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in conversation with KEITH BRAMICH


'You've got to be excited by music.' states the young British flautist and contemporary music specialist Kathryn Thomas. 'When I was 9 or 10, I played a little piece by Cesar Franck and my Mum accompanied me ... I hadn't been accompanied before. It just sparked something. From there on I started practising seriously.'

Kathryn Thomas. Photo (c) Malcolm Galloway

'There was something about the sound and the feel of the flute itself that I found appealing. From the age of 11, I used to get up at 5 for the 6 o'clock train from Haverfordwest to Cardiff, where I had lessons with a really good, encouraging, thorough teacher -- Iau Provis.

'At 13 I took part in a competition in Cardiff -- The Guild for the Promotion of Welsh Music. The competition was promoting contemporary music, and that may have been one of the experiences that stimulated my interest in new music. At 14 I went to the Purcell School with a government scholarship, then to St Paul's Girls School for the sixth form.

Kathryn spent four years at the Royal Academy of Music in London, 1991-1995, studying with Sebastian Bell. 'He was very inspiring and I respect him a lot. The Academy provided a great opportunity to study contemporary music. Although I also enjoy earlier repertoire, one of the great excitements for me in music has been the exploration of uncharted territories. Perhaps it's the freedom of it -- there aren't the traditions to conform to, and there isn't a set way of performing.

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Copyright © 14 June 2001 Keith Bramich, London, UK





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