Can you share your overall experience attending the APAP conference in NYC for the first time this January?
I attended the APAP Conference for the first time this year. I received the recommendation to attend the conference from various people, e.g., through guests of our Artist Lounge Podcast, social media, and personal conversations. Development, inspiration & networking are incredibly important to me, so I quickly decided to fly to New York for APAP. For those who don't know, the conference is where all performing arts disciplines come together and can network in seminars, talks, and meetings, visit showcases, or create their own. There is an exhibition, presentations, and various events in large gala halls. In addition to artists, many other professional groups are present, e.g., managers, agents, agencies, organizations, concert and event organizers, and representatives of event venues.
Now, back from New York, I can say that I am glad to have attended the conference, that I would do it again anytime, and that I will try to plan again soon.
What motivated you to participate in the conference, and how did it align with your musical goals?
Anyone who has known me for a while will be aware that being versatile is very important in my artistic work. Therefore, in our Artist Lounge Podcast, we have included musicians and all art forms to inspire and learn from and with each other. That's why I was particularly fascinated from the outset by the fact that music and all other performing arts come together at APAP. I am convinced that nowadays, we can change or make a difference together and that we belong together as performing art forms. This exchange was particularly important to me.
In addition, New York simply has an almost magical attraction for me, which I have carried with me since my first performance there at Carnegie Hall.
If you want to establish long-term relationships, personal contact is particularly important. I realized that I wanted to establish these contacts, relationships, and a network independently and not have an agent or manager do it for me. Ultimately, of course, these people support us, but our tasks of representation and networking always remain. That was also what motivated me to travel to New York.
What were the key takeaways or lessons you learned from your time at APAP, both as a flutist and in terms of the broader music industry?
One of my biggest realizations is that you should implement your ideas. Everything is possible, even if it sometimes seems impossible or unrealizable initially. Do it and have fun!!!
If you look at how many offers and demand there are, I don't feel there is any reason to worry that there isn't enough space for all music creators and performing artists. I was very impressed by the focus on the community and the common goal of making a difference in the industry of performing artists at APAP.
In addition, there are clear financial differences between Europe and the US regarding the opportunities available to organizers and venues.
Here, in particular, I realized that we need to change something in Europe and that musicians and artists deserve a different status, be seen, and be paid better.
How did your showcase opportunity in NYC contribute to your musical growth, and what kind of audience engagement did you experience?
I come from Germany, so organizing a showcase in New York from here wasn't easy. But it was extremely important to me to take this opportunity and present myself together with my mum, Christiane Martini, in a showcase. Together, we are the ensemble "Flautophonics." I play the flute, and Christiane is the recorder. We are the ensemble's core and always have a changing line-up around us, e.g., with cello, piano, organ, or accordion. We organize special events, e.g. with our book "Das Glücksbuch", "The happiness book", we wrote together about happiness. We also give joint masterclasses for flute and recorder and would like to create a platform for connecting the two instruments.
For us, it was an attempt to network, present, and make contacts internationally on a global platform. We have achieved our goal and are very happy to have taken this step. We met interesting audience members who were enthusiastic about our musical energy.
In hindsight, is there anything you wish you had known or prepared for before attending the conference?
From my prior visits to New York, my performance at Carnegie Hall a few years ago, and the conversations with various people from the cultural sector, I know the energy these visits always release in me.
My goal for APAP was to learn something new and to approach people openly so that new and exciting relationships and conversations could develop. It was, therefore, perfect for me.
However, I think it could be overwhelming if you're not prepared for the number of offerings to expect and how packed the schedule can be if you don't do some groundwork before.
Would you recommend other musicians attend APAP, and if so, what advice would you give them to make the most out of their experience?
New York itself has an incredible energy that motivates and inspires me as a musician and creative person. APAP is overwhelming, just from the number of showcases, performances, music from everywhere, the people, and the seminars offered. I would recommend everyone to visit APAP.
Special aspects are the unique energy, like-minded people, the love of music and artistic performances, and professional input. The organization is perfect.
My tip is to prepare well and in detail. You can quickly become overwhelmed by the wide range on offer. I have previously asked people who have already attended APAP for their tips. There is also the Swapcard app, which is very well structured and helps you find your way around digitally; it lists local plans and time schedules so you can create your own individual schedule. It is also very helpful to network a little in advance. I knew a few people who would also attend the APAP and made appointments with them before the event. In my case, it also helps to find out when your own interest groups meet, such as the Classical Music Forum or an Artist Affinity Group.
If you want to present an ensemble, performance offer, etc., I can only recommend preparing well and having a business card, CDs, and promotional material ready.
Did the conference provide insights into the current trends or challenges in the music industry that you were unaware of before attending?
I am observing how the German and European music industry is developing, the musicians, the audience, the concert formats, the tasks... It was very interesting to hear and discuss that many of the challenges and changes are global and that it is basically a global development of an entire performing arts industry.
How do you envision incorporating what you learned at APAP into your future musical endeavors or career plans?
I have returned to my daily work routine with energy, motivation, and inspiration, and I am really looking forward to implementing my upcoming projects. Wonderful contacts have been made that will be very fulfilling and helpful in the future, both professionally and in terms of friendship. I also learned a lot in the seminars that I will implement and integrate.
My final advice for APAP or any musical or artistic New York experience: Enjoy this wonderful city, the people living there, and the city's heartbeat. Take your time to get inspired and energized, meet people, and to see other artists' extraordinary ideas.
New York, we see us next year…
Katharina Martini is a flutist, author, and pedagogue. Concert tours regularly take her through Europe and the United States. She performs as a soloist and chamber musician in famous concert halls, e.g., Carnegie Hall New York, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Laeiszhalle, Elbphilharmonie, and Berliner Philharmonie. Katharina Martini is conducting masterclasses at universities, academies, and festivals in Europe and the United States. In addition, she is a regular guest at renowned music festivals, such as the Schleswig Holstein Music Festival, Rheingau Music Festival, and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festival.
Katharina is a multiple-prize winner at various national and international Competitions. As a recording artist, she has a discography of multiple CDs, including her debut „Meisterwerke für Flöte” (2018), “Diamonds of Flute,” and a CD recording with the NDR Choir “Moonlight.”
In 2024, her book for flutists and musicians, “The Resonating Body,” is published by “Trübcher Music Editions”. She regularly is part of juries in competitions and is the host of her own podcast "Artist Lounge Podcast".
Katharina Martini completed her Bachelor's and master's studies with distinction in Frankfurt am Main in Germany and studied with Thaddeus Watson. Furthermore, she received a MicroMaster from Cambridge University as well as a certificate from the Performing Arts Medicine Association.