jessica sindell tackles 10 questions

happy monday ~ let’s get the party started with the band’s super-fresh principal flutist, shall we?  as if she has nothing better to do, jessica sindell was nice enough to chat with the classical beaver about her heart rate, her mouthpiece, and more:

so what was your reaction when you found out you got the gig with the oregon symphony?

I was thrilled, but I tried to stay as collected and cool about it as possible! Funny story: I was about to hop on the treadmill at the gym when I got the phone call from Carlos.  My workout was complete after finding out – my heart practically leaped out of my chest it was beating so fast!

so tell me, why is the flute so awesome?

I love the flute because it is the instrument closest to the human voice.  I tried the piano for a few years… you can shake your fingers as much as you want, but the piano will not vibrato for you!  Nothing against piano though – I just feel like I am singing into the flute when I am playing.

and what about the particular instrument you use?

Currently I play on an older Powell flute which was made in the 1970’s, whose previous owner was one of my teachers from Cleveland.  She played it in the New York Phil for a year, won her first job on it, and then ended up winning her piccolo job with Cleveland on it.  My headjoint is an Arista brand with a 14k gold mouthpiece – a very unique instrument combo and I’m a proud owner! Upgrading a flute can be very costly and a long process, but I’m going to be doing some major searching for my dream flute this summer.

speaking of c-town, what do you miss most about cleveland?

I do miss the days when I played in the Cleveland Youth Orchestra.  It was a special opportunity for me to perform and rehearse in Severance Hall, knowing my aunt played solo violin on that same stage with the Cleveland Orchestra on several occasions when she was younger.  I kept hoping that one day I too would become a member of a symphony and here I am today, my first job!

ahh… severance hall… a pre-concert stroll around the giant art museum pond… a post-concert cannoli in little italy… alright, snap out of it beavs. um, what 3 composers would you invite to dinner?

Hmm… I would love to dine with Ravel in Paris!  I’ve never been there and who better to sip on some wine with?  I mean this guy melts my heart with Daphnis et Chloé Suite No. 2.  Next composer would have to be Brahms.  We could hit up any restaurant for all I care, as long as I could ask him everything there is to know about his Symphony No. 4 and his unbelievable Violin Concerto.  Lastly, I would love to experience a dinner date with Mozart and his sister Nannerl, who apparently composed too.  I’m sure Mozart would keep me entertained with his humor.  It would be nice to play his Flute Concerto in G major for him at dinner or better yet compose an epic cadenza with him.

mind if we double date in paris?  i’ll bring debussy.  hey – what’s so great about experiencing classical music live?

I can’t quite explain the thrill I get when I’m on stage and I am about to perform a big classical work.  It can be stressful when a particular performance has a huge flute solo or it is technically challenging, but that stress I have right before a solo can sometimes turn into an intense concentration that transports me to another level as soon as I start to play.  This doesn’t always happen, but when it does I am in complete bliss and those are the moments I live for as a musician… the most beautiful and genuine playing can come out of these heightened emotions, even if stress and fear are involved.

sweet response: thanks!  let me buy you a drink… what are you having?

My current obsession is the CGP drink over at the Heathman Hotel!  No idea what it stands for, but it’s a delicious/on-the-fruity-side type of drink.

had one myself before the creation – totes delish!  i remember grapefruit being involved… yo, what did you think of the britten piano concerto you played with the band for your try-out back in november?

A relatively unknown work, even amongst classical musicians… I LOVED it.  The slow movement is so gorgeous.  I was very fortunate to perform that with Steven Osborne, as the recording of it I used to study the piece was by Osborne (very helpful as I prepared for the trial).  I loved that the principal flute has to switch to piccolo a few times in the last movement – I really enjoy playing piccolo when I get the chance, so thank you Britten!

yay, uncle benny!  are you stoked by any non-classical music?

I love it all… and yes that includes hip hop.  I tend to jam to self-created lists on Pandora.  Right now (as I’m writing these answers) I have my French Cafe Music playlist blasting, so fun.  There was a lot of Piazzolla going on this time, so hopefully my answers are coherent.  Broadway music tends to get my blood going too since I am a huge fan of acting and singing.  Radiohead is great as well, of course.

does anyone not like radiohead?!  seriously.  alright, that was rhetorical… wrapping it up, what are your expectations for p-town?

Too early for me to say… just so thrilled to be here.  I couldn’t have joined the Oregon Symphony at a better point in time.  Everybody I know has been raving about the new cd, the Carnegie concert received great reviews, and not to mention our conductor Carlos Kalmar is unbelievably musical and talented! It is such an honor for me to work under his baton.  He knows exactly and precisely what he wants from his players – it is such a special experience for me and I hope that this lasts for a long time.  Really looking forward to working with my colleagues on the rest of the exciting repertoire this season.  Cheers to that!

cheers, indeed!  and congrats again on snagging the principal flute position ~ really looking forward to hearing more of you this season.  thanks jess, for all the stellar responses!  – xoxo cb


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