Tune In Backstage: Meet Juliette Bausor

Read our interview with Juliette Bausor from our recent Tune In newsletter. Juliette is one of the Orchestra’s newest members, having been appointed Principal Flute in July 2016. She joins us from Royal Northern Sinfonia, based at Sage Gateshead, where she was Principal for the past 11 years. We got to know her and her first impressions of the LPO ...

When did you begin playing the flute? Can you remember what attracted you to the instrument?

I started playing the flute when I was about five years old. My mother’s a music teacher so there was a lot of music in my life from the very beginning, but it was seeing James Galway playing his golden flute on television and hearing his recordings that made me desperate to play the flute!

Have you always wanted to be a professional musician? When did you decide that it was the career for you?

I think that I set my heart on a career as a professional musician at that very early age, but opportunities such as studying at The Purcell School of Music and being part of the National Youth Orchestra and the European Union Youth Orchestra made me even more determined to work hard enough to succeed as a professional player.

What are the best and worst things about life as an orchestral musician?

The best thing is definitely spending every day doing something I love, as well as the overwhelming journey of emotions when playing an amazing piece of music and the feeling of high following a great performance! The less enjoyable side of things is that we work fairly antisocial hours, plus an exhausting amount of travelling – but getting to visit lots of amazing places is obviously a perk!

What are your first impressions of the atmosphere in the LPO, and the wind section in particular?

It’s an extremely warm, friendly orchestra, and everyone has been so welcoming. The wind section is really supportive and they are all brilliant people as well as players, so I feel very honoured to be joining such a great team.

What’s your favourite music to listen to when you’re not working?

I generally put on something to wind down and chill out to like Norah Jones or Goldfrapp, but I’m always up for a boogie to some old cheesy dance numbers or having a singalong to musicals!

In which LPO concerts this season should we listen out for your solos?

The season begins on 23 September with a concert conducted by Vladimir Jurowski, and the very first piece we’ll play is Debussy’s Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, the opening of which is probably the biggest flute solo in the repertoire! So I’m very excited and a little nervous with anticipation about that! There are some really great programmes coming up throughout the season and I’m looking forward to playing a lot of the repertoire for the first time, since I’ve spent the last 11 years mainly playing smaller scored pieces for chamber orchestra [Juliette is also Principal Flute with the London Mozart Players and a member of the chamber group Ensemble 360].

Had you not become a musician, what other career might you have liked to do instead?

My whole family is quite ‘arty’, and in fact my brother, Jon Bausor, is a very talented and successful set designer who has some truly amazing and brilliantly clever ideas. I haven’t got his talent but do enjoy craft and design, so I think I’d probably have liked to have done something in the field of interior design. I’m slightly obsessed with reading home magazines in my spare time, and enjoy watching TV programmes about home renovation and design. I also find painting and decorating quite therapeutic, which is lucky, as I’m about to start work on our new house ...!

As a newcomer to London, what are you most looking forward to exploring in the city in your time off?

I’ve just moved down from Gateshead to Kent and there’s a lot of lovely countryside to explore nearby, but I’m really looking forward to being able to get into London easily for the theatre and exhibitions. I’ve just recently bought my husband a book about some more unusual quirky places to explore on our days off in London!

Read our latest edition of Tune In online here.