flute section.
I had a particular interest in historical performance whilst at the RCM and I enjoyed learning the Baroque flute with the great musician, Rachel Brown. This led to playing with the Britten Pears Baroque Orchestra, which confirmed my love of period instrument performance.
On the other end of the music spectrum, I’m also very passionate about the performance of new music. In 2012, with some of my friends, we formed the contemporary music group, Explore Ensemble. Since then we have performed at St John’s Smith Square, Handel House, The Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and we’re looking forward to our upcoming debut at Kings Place.
Royal College of Music
What is your favourite piece of music, and why do you love it?
Not an easy question! But the composers that are the most special to me are Mozart, Mahler, Ravel, Sibelius, Stravinsky… It’s really impossible for me to pick a single piece, but I love the symphonies of Sibelius. The music evokes an incredible sense of landscape and expansiveness. It was his music that convinced me to go to the Sibelius Academy in Finland for an exchange when I was in my third year at college.
What do you do with your time when you’re not playing music?
When I’m not playing I’m probably eating. I love food. I like to find the best food around London from any cuisine. I also really like to walk in the fresh air and quiet of the country. I would love to climb the Scottish Munros. I attempted my first Munro this summer, but the mission was quickly abandoned due to horrendous weather. I’ll try to be more prepared next time!