FeaturedInterviewsIssuesOctober 2022

Veronika Vitazkova Artist Interview

Veronika Vitazkova is a professional flutist based in Vienna and enjoys conveying her love of music through different genres, styles, and woodwind instruments from all over the world. She enjoyed introducing traditional half-forgotten instruments on an international stage and bringing new knowledge to audiences.

Can you give us five career highlights?
This is a difficult question, but I think it was when I auditioned for The University of Music and Performing Arts, Vienna. That really brought me to the serious world of classical music. Then I was lucky to be able to play many concerts as a first solo flute on tours with maestro Ennio Morricone in the biggest stadiums in Europe for thousands of people.

I am happy that I could work and make music with many renowned orchestras and ensembles such as the Janoska ensemble and Tonkünstler orchestra in 2019, where I featured the solo fujara, with orchestra, and with the Radio Symphony Orchestra in Vienna, where I performed solo tin whistle in the music of Lord of the Rings and Avatar in “Hollywood in Vienna” at Konzerthaus Wien.

And I learned how to play the pan flute in 5 weeks and performed solo with the Tonkünstler orchestra.
Since the pandemic started, I built a small home studio where I started to record music with all my flutes and other ethnic woodwind instruments. I have already recorded music for some video games and soundtracks for movies and series for the BBC, Netflix and Disney+, to name a few.
In April 2022, I got invited to record my solo ethnic woodwinds for the composer Walter Mair at AIR Studios (Lyndhurst Hall) in London.


How about three pivotal moments essential to creating the artist you've become?
The latest would definitely be the pandemic that made me stop for a while, and I could take some time to think about my work and plans, and I focused on the film music.
And for sure the time, when I was seven and didn't want to go to the music school anymore because the (recorder) teacher was very strict and I would cry after the lessons. So my parents took me away from the music school, and I started to play Irish tin whistles by ear, many tunes; I improvised a lot and played at home and, later, some small concerts with my father. First, at the age of 12, I started to learn how to play the flute and to really learn the notes. At first, I thought it was a big disadvantage because all kids at that age could read the score better, but during university time, I finally realized how free I am in expression and playing whatever comes to my mind. And this freedom goes across the music styles, genres and instruments.


What do you like best about performing?

To connect with other musicians and communicate with them through the music with the audience.
I love to have fun on the stage.


CD releases?
I don't have any yet, but I'm planning to record some music for the Streaming platforms soon.


What does your schedule look like for the next six months?  
In four days, I will run my first Marathon in Berlin, and I am excited about it!
Then there are many smaller concerts in Vienna.
I will have a solo concert (playing the fujara flute) at the Jeju International Wind Ensemble Festival in South Korea, to which I am looking forward very much.
I have cool projects to record for some movies, but unfortunately, I cannot talk about them yet.


What are your goals personally?  Professionally?
Personally, to have a kind of balanced life. Professionally, to play and work on music with inspiring people and learn something new every single time.
Also, to make my own album one day is my goal for the near future :)


What inspires you the most in life?
People, stories, and the whole world. Music and love.
Who were your music mentors?  and what did you learn from them?
Marta Braunsteinerova - from the conservatory in Bratislava, taught me so much, especially that every note should have a life. And that I should listen to opera singers because of the phrases and breathing.
Hansgeorg Schmeiser taught me that first, when I play an etude three times after each other without a mistake, I know it.
Birgit Ramsl helped me change my embouchure at the age of 25, and I will be thankful forever for that because it gave me all the flexibility and control not only for the flute but also for all the other ethnic instruments.
Can you give us five quirky, secret, fun (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?  
I really enjoy running and love chocolate and ice cream, so I need to run a lot :)
I have over 70 instruments at the moment, from piccolo through shakuhachi to zurna. They all still fit in the IKEA closet; only the didgeridoo and fujara don't...
What three things would you offer as advice for a young flutist?
Try out different music styles, listen to them, improvise a bit and take every masterclass you can with different teachers; each will teach you something you will need. Enjoy the scales; play them as if they are music!
Practice a lot but don't spend all the time in the practice room.
Spend time with friends and make memories, all that comes together in the music.


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