SUZIE CLEMENTS

flute

@suziewatson17

Where are you from?

I grew up in a little market town called Thame in Oxfordshire. 

 

Why and when did you start playing the flute?

I picked up a recorder at the age of 4 and loved making music from the outset. My Mum had a flute so I’d seen her playing it and then a flute demonstration given by the county music service in my primary school really sparked my interest. I begged my parents for a year to start learning the flute and when I was 8, my wish came true! 

 

Where and with whom did you study?

For my undergrad, I studied at the Royal College of Music with Sue Thomas, Jaime Martin, Daniel Pailthorpe and piccolo with Kathleen Stevenson and Christopher Green. I then went on to the Royal Academy of Music to study on their one year Masters course with with Karen Jones, Sam Coles and piccolo with Patricia Morris. 

 

Where can we see you in action outside Magnard?

Freelancing with various orchestras across the country and depping on shows in the West End. I also have a varied teaching schedule in London and in my home county of Hertfordshire.

 

Career highlights?

One of my favourite concerts in the Royal Festival Hall was with the LPO conducted by one of my old teachers, Jaime Martin. I loved my lessons while I was studying and it was fantastic to work with him in a different capacity! One of my opera highlights was a run of Queen of Spades at Opera Holland Park - great music in my favourite London park! It was also a brilliant experience because Mana was sat a few seats down in the oboe section! Another highlight has been depping on the King and I at the Palladium - I visited the theatre when I was 13 to watch Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and had wanted to to play there ever since!

 

What would be your Desert Island Disc?

I’m not sure I can choose just one so I would try and sneak 3 different discs on!! Firstly, Barthold Kuijken’s recording of the Bach Flute Sonatas, particularly the E minor sonata BWV 1034 for its simply beautiful 3rd movement! The Abbado/BPO Brahms Symphony cycle because these are some of my favourite orchestral works and there are a few other pieces on there too including his Haydn Variations. I will always remember these because they were the first thing I played in the orchestra when I was at college. Finally, Stevie Wonder's Songs in the Key of Life - seeing him perform this live in Hyde Park was so memorable and many of his songs have been playing during important moments in my life. 

 

What is your lifelong dream?

To have travelled the world before I get too old to explore it! My husband and I love planning our next adventure! 

 

What do you love besides music?

Aside from my all time favourite things which are travel and spending time with family and friends. I like to cook and I LOVE to eat the fruits of my labour (the rest of the Quintet will tell you that food is never far from my mind!). With my love of food I need to keep fit and fortunately this is something I really enjoy, whether it be going to the gym or trying different classes. Most recently I tried a class called Fitbeats - it combined drumming with a workout and was great fun! I will never say no to a country walk, especially if dogs are involved - particularly my parents' dog, Sully, a gorgeous duck-tolling retriever and my in-laws' Italian Spinone, Branston. They always put a huge smile on my face! 

 

If you weren’t a professional flautist etc, what would you have been instead?

A window cleaner - it was something I could really see myself doing! Joking aside, this was a tricky one... possibly something like Maths or Chemistry as these were my favourite subjects at school (besides Music of course!) For something totally different, I’d love to give wedding planning a go because I love anything wedding related and organising social events. 

 

What’s your favourite food?

Pretty much all beige food is good, right?! Please tweet us any exceptions to this rule! 

 

Who inspires you?

JK Rowling. By the time she had finished writing Harry Potter her mother had died, she was divorced and lived in near-poverty. Her book was rejected by twelve different publishers but despite being rejected so many times, she persisted with her dream and is now one of the most successful women of the time. Never give up on your dreams!

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© 2016 JOSEPH SHINER