2011 National Flute Association (N.F.A.) Lifetime Achievement Award. First prize, Naumburg Flute Competition (’78); Concert Artists Guild (’72). Recipient: Fulbright, N.E.A. soloist grants. Appearances: Lincoln Center Great Performers; Chamber Music Society of L.C. Soloist: London, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Pittsburgh Symphonies; Netherlands Concertgebouw, Warsaw Philharmonic. Festivals: Aspen, Aldeburgh, Budapest Spring, Marlboro, Mostly Mozart, Norfolk, Santa Fe, Spoleto, Sarasota, Music@Menlo. Tours: Asia, Europe, Russia, South Africa, South America. Commissions/premieres by Rouse, Heggie, Tower, Foss, Gorecki, Schoenfield. Grammy-award nominee; recordings for CRI, DG (with Emerson Quartet), Decca, Naxos, Nonesuch, Music Masters (Recording of Special Merit with Andras Schiff), Telarc (Diapason D’Or Award for the Rouse Flute Concerto). Member, N.Y. Woodwind Quintet; Trio Les Amies, with Nancy Allen and Cynthia Phelps. Principal flute, St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, ’72-’77. Board member: N.F.A., Naumburg Concerts, Concert Artists Guild. Distinguished Alum Award: Manhattan School; Brevard Music Center; New York Flute Club. Juror: Rampal, Kobe International, and Fischoff flute competitions. Faculty: The Juilliard School since 1988, Indiana U., Rice U. (’86-93); Stony Brook U. since 1998.
Oberlin; B.M., Manhattan School of Music; M.M., Juilliard. Diplomas: Santa Cecilia, Chigiana Academies. Studies with Moyse, Gazzelloni, Lora, Baron, Willoughby, Tipton, Delaney, and Jos Wincenc.
Ask the Faculty: Carol Wincenc
Summerflute: Music-Movement-Mind is really excited about having Carol Wincenc as a guest artist on our class this May 27-31 at Columbus State University’s Schwob School of Music. We are grateful that Carol could take the time to answer some questions we posed to her.
Amy Likar: You are a consummate performer, who really engages the audience when you perform. How did you learn to do that or what is your thought process behind your compelling and engaging performances?
Carol Wincenc: I grew up in a family of performing musicians and teachers. My father could “not wait” to get on the podium. I watched him found, nurture and be the music director of three community orchestras. All are now in their 70th seasons and I just played the Khachaturian with one of them this April. He was also an associate conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic. He was born to be a leader and was wildly charismatic. This “set the stage” for certain. My own thought process in performance is: listen, be one with the music, stay awake and attentive, hear all the other parts and sing them and by all means, “kiss your audience”. ”Kiss your audience” is a phrase I grew up on, my father always said it.
Amy Likar: What drew you to the concepts of Somatic or Mind-Body Studies?
Carol Wincenc: I was principal flute of the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra from 1972-1977, freshly right of my years at Juilliard. There was a small, intimate group of musicians in the orchestra who were interested in the work of George Gurdjieff and also the work of FM Alexander and the Alexander Technique. Both of their studies pertain to developing attention and consciousness which is right up my alley.
What I loved about the Alexander Technique was not only the astounding teachers that I worked with who were all students of FM Alexander himself, Frank Pierce Jones, Goddard Binkley and Marge Barstow, but that the Technique is about studying ones reaction to stimuli and also the study of “inhibition”. We can observe the way we react, in general and we have a choice about HOW to react, from sitting to standing to playing our instruments.
I was a “gasper” and clearly wanted to find some freedom in breathing, and find a way to inhale and use my air in a conscious way and in a way that allowed expansion and unencumbered movement and constriction. I thank Alex Murray for being there at the right time in the right place in the early 1970′s.
In the forward of my new edition of Reichert Daily Studies published by Lauren Keiser Music Publisher I discuss the way in which I replaced old breathing habits with newer, liberating ones. I recommend you get the new edition and read that!
Body Mapping came much later. I was teaching at California Summer Arts during the summer of 2013 and Rena Urso-Trapani taught a Body Mapping class and I loved the non hands on way of approaching observing the body and our own use through our own imaginations or through imagining the inner excursion.
Amy Likar: How long have you been integrating Body Mapping, Alexander Technique into your flute playing and practice?
Carol Wincenc: ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE SINCE 1972–AND ON GOING.. I am planning on getting my teacher training to be certified.. now to find the time. I already incorporate helping the flute student discover very basic concepts of “ones “USE”.. BODY MAPPING SINCE 2013..
Amy Likar: How have you found it helps your playing?
Carol Wincenc: Immeasurably….just thinking ”neck free, head forward and up, back lengthening and widening is my daily credo. Especially the neck free, it gives me added space within and the ability to breathe. With the permission to breathe - expansion – stress free. I also exclusively breathing through my nose when and only when I have the time to do that. Then I am using what I call “My Singer’s Way”. I love to sing and I imagine singing while I am playing, or implementing all of the techniques that a singer would use and that affects the shape inside of the mouth, throat, abdomen, rib cage, back, upper torso in general.
Amy Likar: Let me know if there is anything else that we could ask you?
Carol Wincenc: Why the flute when I could have been a singer! Ha! I almost switched to the oboe at 14. I think that is because I was always going for the core, bulls-eye, center of the sound, which is the greatest challenge with playing the flute as only a small percentage of our air goes in the tube. ACK!
My first sound concept was molded by my father’s violin playing, spin in the vibrato and core in the sound; length of the bow and consistency with the bow arm. My first music lessons were on the violin at age 4.
Amy Likar: Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! I look forward to seeing you at Columbus State in May!