I had the opportunity to meet, perform with and interview brilliant Turkish flutist Aslihand And at the James Galway Festival in Weggis Switzerland. It was a pleasure to speak with her and to learn about her goals, dreams and career.
B: Tell us a bit about your flute history, when you started, your education etc.
A: I’m from and artist family (my father is an actor, Emin And)and I started flute at 11 years old. I was lucky to study with a student of Sir James Galway, Vieri Bottazzini, a wonderful Italian flutist who was teaching in Turkey! I came to study with Sir James at around 15, won a Nagahara head joint in 2011 and was a Rising Star at the James Galway Flute Festival in 2012. I then studied in Hamburg with Prof. Juergen Franz.
B: What are you doing now?
A: I’m the solo flutist of the Istanbul State Opera and Principal Flute of the Tekfen Philharmonic Orchestra under contucting of Aziz Shokhakimov (from their website: Tekfen Philharmonic…. a move forward for peace and friendship in a region of economic, social and political turbulence performs pieces by regional composers, with local instruments, along with its classical repertory.) I also was honored to take over my former teacher’s studio at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University Istanbul State Conservatory and I have many flute students now. 4 of my students are here with me at Sir James class!! I am also very proud to be a female role model for women in my country.
I have a duo with pianist Assoc. Prof. Ayça Aytuğ called Duo Anda. We have been playing together for 10 years, performing standard repertoire, contemporary music and arrangements of Turkish melodies in classical music style.
B: What are your future plans and goals?
A: Besides all my work in my country, I want to be an international artist and continue my soloist career internationally. Since I’ve learned a lot from great people I want to bring this knowledge back to Turkey like other great Turkish flutists are doing. I really want to support young people. With Duo Anda I have a new CD coming out in 12-18 months which will feature Turkish composers and also some standard repertoire, which will give me an opportunity to share the colors of different cultures in the recording.
B: What advice to you have for young students?
A: Believe in yourself and work really hard. Galways’ belief in me and their support taught me to believe more in myself. Take every opportunity and be grateful.
Most importantly, love music and play from your heart.