The flautist, who juggles a gig with the Berlin Philharmonic and a solo career, talks about old flute favourites and pinching a violin hit.
Debussy’s Syrinx, which you perform on tour with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, is such a well-loved piece. Do you remember when you first heard it?
I don’t recall the first time, but I was a little kid. I started playing the flute at age six and it must have happened pretty early in my life. I’ve been playing this piece a lot as an encore after a concerto, so it’s one of my all-time favourites. It’s a very evocative piece – it’s supposed to be played in the dark. It was part of a music theatre salon setting. Debussy had been writing musical interventions and the flute player was supposed not to be seen but just heard, so it gives a stronger power to the instrument.
Playing it so often, has your approach evolved over time?
It has, definitely. I first recorded it a good 15 years ago, and then I was asked to record it again for a Debussy album project a year ago, and then I had another project where I was...