We’re delighted to announce that Annemarie Federle has joined Aurora Orchestra as our new Principal Horn player. At just 20, she’s our youngest-ever Principal! We sat down with Annemarie to find out a bit more about her…
- When did you start playing the horn, and what was it about the horn that made you think ‘that’s my instrument’?
I took up the horn when I was seven, about half a year after starting the piano. I was apparently a very loud baby so was told that my strong lungs would lend themselves very well… I think it was when I started playing with other people and joining youth orchestras and ensembles that I realised the horn was definitely the instrument for me; I discovered how much fun I could have playing not only the horn’s great (albeit limited) solo repertoire, but also its iconic, idiomatic tunes in orchestral pieces.
- You won the Brass Category final of BBC Young Musician in 2020, but what are you up to now?
Off the back of the publicity that the competition gave me, I have continued to pursue the solo route, doing recitals and concertos across the UK and Europe. My most exciting (and terrifying!) opportunity recently was stepping in on 24 hours’ notice to play the Oliver Knussen concerto with the London Philharmonic Orchestra at the Royal Festival Hall. Alongside this, I began freelancing with UK orchestras, and have now played with the London Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Philharmonia Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, London Contemporary Orchestra, and of course Aurora Orchestra. I am also now in my third year studying at the Royal Academy of Music, which, despite the Covid beginning, I have really enjoyed so far!
- What are you most looking forward to in your new position with Aurora?
I am really looking forward to 2023, there are so many exciting projects coming up. Having previously memorised Beethoven and Berlioz symphonies for Aurora, I know there will be new challenges which I’m really looking forward to!
- Which is your favourite horn concerto?It’s not necessarily a concerto, but my favourite piece with a solo horn would have to be Benjamin Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings. It’s so idiomatically written, yet still so different from any other piece in the horn’s solo repertoire. The music is very colourful and evocative; it’s an incredible piece both to perform and to listen to.
- Is there a piece you’re currently listening to on repeat that you want to recommend to our followers?
Richard Strauss’s Rosenkavalier Suite. I first properly discovered it when I played it in a symphonic brass arrangement at RAM, and then I performed the original with the LPO a few weeks ago. I have had it on repeat since that first time and I just never get bored of it. I haven’t got round to listening to the complete opera yet, but I can imagine that it’s even better!
- What’s your best tip for budding future horn players?
It can be easy to get caught up with technical problems and difficulties, but it’s always good to just play through your favourite pieces or orchestral passages without worrying or thinking about what you need to improve – just to remind yourself why the horn is fun!