In 2002/2003 I was awarded the Anne Reid Scholarship towards my studies in Germany. It was of course a huge help in getting me through my two year degree in Freiburg. In Germany the tuition fees are small but the cost of living is high! Having a scholarship allowed me for the first time to concentrate on my flute playing alone and acclimatise to the new country, language and culture.
My studies at the Freiburg Music University were fantastic. I began my with Prof. Mirijam Nastasi and then changed teachers in my second semester to Robert Aitken. Bob Aitken was my ‘ideal teacher’ when I was studying in New Zealand and it was great to have a dream fulfilled!! Bob is a very special character, very talented musician and a gifted flute player and teacher. Every lesson would start with a simple melody where we would only concentrate on making a beautiful sound – a tradition passed on to him from Marcel Moyse, the father of the French Flute School. I was very lucky to have Bob for the last two years that he spent in Freiburg.
I finished my studies in Freiburg in 2005, completing my exam with excellence. I then went on to complete a postgraduate program in Orchestral Studies at the Orchesterzentrum in Dortmund with Gunhild Ott, the Solo Flutist of the SWR Orchestra in Freiburg. This program trained me for the orchestral audition scene in Germany with many mock auditions with orchestral players from all over Germany. In November 2006 I won my first contract with the South West German Philharmonic in Konstanz. Contracts followed in 2009 with the Philharmonic Orchestra of Kiel, then in 2010 in Bremen (Bremer Philharmoniker) and in 2012 I won a permanent position of Solo Piccolo in the Philharmonic Orchestra in Kiel. This job keeps me very busy with performances of Opera, Ballet, Operette and Symphony Concerts! I really love having the opportunity to play Opera and Ballet every week with an incredibly varied program. www.theater-kiel.de Aside from orchestral work, I also have an active chamber music life! I spent a few years with the new music ensemble Selisih based in Freiburg. During this time we performed in Cambodia,
Indonesia, New Zealand and of course all over Germany. We performed many New Zealand works including commissions from Dylan Lardelli, Robin Toan and Chris Cree Brown. Our work was enabled by the Goethe Institut and Creative New Zealand. This was a fabulous time and I really enjoyed getting New Zealand works heard in my new adopted home! At the other end of the spectrum I am involved with very early music, playing the Renaissance Flute as part of Schola Stralsundensis. www.scholastralsundensis.de We have just released our first CD under the label Ramee “Petitiones Cordis” and perform regularly in Germany and Holland.
I really encourage all music students who are thinking about overseas study to go for it! It is incredibly intimidating at the beginning dealing with a completely new culture, possibly a new language and being so far from home. This scholarship really helped me get through my first couple of years here in Germany – thank you so much!!!
viele Grüße, Elizabeth Farrell