Flute is one of the musical instruments that people tend to overlook in modern music. Yet it has a distinctive sound that is able to perform by its own or with other musical instruments. Tonight the University of Oregon School of Music and Dance has the privilege of hosting James Hall for a master class and concert in Beall Concert Hall.
Liner Notes also had a chance to chat with him about his experience and his plans for the event.
LN: What are you planning to bring to the master class and the recital at the University of Oregon?
James Hall (JH): To the master class, I hope to bring my experience as a teacher, and a unique perspective on the works that students are studying. As a university professor myself, I find that my students really benefit from learning new ideas fromdifferent teachers, or hearing new ways to think about things they’ve already learned.
For the recital, I will bring my interpretation of several masterpieces of the flute and piano repertoire to the University of Oregon and Eugene audience.
LN: How was your experience performing as a soloist inParaguay last summer? Is there any significant difference between American and Paraguayan audiences that you recognized?
JH: The experience of playing and teaching in Paraguay was absolutely wonderful. The people there were so warm and welcoming, and the students were very open to learning from me. The primary difference in the audiences there is that so much of themusic we think of as “standard” is new to them. The National Symphony there is only about six years old, so they are only now beginning to hear much of the music that we take for granted here. In my performances, I played mostly very standard works, but most of it was new for them, and they were very excited to be exposed to this music.
LN: Will spring 2013 be your first time touring in South Africa
JH: Yes, this will be my first time to South Africa.
LN: What is the most important thing that you always want to bring to your audience while touring abroad?
JH: My priority is the same when traveling, as it is when I play here: to share the music with my audience. For those who know the pieces I’m playing, I want to share my interpretation, and for those who don’t, I’m thrilled to give them the experience of this music for the first time.
LN: What is one piece of advice that you would give students who want to have an international career such as yours?
JH: My advice is to follow your dreams. As Americans, we tend to overthink, and to try to be “practical.” While practicality is important, you can’t do anything if you don’t give yourself the chance, or tell yourself that it isn’t possible.
Also, be patient. I find that young people often give up if things don’t happen right away. Sometimes, opportunities that seem insignificant now lead to much bigger things later. Take every opportunity you are given, because you never know what may come of it.
LN: You are the founder, flutist, and artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Kansas City. Why did you decide to establish the society back in 2003? And has it been receiving support from the community?
JH: I started the Chamber Music Society of Kansas City because I wanted to create an opportunity to play chamber music at a really high level, with other like-minded musicians. It also filled a niche in Kansas City that wasn’t fulfilled, as there wasn’t a resident, professional chamber music organization there during the regular concert season. Also, it was our goal to bring the chamber music literature to Kansas City audiences in the manner it was intended: in small, intimate venues, rather than the big concert stages. We performed salon style concerts, with the audience very close to us, and we presented the music in a way that engaged the audience, by speaking to them, and allowing people to ask questions. It was very well received, and highly successful.