Presenting our musicians: Petra Aminoff

Musician interview 22.11.2019

When flutist Petra Aminoff is not practising, performing or teaching, she can probably be found in the forest. By the way, Petra has played in the orchestra ever since it was started, 30 years!

Petra Aminoff

Traverso and recorder

Short introduction
I have worked as a lecturer at Espoo Music Institute even longer than I have played in FiBO. 

Tell us about yourself. 
My first few years I happened to live in Kotka, but I spent my childhood and youth in Helsinki, roaming the city centre’s courtyards and streets. Music was a hobby on the side until it ended when I was in high school. My mother was extremely musical, but she had not had the chance to practice music herself, so when I was about 16 years old I stopped playing because I was not sure if I was living my own or her dreams. After that, I changed schools without telling my mom, from the Swedish-speaking Norssi to the Sibelius upper secondary school, one of the best decisions in my life, and I started to practice seriously. 

How did you end up with your instrument? Who or what made you choose it?
I played the recorder in school and I really liked it, but for a long time I dreamt about the transverse flute, and when I was eleven years old I started taking lessons. The recorder was my summer or camp instrument for long, until Baroque music swept me away. I fell in love with the traverso at first sight when I was 22 years old, and I threw the tin flute in the trash.

What inspires you as a musician and in life?
Chamber music and communication, and their difficulty. 

What other art form is close to your heart?
Visual arts.

Which is your greatest musical dream?
Ooh, the St Matthew Passion, which has already come true!

And then one always hopes for those perfect performances, so I also dream about them. 

Which is your favourite travel destination, and why?
Eeh, next question. 

In what kind of a place does your soul find rest?
The forest has become my power place ever since I moved to the countryside. There all troubles heal, or at least they are relieved, it works every time!   

How do you feel your art is affecting society at large?
The idea that art is for everybody is a beautiful but somewhat utopian thought. 

The best way for me to contribute towards that goal in my work is at the music institute with children. I believe that the hobby will benefit them on many levels, but at the same time it is clear that the children at the music institute on average are those who are doing pretty good… 

Why do you enjoy playing music that is over 300 years old?
It’s not even that old. In my family, you don’t have to go more than seven generations back in time before you are in the Baroque era. 

Chamber musicality and making music together is timeless. 

Choose your favourite among FiBO’s fall 2019 concerts, and motivate your choice.
I choose the Christmas Oratorio, because in the midst of everything new and innovative it is important to me to keep the basic works on the repertoire. Christmas is coming, and to me it comes in the shape of an oratorio. 

Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Perky Baroque enthusiasts (Barokkipetet in Finnish) can sometimes be irritating, although that is not actually a vice. 

If you had to run the Cooper test or bake for a party of 30 people, which would you choose?
I would survive both if I had a year to prepare… I will choose the Cooper, because I would pass it if and as the result does not matter!  

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