FeaturedInterviewsIssuesJanuary 2023

Zofia Neugebauer Artist Interview

Zofia Neugebauer, flutist, singer and composer, artist that is always searching for new ways of expression. Performing as a soloist and chamber musician on stages in Europe and other continents, she represents the new generation of young flutists by bringing freshness to the classical music world.

Five career highlights:

I will try to draw here the most meaningful moments in my musical life and the ones that stayed the strongest in my heart. 

The first one was definitely the day when I played my first big concert with a Symphony Orchestra, that was when I was 12 and I can remember this feeling of beeing in the flow, like flying on a cloud of magic. 

Later on, another big moment for me was when I could play as a second flute with Berliner Philharmoniker Mahler 2nd Symphony, last concert of Simon Rattle as their Chief conductor, as academist of the Karajan Akademie. It was a historical moment in the music World. 

The third highlight I have to say that it it beeing part of beautiful CD recording of Budapest Festival Orchestra and their “Das Lied von der Erde” of Gustav Mahler. I lived the days of the recording with my open heart for all the emotions of the music, orchestra and Ivan Fisher - the conductor. 

Fourth- winning audition as a solo flutist of Luzerner Sinfonieorchester, playing there for two years I learned a lot about life in the orchestra and gained big self confidence on stage. 

Fifth- it’s this year, when I have a chance to play more and more solo concert around Europe, have my first concert Tour in Germany and I am awaiting for a release of my very own first CD with Folkwangs Kammerorchester Essen and Johannes Klump. 

How about 3 pivotal moments that were essential to creating the artist that you've become?

First I am going to put my parents and family. They support me all the way through. On days when I feel a bit down I can count on them, their love and support, my family gives me space to be myself and supports me in every crazy idea. Like this I can feel like I have a space to express myself the way I am! This gives me confidence to make music, create and search for new ideas. 

Second experience that changed me as an artist was working with Mathieu Dufour in Karajan Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker. He is an incredibly sensitive and wise teacher, like some kind of guide or master. He taught me so many things. Here is one of them: Don't compromise. Always search for the most honest and real expression of the piece and be the musician for the music, and not for fame or money. 

The third big change in my life was when Corona hit. I felt completely lost. I felt like I didn't know what should I be doing with my life, as just in the middle of my contract, I had to leave the position with the Luzerner Sinfonieorchester. I wanted to move back with my family town in Poland. Now I see that this process was, for many of us artists, a way to recalibrate our life. I feel I became more bold person as a musician. I decided to create my own music, express more and listen to my heart. 

What do you like the most about performing ? 

The feeling of the flow, and that I do really connect with hearts with people on the public. Every public is very different for me. I can feel the people in the room, so when I can make magic with this music wave, it feels like I am creating some very important connections between humans. 

Every day on stage is different and I love that so much. 

CD Releases 

My fist Mozart Flute concertos CD IS COMING next season and I am so excited because it will be a very fresh approach to these concertos. We decided to play them in the Classical/Baroque style, in a more historically informed way. Johannes Klump was a real inspiration with the process, as he is very passionate about Mozart. I  have my energy and ideas, trusted in his vision. We created something that I really love! 

Schedule for next 6 months. 

I am going to be playing Concert Tour in Germany with Kammerphilharmonie Bonn with Mercadante Concerto also in Mecklenburg Vorpommern, Reinecke Concert and the rest will be filled with some recitals and more orchestra life. 

What are your goals personally?  Professionally?

Professionally I want to grow as a musician and artist. My biggest goal is to play music with great musicians and make projects with other big artists, so I can learn and expand my imagination. 

I try not to differentiate the professional and personal life as I believe we have one life, and not two - professional and personal. For me it is one. I want to grow in vision, learn, discover new perspectives to be wiser every day. 

What inspires you the most in life? 

Relations with people I think inspire me the most. Nowhere else I can find such an intensity of feelings as between two humans. Nature is for me big inspiration, as well as spirituality and books. Books are created by other humans, so it is linked to the first one - people and relations. 

What has been your professional greatest challenge. 

My professional greatest challenge was when I moved to Berlin to play in Karajan Akademie der Berliner Philharmoniker. Musical scene in Berlin is incredible, so also expectations towards myself grew. I wanted to be the best version of myself so the pressure was high. 

Tell us about your Sound Healing sessions. 

In our profession you always hear about people dealing with stress, burnouts, conflicts at work. At some point in my life I needed finally to take care of myself because I was having blackouts on stage. 

Sound baths are incredible tool for stress release and balancing our nervous system. I started to attend them by myself and I experienced this incredible power of sound and its relaxing abilities. Seeing and hearing the power of the instruments, Tibetan singing bowls, I really wanted to share with bigger circle, so I invite you to get to know it and maybe attend sound bath session. 

Can you give us 5 quirky, secret, fun, (don't think too much about this) hobbies or passions?  

Painting, Singing, Sports, Meditation and all the different bio hacking, nerdy lifestyle things, Interior Design 

What 3 things would you offer as advice for a young flutist?

  1. I would love to see people always having something else in their life, something to take their mind off the flute, some other hobby and passion. 

2. In the end we can be artists only when we feel ourselves, so try to stay true to your essence and learn about yourself rather than trying to fit into some society expectations. Being a first flute of the orchestra and having position in a conservatory as a teacher is not only way of being successful artist. Define your own version of success.

3. Try not to be jealous about anyone else’s success. Rather support your friends and enemies ;) Everyone has their perfect path in life. Make friends, like this you will always have someone to play music with <3 

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