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An interview with Eliza Shephard on her practice break that you could read in the time of your own practice break.
By Madi Chwasta


Hey Eliza, I’ve caught you on your break. Let’s chat!
First up, what do you play?
Eliza: I’m a flute player, with all the frills! So I also dabble with piccolo, alto flute, and bass flute.

What have you been working on?
E: Most recently I’ve been in preparation mode for my recital on Thursday 4 May at 3PM. It is a wonderfully eclectic program, and I’m sure that everyone who comes will find something to love.

Which is your fave piece from the program?
E: Definitely Fish Are Jumping by Robert Dick. It’s awesome fun to play, in every respect. A close second would be Schubert’s Trockne Blumen, which I’ve really enjoyed working on together with Leigh Harrold.

What’s the greatest thing about the flute in your opinion?
E: The flute has such an exciting personality! It has been taken to so many new places by people such as Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull, Herbie Mann and Robert Dick, and is now one of the most flexible instruments out there now. I’m constantly able to find new things to mess with, and I love its adaptability into anything and everything.

What is the least great thing about the flute?
E: Oooh that’s a tough one! I think the hardest thing about being a flute player is knowing that there will always be someone around the corner that is better than you at something flute-related. In saying that, it’s important to remember that someone behind you is looking your way thinking that same thing and wishing they could match your sound, technique, musicality… so keeping positive about your own work is essential.

What are you going to do post recital?
E: What I hope to do is relax! But I what I’ll actually do is prepare for an extended techniques workshop that I’m presenting in my home town Wagga Wagga later in May, and of course the Brahms and Penderecki project with Richard Tognetti next week.

Describe your ideal practice break.
E: It would be about 12 weeks long… just kidding! I love doing some stretches, maybe go for a wander and chat to some of my colleagues to clear my head, and then plan my attack for the next practice session.

Flash Round! Finish these sentences with one word:

  • Piccolo is…
    E: High-pitched
  • Bass flute is….
    E: Badass
  • Baroque music is….
    E: Fascinating
  • Recitals are….
    E: Awesome!
  • Music is…
    E: Immortal

You can see Eliza in action at her ANAM recital this afternoon:

ANAM Recital: Eliza Shephard
Thursday 4 May 3pm
South Melbourne Town Hall

VILLA-LOBOS Assobio A Játo
KROSCHEL Mol-Par
DICK Fish are Jumping for solo flute
SCHUBERT Introduction and Variations on “Trockne Blumen” D802

Eliza Shephard (NSW) flute
Leigh Harrold piano

Tickets available at the door: Full $5/ ANAMates FREE

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