ANAM flautist Kim Falconer has had a busy first half of the year but we were lucky enough to pin her down to ask her a few questions for this week’s blog. As she heads into the last week of semester working towards Howard Penny’s concert: Schubert, Schumann & Mendelssohn on Saturday July 2, Kim shares with us her motivations, stand out moments and hot-tips for the best vegetarian food in town.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received by a mentor?
My wonderful teacher Virginia Taylor gave me the advice to always prepare to the best of your abilities, but not to worry about the result of an audition or competition, as you can only play the best you can in that given moment in time. We are always working to improve ourselves and better our playing, and the result of a competition or audition is never the be-all-end-all. It takes the pressure off so you can just enjoy performing!

Most memorable performance?
I’ve had a lot of memorable performances, each in a different way. Earlier this year I was performing a solo work at the Canberra International Music Festival in the National Botanical Gardens. It was a piece in four movements, and for each movement they had me playing at a different location in the gardens. I ended up playing in the rainforest, hidden in the middle of a bush, on top of a picnic table, and in the ‘red desert’ playing on top of a large rock!

Another memorable performance was of Paul Dean’s Falling Ever Deeper in the finals of the Australian Flute Competition last year, where I won First Prize as well as the Prize for the Best Performance of this work. It was a thrilling night and a landmark moment in my career so far.

What are you most looking forward to in the rest of ANAM’s 2016 program?
It has been an extremely busy first semester. Along with my recital, I have played in various competitions, auditions and festivals, so I am looking forward to having some more time to practise and focus on orchestral excerpts. I am also excited for the Simone Young orchestra week as well as wind week later in the year, involving Silvia Caredu.


Image by Pia Johnson

You performed under the direction of Howard Penny last year in Beethoven 2. How would you describe that experience?
It was a fantastic experience to perform under the direction of Howard Penny in Beethoven 2 last year. It is a lively work to which Howard brought so much character, energy, passion and life. His enthusiastic manner when taking rehearsals made the experience really engaging and interesting. He was able to bring an incredible depth of knowledge and chamber music experience to the ANAM Orchestra.

You mentioned in your bio that you’re a keen cook? What are your specialty dishes?
I love cooking, especially reading recipe books for inspiration but then creating my own dishes. Being a coeliac, I am limited to cooking only gluten-free food. But there are some fantastic substitutes for wheat, and I love cooking my own gluten-free bread using buckwheat and quinoa flour. I am also very inspired by Moroccan cuisine, and I love to cook main courses full of flavour, spice and freshness. I also enjoy making chocolate hazelnut flourless cakes for my family and friends’ birthdays!

Kim's cooking.jpg

My homemade gluten free bread, home-made pizzas, with the dough an everything made from scratch.

Favourite restaurants/cafes in Melbourne?
The Vegie Bar in Fitzroy is a one of my favourite restaurants. It only serves vegetarian food, but the food is absolutely amazing – great value with generous servings. The only downside is how popular and therefore busy they are!

My favourite café local to ANAM is the Emerald Hill café across the road. The food is always delicious and the family-owned business has a great vibe.

Who inspires or motivates you as a musician?
Much of my musical inspiration comes my teachers, including Virginia, and other players I’ve had lessons with in Australia and overseas. Some of my favourite flautists include Sebastian Jacot, Lorna McGhee, Emmanuel Pahud, Michael Cox, Emily Beynon and Denis Bouriakov. I also love listening to world class musicians of other instruments including Janine Jansen, Hilary Hahn, Pierre Laurent-Aimade, Renee Fleming and Anna Nebtrebko. I find nature also very inspiring, and sometimes I find the exact tone colour I want to produce on the flute just by imagining a beautiful image in nature!

What are your dreams post ANAM?
My dream career would be to get a principal flute position in a fantastic orchestra and do lots of chamber and solo performances on the side. I also really enjoy teaching, and one day I would love to teach flute at a university.

What brought you to ANAM?
I wanted to be in a place with world class teachers, fantastic performance opportunities, and surrounded by like-minded musicians, and ANAM fit the bill perfectly! My experience at ANAM has been invaluable. I feel extremely privileged and grateful to be at such a fantastic place for young musicians and I try to make the most of it in every way I can!

What do you like to do when you’re not playing flute?
I love to paint, go walking in a forest or along the beach, and cook. Having some relaxing time away from the flute is absolutely vital, especially when life gets a little crazy in the hectic ANAM schedule. One of the most important things I’ve learnt from ANAM is finding a healthy life balance, and remembering to allow myself down time even during weeks of a heavy workload.

Do you have any stand out experiences with guest musicians whilst at ANAM?
I’ve had a number of standout experiences at ANAM so far. Highlights include Beethoven 7 with Anthony Marwood, performing with Simone Young and Emma Matthews in the Gala Concert last year, and Sibelius 2 with Antonio Mendez earlier this year. I also love choir with Richard Gill. He is such an inspiration and always has such words of wisdom, which he delivers in a brilliantly witty way.

If you weren’t a musician, what would you be?
If I weren’t a musician, I’d still be doing something creative like being an artist, a chef or an interior designer. I’m also really interested in nature, so in another life, a career in ecotourism would’ve been cool! But I love being a musician way too much to ever give it up!!

(Feature image by Peter Hislop)

You can see Kim perform in:


MENDELSSOHN A Midsummer Night’s Dream Incidental music op.61 (excerpts)
SCHUBERT Fantasy in F minor for piano four-hands, D940*
SCHUMANN Symphony No. 3 Rhenish

Venue ANAM, South Melbourne Town Hall
Tickets $60/$45/$35
Bookings anam.com.au 03 9645 7911
Complimentary glass of champagne on arrival


SCHOENBERG Verklärte Nacht
MAHLER Rückert-Lieder
BRAHMS Piano Quartet in G minor (orch. Schoenberg)

Lisa Gasteen soprano
Simone Young conductor
ANAM Orchestra

Venue Elisabeth Murdoch Hall, Melbourne Recital Centre
Tickets $85/$70/$55
Bookings anam.com.au 03 9645 7911

Kim Falconer’s Student Beneficiary Support generously provided by ANAMsyndicate – Elise Callander, Merilyn Howorth, Cathy Lowy, Joan and Barry Miskin, William Murdoch (dec) and Richard O’Dwyer, Pauline Speedy


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