Introducing the truly beautiful flautist, Kathrin Christians. Having played the flute from a young age, Kathrin is first class talent, with a clear unconditional dedication to her instrument and her art. It’s always so wonderful to meet young classical artists who carry such passion for this genre of music, and who play with such depth of emotion. I’ve heard a number of recordings by Kathrin, and was really blown away by the clarity of her technique and rich tones as a flautist.
Having won numerous prizes in international awards from “The World Competition” (Australia), to the Lions Music Competition, and actually winning in two successive years, the Music Competition of the City of Heppenheim, Kathrin has a seriously bright future ahead of her and I can’t wait to see her continue to rise as an international success.
Here’s our little chat below:
Kathrin, thank you so much for joining Meander! How are you?
Hi, its a pleasure! I’m well thank you, just on the train to Leipzig for a few upcoming concerts I have!
Oh, that sounds exciting! Good luck. You’re my first flautist on the blog – pretty exciting! How old were you when you began playing the flute, and did you take to it quite naturally?
It was quite a challenge to start. I actually started to sing at the age of three, and at age four began to play the recorder, but it didn’t really give me the sound I wanted to produce. After lots of research, I actually told my parents I wanted to play the bagpipe – at the age of 6! Yes, their reaction was the same as yours is probably right now! So they decided to help me find the right instrument…! When I was nine years old, they sent my to a music school to try out the flute, and I fell in love with it almost straight away! The minute I played the flute, I had no doubt this was the instrument for me.
Wow! That must have been a pretty amazing moment. So you mentioned singing, do you still sing?
I sang just as much as I played the flute when I was young, it was very close to my heart, but eventually I had to make the decision to commit to one or the other professionally! I still do sing though, from time to time! This year I’m actually singing at a very dear friend’s wedding which I’m really looking forward to!
I read that at the age of 23, you became the first flautist with the Heidelberg Symphony Orchestra – that must have been an incredible experience? Did you feel you learnt a lot during your time with the orchestra?
Absolutely! Although I played with orchestras before, it was an amazing thing to play with the same musicians for a couple of years, and to record so many CDs together with them! Its great to work with colleagues so closely, especially during festivals where you also get to play chamber music – its a different experience every day! You really learn the essence of teamwork. Playing with a Symphony Orchestra like Heidelberg is almost like being in a different world with its own, and sometimes, very special rules.
You’ve played all over the world for numerous concerts, from Thailand to Italy, South Korea, Africa and more! Where was your favourite destination and why?
I feel so lucky! Each and every country I’ve played in have been so special in their own magical way! The deeper the culture, the more I love a country though. Being immersed within different cultures give me such a buzz, lots of energy and new inspiration.
I do love the UK’s sense of humour, South Africa and its people, Italy for its joy of life and food (of course!), Thailand and its tradition within the cities, South Korea and its baths, Japan and its politeness, Burkina Faso and its cultural heritage, Denmark and its soaring landscape…I’d better stop, I could fill the rest of your blog talking about countries I love!
Haha! Wow, you’ve really seen a lot of the world. How wonderful! Who’s music do you like to play more than any other and why? And do you have any favourite general composers?
This isn’t my favourite question, only because its so hard to answer!
I’m really into contemporary music and try to encourage people to explore the different types of music within the genres! For example, you should definitely listen to Jindrich Feld ‘s Flute Concerto, or Peteris Vasks’s Aria e Danza. I love music that explores expression and emotion, from joy to sadness, from hate to love… anything that conveys deep emotion is my music.
But at the same time, I do love traditional Romanticism and Impressionism. This weekend, its all about Richard Strauss, Paganini, Emil Kronke and Piazzolla time. And if someone gave me some Baroque to listen to, I’d say “that’s pretty wonderful!”
Besides that, I do get my friends to help me appreciate other genres of music. One did send me James Blake’s music to listen to.
You’ve taken part in a number of prestigious competitions, including the 2013 International ‘The World Competition, The 2012 International Severino Gazzelloni Competition and the 2009 International Mediterranean Flute Competition. Incredible! Are you taking part in any competitions this year?
Hm… we shall see!!
Your great-granduncle was the infamous Danish composer Carl August Nielsen. What’s your favourite piece of music he composed?
Oh, please listen to Hymnus Amoris and the Helios Ouverture!! And tell me your thoughts after!
Do you have any concerts coming up this year?
I have quite a few nice projects coming up. After Leipzig, I’ll be playing at a small church in the countryside. Following that, I’ll be going to Italy and France, then will take part in two lovely concerts with the Württembergische Kammerorchester. And not forgetting my own concert series this Autumn!!
Thanks for chatting on Meander, Kathrin! Wishing you the best of luck with your upcoming projects!