Presenting our musicians: Pauliina Fred

Muusikkohaastattelu 10-05-2018

FiBO’s Artistic Director Pauliina Fred is a versatile and active musician. Read more about her in the interview!

Photo: Mark Niskanen

Pauliina Fred

Traverso (and other historical flutes) and recorders

Short introduction
I have worked as FiBO’s artistic planner from the beginning of this year, I play the flute in Baroque orchestras in Finland and in Norway, I am a member of the quartet Bravade and the trio Bellman, and I try to raise my boys to be two well-mannered guys.

Tell us about yourself
I come from Kirkkonummi, and I am half Savonian and half from the city (and 12.5 % Russian). There are no musicians among my family members and relatives, and music was only present in my childhood home when I produced it myself. When I was a child, I told my mother not to sing to me, which says something. But my father actually loved jazz and bought me lots of jazz records, and my mother took me to classical concerts. My parents encouraged my music hobbies, and often wondered whether I was a changeling. 

How did you end up with your instrument? Who or what made you choose it?
Two things affected my choice of instrument: Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute, and Vesa-Matti Loiri.

The Magic Flute was my first opera; I experienced it as an 8-year-old at Savonlinna Opera Festival. After the performance, I simply stated that I wanted to play the flute. In those days, I had also seen and heard Vesa-Matti Loiri’s intense flute-playing on TV, so the choice was self-evident.

I had to wait until my arms grew long enough to be able to play the transverse flute, and during that waiting time I played the recorder. The recorder has stayed with me since then (except for the phase in my teens when I was too cool).

The traverso was introduced to me at a music camp when I was 18 years old and fairly fed up with the modern flute’s virtuosic repertoire. It was love at first sight! I paid two markka to call my mom from the camp’s phone booth to ask if I could buy that wonderful flute. She said yes!

What inspires you as a musician and in life?
Experiencing something greater, living in the moment, and wordless communication.

What other art form is close to your heart?
Definitely theatre! During this spring, I have already seen five theatre performances. When I applied to the Sibelius Academy, I also applied to the Theatre Academy. I was admitted to one of them, but the other one had a lot more entertaining entrance exams!

Which is your greatest musical dream?
To play first flute in Mozart’s The Magic Flute at Savonlinna Opera Festival, using period instruments.

Which is your favourite travel destination, and why?
Northern Norway. The open sea and the mountains are the most beautiful things I know.

In what kind of a place does your soul find rest?
On the little island in Pihlajavesi in Saimaa where our cottage is. Idleness, clean water, sitting on the rocks admiring sunsets on serene summer nights, and endless swimming and sauna bathing – these things are like balm for the soul, and the best way to relax.

How do you feel your art is affecting society at large?
I embrace, declare and demonstrate values that have nothing to do with economic growth, material consumption or power. 

Why do you enjoy playing music that is over 300 years old?
Because it is touching and attractive, always has been, and always will be, until the judgment day. 

Choose your favourite among FiBO’s spring 2018 concerts, and motivate your choice.
Purcell’s opera Dido and Aeneas, which is performed around the time when I am writing this, but which I unfortunately won’t be able to attend. The piece is wonderful, and I have heard from my colleagues between rehearsals that so is the resourceful and skilful young conductor of the project, Justin Doyle.

Do you have a guilty pleasure or a “secret” special skill?
I’m quite skilled at living in the moment; this is both my special skill and my guilty pleasure. 

If you had to run the Cooper test or bake for a party of 30 people, which would you choose?
I would absolutely run the Cooper test! I love skiing, and running is second best. Baking and cooking just don’t appeal to me at all. But I would (and I do!) invite those 30 people to my home for a party, if they bring the cakes with them!

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