Fluterview with Martin CohenApr 04, 2016
Our first "Fluterview" is with the President of the in Sydney, Australia. Martin is also Our first “Fluterview” is with the President of the Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra in Sydney, Australia. Martin is also Principal Flute with the orchestra. In addition he is an accomplished pianist and in 2014 performed the Hummel Concerto for Piano and Violin with Woollahra Philharmonic.
What do you think are your greatest achievements as a flute player?
I always dreamed of playing in an orchestra, and to fulfil this has been so very rewarding.
What do you think are the most important attributes in a student who you believe could be successful as a professional flute player?
The most important thing is to love what you do. To be a flutist, or any musician for that matter, you must really love it. It will love you back and be the most wonderful source of joy and nourishment you will ever have.
Who are the flute players you find inspirational and why?
Growing up it was always James Galway for his incredible tone and flawless technique, more recently it is Emmanuel Pahud, for his grace, innovative interpretations and diversity of style.
When you’ve had some time off, how do you quickly get your playing back up to standard?
Always long, sustained notes. It really recharges the batteries and gets the mouth back in shape so quickly and easily. It’s also really relaxing too and easy to work on musically.
What is the best advice you’ve ever had from a teacher?
Listen to your practice. So often we practice without really listening and concentrating on what we are doing. If you are not practicing with intent, you are simply wasting your time.
If you were to give a beginner flute student one piece of advice, what would it be?
Enjoy playing and enjoy your practice.
If you were to give an advanced flute student one piece of advice, what would it be?
The flute is an extension of your voice and it is your creative outlet. Allow it to sing.
Do you have any advice that has helped you to prevent repetitive strain injury?
Take breaks and listen to your body. If you are in pain, your body is telling you to rest.
What sort of daily exercise do you practice on the flute?
I always play long sustained notes. Tone and breathing are the most important elements for me, as even if you have the greatest technique in the world, without a beautiful tone and breath control you can only go so far.
What’s the funniest or weirdest thing that has ever happened to you as a professional player?
Playing a toy recorder in a performance of Leopold Mozart’s Toy Symphony. The recorder was so small that you couldn’t actually use your fingers to cover the finger holes!
Is there anything else you wish to share?
Narrating Britten’s Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra was a lot of fun too, but it was more nerve wracking than playing the flute!!
Photo credits: Woollahra Philharmonic Orchestra