Adam Eccleston has gained international recognition as an educator, soloist, recitalist and orchestral musician. He grew up in Germany where he studied with Eric Lamb and Thaddeus Watson. He currently holds two masters degrees in music performance and music education and has performed at world renowned concert venues such as Carnegie Hall, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Casino Kursaal in Switzerland.
Can you give us 5 career highlights?
I have a few pivotal moments in my career, one was when I was personally invited to attend Sir James Galway class in Switzerland after he heard me play at the New York Flute Club Competition back in the early 2000's.
Another is recording Coleridge Taylor Parkinson's Sonata for flute and piano which was written for one of my heroes, Harold Jones. I first met Harold in the early 2000's and I explained to him my concerns of being a black classical musician and he confidently said that I have nothing to worry about. He told me that he was thoroughly impressed with my playing and to continue to make 'us' proud.
What do you like best about performing?
I love the adrenaline! With it, I feel alive and present.
I have recently made my first professional recording of Coleridge Taylor Perkinson's Sonata for Flute and Piano, which has never been recorded before. The album will be released sometime next year through Parma Recordings and will feature works by other underrepresented composers and artists! Thanks to All Classical Radio station for making this come alive.
What does your schedule look like for the next 6 months?
My schedule for the next 6 months is looking really exciting! I have a few cake projects lined up! Things went on hiatus during COVID, but I am finally getting some orders and that's making me happy! Musically, I have a few wonderful performances coming up this summer with the Sunriver Music Festival and a few premieres in between! Lastly, I hope to purchase a new piccolo, so if anyone has any suggestions, I am completely open!
What are your goals personally? Professionally?
My personal goal is to shed the excess weight that I've gained since the start of the pandemic and to travel more! I feel the most alive when I'm on stage and traveling to new lands. I grow so much as a person when submerged in a new culture.
My professional goal is to find ways to bridge gaps for myself. For instance, I am working on ways to bridge the gap between the artform of music and baking! Cooking up something good!!
What inspires you the most in life?
I am most inspired by the good that's in the world. Seeing how people's negative/violent perspectives change for the better overtime.
What has been your greatest challenge?
My greatest challenge to date is balancing the demands of being an arts leader while keeping up my practicing and performance demands. A challenge, but absolutely worth it!
Who were your music mentors? and what did you learn from them?
Paula Robison taught me to just play the flute! I used to be afraid of playing bach. I felt like I could do it justice, so I paid very close attention to every note, motion and dynamics that I was stuck in a loop; So, she told me a story about her experience right before she recorded Bach and at the end of the story she simply said to just play the flute! Simple, but very effective.
Eric Lamb talked to me about the value of creativity and how to evolve my artistry. Eric was so good at "connecting the dots" for teenage Adam. For example, he used a lot of imagery to portray dramatic detail in Chaminade or in Poulenc Sonata and it helped me to build an artistic voice of my own.
My very first flute teacher, Aimee Pashby, taught me about resilience and good work ethics. And I am grateful for that!
Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun, (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?
I have a pretty good green thumb! I love plants and have plenty at home!
I love taking my moped out on a warm day and strolling the city!
Lastly, I am an avid crocheter! Thanks to my grandma - Crocheting is something I love to do during the winter months! I feel close to my grandmother, in spirit.
What 3 things would you offer as advice for a young flutist?
The best advice I would offer to young aspire flute players is:
1. Cultivate your village. Surround yourself with people that inspire you.
2. Be Kind to Others. This industry is small and I guarantee that you will come across someone that you worked with in Chamber Ensemble 20 years ago.
3. Lastly, Relax, your time will come. Social media can add a lot of anxiety especially when we scroll and see success after success or the constant "I am pleased to announce...", etc. Be supportive to others and keep working hard. Don't expect things to line up nicely simply because you've practiced non-stop for years. Create opportunities for yourself when opportunities do not fall into your lap. Keep creating - that's what we do!