Helen Wilson

How long have you been playing the flute?

Since I was 9.... So 19 years!

What made you decide to play the flute?

I liked how it looked, how it sounded, my mum liked that it was easy to carry, but mainly there was a girl at school a few years older that played it and I thought she was really cool and I had a choice between flute and clarinet so I chose flute!

Where did you study?

Chetham's School of Music and the Royal Northern College of Music

What's your favourite thing about playing in a chamber group?

I love the interaction on and off stage. We have to rehearse hard to get the music really tight and together for a performance - but it's the level of trust that we build with one another during that time that allows us to be so free and spontaneous on stage. We're all always looking for a way to make the others smile and I know that if I play something differently the others will follow with me and vice versa. It means we're always kept on our toes and each performance is fresh!

Orchestral Credits:

BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestra of the Opera North, John Wilson Orchestra, Hallé Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra, Multi-Story Orchestra, Sinfonia Cymru, Welsh National Opera Orchestra (extras list), Royal Ballet Sinfonia (extras list), European Union Youth Orchestra, National Youth Orchestra of GB.

 

Musical Theatre Credits:

An American in Paris (west end) current chair holder, Phantom of the Opera UK Tour - deputy, Sound of Music (Leicester Curve) - deputy.

 

Awards and Scholarships:

Concordia Artist, Park Lane Group Artist, ABRSM scholarship for postgraduate study, Countess of Munster Postgraduate Award, Musicians Benevolent Trust Postgraduate Award, Harriet Cohen Award Winner, RNCM Gold Medal Winner, RNCM Concerto Competition Winner, RNCM Woodwind Soloist Competition Winner, British Flute Society Performance Plus Competition Winner, Royal Overseas League Competition Finalist, BBC Young Musician of the Year Woodwind Finalist 2006

 

Other:

Ossian Ensemble (contemporary), Ensemble Deva, Mistral Flute and Harp Duo, F-ire Collective, National Youth Jazz Orchestra, Flute teacher at the University of Manchester and Wimbledon High School for Girls.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not playing the flute?

I'm a huge Strictly Come Dancing fan and recently began Latin/ballroom dance lessons and go to the odd swing dance class!!!! I wouldn't exactly say I'm any good but I absolutely love it!

What is your favourite piece to play with Tempest?

I love playing Niederau by Gary Carpenter - the whole work but particularly the last movement! It was the first commission we had written for us and I never get tired of it. It has everything - slow music, fast music, lyricism, attack, groove and a tonne of virtuosity!

More about Helen...
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