FCNY Flutist Highlight: Paula Robison
May 13th, 2020
What is Paula Robison playing these days? We wanted to catch up with one of our favorite flutists, and see what is on her stand and on her mind!
I guess my main question during this time has been “Why am I doing this???” But when I put J.S Bach on my music stand, all my questions are answered.
Bach was the reason I was drawn to music. I heard his music at an early age and could not wait to be part of it. Luckily I was hired to do the Carmel Bach Festival when I was just out of High School! I got to sit on the stage and play 2ndflute to a wonderful artist named Raymond Fabrizio, with Sandor Salgo conducting the orchestra and chorus. Salgo had the chorus stand in a star shape in the middle of the orchestra, and when they started to sing the “Sanctus” from the B minor Mass, my heart flew upwards and my life’s path was set! So now I am grateful for that “push” so many years ago, and in gratitude I created a Bach project for my NEC students which we are completing online as the semester ends. Orford Musique has asked me to recreate the project for a week this summer. I’m so glad to be able to say “Thank You, J.S Bach”!
One of my star students, Hunter O’Brien, has been with his family in Michigan since the lockdown started, and he’s been running every day. At one of his online lessons he was all pumped up from the running and was playing marvelously. He inspired me to make this illustration:
I first raise my glass to the woman composers flourishing now who have broken and are breaking the barriers and are becoming known as simply “composers”.
I then would like to raise another glass to Anna Magdalena Bach, who bore and gave birth to an astonishing amount of children (always at great risk), who copied the parts for the weekly cantata performances at St Thomas Kirche and probably had a hand in arranging the rehearsals and soothing the egos of anyone at whom her husband had thrown his wig, who supervised the household and the cooking and eating therein, helped to train their brilliant children and not-so–brilliant children with equal love for all, and probably was a great comfort and inspiration to her husband.
Her life was a great symphony, composed by her, in my opinion.