Phoebe Powell, AB
Phoebe Powell, AB
01. How old were you when you started playing your instrument?/ Quel âge aviez-vous quand vous avez commencé à jouer votre instrument ?
I was 10 years old.
02. Why did you choose your instrument?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi cet instrument ?
I don't actually know why I chose the harp and there are a few different stories that go around in my family as to how I came to play the largest, most cumbersome and expensive instrument. One thing I do remember is asking my Mum, after she had bought a Celtic harp CD with a lady wearing a beautiful green dress with flowing sleeves and long curly red hair, if I could take harp lessons. Of course I think the real reason why I asked was so that I could also wear a green dress and have long curly red hair! I did get my own green dress and a harp, but I'm still waiting on the curly red hair. ;)
03. Describe some of your professional goals./Décrivez quelques-unes de vos ambitions professionnelles.
I would love to play in an opera orchestra, or form my own chamber ensembles and tour the world with them, but I also have a dream of one day starting a summer chamber festival with a dear friend of mine out on the West Coast. And if all else fails then I will be opening a musical cafe either in the mountains or by the ocean!
04. What are your other interests and/or hobbies?/ Quels sont vos autres intérêts ou passe-temps?
I just started running with a group of friends in February and am enjoying it so much that I have signed up for my first 10k this September!! I also enjoy weekly figure skating lessons, horseback riding with my best friend on Vancouver Island when I go and visit, and whenever I'm home I always try and get into the mountains to hike or ski as much as I can. I love to cook and bake and find it one of the most relaxing things to do after a long day of school. I have a whole stack of recipe books (mostly Paleo and gluten-free ones, but my favourite is called A Kitchen in France by Mimi Thorisson) in my kitchen that are usually sprawled out across my island with bookmarks for recipes I want to try.
05. Do you write/arrange your own music?/ Êtes-vous compositeur ou arrangeur de votre propre musique ?
Yes, I do actually! My teacher, Judy Loman, gives us yearly projects in which we can either work with a composer, write our own cadenzas or arrange our own pieces, and this year I, and two other girls from my studio, arranged a movement each of Debussy's Suite Bergamasque for harp trio. It was one of the hardest things we have ever done and we poured a lot of out sweat, blood and tears into it, but now it is finally completed and we are all thrilled with the result.
06. Who is your favourite classical musician?/ Quel est votre artiste (musicien) préféré ?
Jessye Norman, Lucia Popp, Joan Sutherland, Judy Loman, Catrin Finch, Heidi Krutzen, Sivan Magen, Sylvain Blassel, Marie Pierre Langlamet and many, many other great artists
07. What is your favourite piece of music?/ Quel est votre morceau préféré ?
At this moment I would probably say either anything by Beethoven or anything by Mahler.
08. What is your favourite concerto for your instrument?/ Quel est votre concerto préféré pour votre instrument?
I recently heard Rautavaara's Harp Concerto which I thought sounded superb.
09. For returning members: What is your fondest memory from a previous session and/or tour?/ Pour participants vétérans : Quels sont vos souvenirs préférés de la session ou tournée précédente de l’ONJC ?
Everything about NYO is superb! The faculty, the staff, the conductor, the music, the campus, the food, the atmosphere of NYO itself and so many other things. This will no doubt be, as Tom Allen told us at the last session, “the best summer of your lives”. You will learn so much, grow in ways you never knew possible (including sideways if you have the cafeteria ice cream everyday ;P ), make life long friends, and probably cry when the end of the tour is over and go through some sort of withdrawal phase; but you will play some of the most beautiful music out there with an astounding conductor and a highly talented group of people, who you will have developed a bond and a sense of trust with that I don’t believe you can get anywhere else.
10. What made you decide to pursue classical music?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi une formation en musique classique ?
Having been raised in a family of musicians (my mother is an oboist, flautist and pianist, and my three brothers respectively play classical guitar, French horn, and violin) pursuing a musical career always seemed like the obvious thing to do, but my parents were very open to the idea of us pursing other careers, however out of the 4 of us, 3 have decided to go into music professionally. The main reason why I decided to become a musician was because it is an art that is constantly changing and you are always learning. It is one of the most satisfying professions, because not only can you play music by good composers and enjoy listening to it on your own, but you can share the music and your passion for it with other people around you. I love having people, especially first time concert goers, come up to me after a performance and telling me how the music moved them.
11. What do you think is the biggest challenge you face in your pursuit of a career in music?/ Quel est le plus grand obstacle à surmonter afin de poursuivre une carrière en musique ?
In every era we have lived in music has always been a hard profession for the public to take seriously, as to them it seems as if we are just having fun because we get to play music all the time. My hope is that I can show people how necessary music is to our lives as it teaches us so much; discipline, diligence, perseverance, emotion, to name few.
12. Why did you choose to apply to NYO Canada?/ Pourquoi avez-vous choisi de poser votre candidature pour NYO Canada?
From my experience last summer I knew that NYO still had more to give me this year and I was so happy to hear that I had been accepted again.
13. How do you feel you will benefit from participation in NYO Canada?/ Comment bénéficierez-vous de votre participation dans le programme de NYO Canada?
The experience and opportunities NYO creates for us is like no other orchestral festival out there, and the amount I learned in the 7 weeks there was more than I had learned in my first year of University. There is so much I learned from last year that I am still applying to my playing, and I know that I will learn even more when I come again this year.
14. Were you accepted to any other summer music programs this year?/ Avez-vous été accepté/e à tout autre programme musical estival cette année?
I didn't apply to any others.
15. If you weren’t touring with the NYO Canada, what would you be doing during the summer?/ Si vous n’étiez pas en tournée avec NYO Canada, que feriez-vous cet été?
Probably staying at home practicing for the USA International harp competition next summer as well as playing for weddings.
16. What was the proudest moment of your music career thus far?/ Jusqu’ici, quel est le moment de votre carrière musicale qui vous a apporté le plus de fierté?
Playing Benjamin Britten's Ceremony of Carols in a masterclass for Karen Vaughan, at the Vancouver 2011 World Harp Congress.
17. What scholarships, if any, have you been awarded in the past year?/ Quelles bourses, le cas échéant, avez-vous remporté au cours de la dernière année?
Ihnatowycz Emerging Artist Scholarship at the Glenn Gould School where I am a full scholarship student, I also received the NYO honorarium from last summer.