Flautist unites with for­mer teacher


After 25 years, an in­ter­na­tion­al­lyrenowned Kiwi flautist has been re­united with her for­mer high school mu­sic teacher.

Melissa Far­row, who now lives in Syd­ney, will per­form this week­end with Gra­ham McPhail, a mu­sic teacher who once in­spired her at Auck­land St Cuth­bert’s Col­lege.

Far­row is a pe­riod flautist and is the prin­ci­pal flute player of the Aus­tralian Bran­den­burg Or­ches­tra.

The group plays scores from the 18th cen­tury on re­stored and re­pro­duced in­stru­ments from the pe­riod.

Far­row spe­cialises in the wooded baroque flute, an in­stru- ment she said has a dis­tinc­tive sound from the tra­di­tional steel flute.

‘‘You come to a wooden in­stru­ment and it’s a lot more mel­low and soft and grainy and gritty,’’ Far­row said.

‘‘You feel like you’re play­ing a tree that was once alive, it’s a very dif­fer­ent feel­ing.

‘‘It’s got a lot of char­ac­ter, it’s got a lot of colour dif­fer­ences. I think that’s what re­ally at­tracts me to it.’’

Far­row said she was drawn to the baroque flute hav­ing learnt about the his­tor­i­cal con­text of the in­stru­ment as a child.

Far­row and McPhail will per­form in NZ Barok’s Autumn Notes show this week­end at St Luke’s Church in Re­muera.


Gra­ham McPhail taught Melissa Far­row around 25 years ago.

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