Tomorrow's symphony orchestra concert is set to be absolutely fantastic and a big part of that is thanks to Alexandra Walton, who'll be performing Malcom Arnold's first flute concerto as a soloist! We found some time in Alexandra's busy practise schedule to ask her a few questions about what it's been like running up to the concert and what we can expect in the concert itself.
First of all, thank you for taking the time out of your day to do this – I really appreciate it.
“No problem, delighted to be here today.”
Let's get right into it then! What made you want to go for the soloist position?
“To be honest, I’ve not done a solo performance in so long because I was off school with anxiety, couldn’t do it, and then I was just like you know what, go for it! I really like performing and I wanted to do something I’ve not done for a while, so I did.”
Ah right, so did you have the Arnold in mind when you went for it?
“Not at all. Didn’t have a piece in mind at all. Saw the opportunity and was like, right, what can I play? I had some Mozart as an option so I auditioned with that, asked people for recommendations and listened to a lot of stuff myself. Found the Arnold which is really difficult but chose that over the Mozart and that’s the one I was asked to play in the end.”
Oh okay, so ultimately what pushed you towards the Arnold?
“It’s not your traditional Mozart in D or Mozart in G that a lot of people play all the time. It’s not quite as twee as that.”
“Twee. Anyway, I like the harmony of it a lot, and like I said, it’s just a bit different to what most people play. Not a lot of people have heard it.”
Fair enough – how have rehearsals been going?
“Rehearsals have been difficult. Putting the two things together, especially at tempo because it’s so fast. Getting the orchestra and solo to work together has been tricky at times but you know, we’re getting there – doing much better!”
Sounds like it’s really shaping up well then! Is it performance that you’re looking to go into after university?
“Yeah, I’d love to do a masters in performance, maybe at the RNCM, we’ll see how that goes. It’s a bit further down the line but this feels like a good stepping stone between my degree and a career in performance.”
Finally, what’s been the most enjoyable part of the experience for you?
“It’s pushed me to learn repertoire quicker. I’ve never played with an orchestra before, not in this capacity anyway. A new experience is enjoyable in itself really!”
Well it sounds like it’s going to be great. Thank you very much for your time Alexandra, it’s been really nice chatting. Good luck with the concert!
We hope you enjoyed getting to know Alexandra and that you'll come and see her perform in tomorrow's concert. More information on the concert and tickets can be found here.