Friday, May 11, 2012

Wisdom from flutist Moshe Aron Epstein

Moshe Aron Epstein

I just read an impressive interview with Miyazawa artist Moshe Aron Epstein: soloist, chamber musician, and Professor of Flute at the Hochschule (Academy) of Music and Theater in Hamburg.
My favorite quotes from the article:

The most valuable lesson I learned from the flute is listening. Listening not just with the ears – listening with all senses – sight, smell, taste and touch, listening with the soul, listening through feeling myself and others, listening to the world, listening. Listening made me observe tone quality, intonation, dynamics, rhythm, style. It brought me to understand how others are playing and being able to imitate at least parts of their qualities. But moreover: listening in its widest meaning makes it all meaningful, worthwhile…
Excellence requires an inner need to always find more about yourself, the composer and his piece, a need for a continuous development and to purify the means of performance. It often demands to forget yourself and let the playing just stream through you. Excellence is achieved in the rare moments, when the triangle: player-composer-piece makes a new entity summing all three parts up. The result is very personal, even intimate, often mysterious.

Playing a musical instrument, the flute included, is a rare discipline that combines technique, spirit, body and soul. I have been teaching flute for almost 42 years (a frightening figure, isn’t it?!), from beginners through professionals. I spend endless time and effort on the physical side of playing: from posture to breathing, from intonation to finger technique, dynamics to sound quality and of course to shape, style, and musical phrasing etc. But above all I look for the special encounter between the player and the composer and the message to be delivered through musical means. I put an emphasis on the fact that we should serve the music - be like a vessel through which the great music is flowing. The better the technique, the more subtle it should become.

Keep a good, healthy and true balance between the outer demands of the modern world and your own inner voice, soul and spirit. In a humorous way, with some Yiddish flavor it would be: In spite of the fact that you are, or want to become a flutist, be a MENSCH!

Read the entire interview here. Thanks to Miyazawa for this enlightening post!

You can find Professor Moshe Aron Epstein on Facebook:


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