Julia Richter, Flute / Piccolo
Flute / Piccolo
When did you begin to play your instrument?
I picked the flute out of an array of instruments so that I could join my 6th grade school band. I remember my decision was made by careful consideration of which instrument was the shiniest.
Do you play any other instruments?
Where did you study your main instrument; with whom?
I took private flute lessons with different local flute teachers from 6th – 12th grade. At college, I studied with Dr. Marilyn Shotola at Portland State University in Oregon for my Bachelors of Music degree and Dr. Mary Karen Clardy at the University of North Texas for my Masters.
When did you join ESO?
I joined the ESO in 1999!
What other orchestras have you played with/do you play with now?
I’ve played with the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra , Milwaukee Ballet Orchestra, Grant Park Orchestra, Lyric Opera Orchestra and Chicago Opera Theatre Orchestra.
What was your most memorable ESO performance?
A few concerts stand out in my memory. One was the Opening Season Gala with Sir James Galway as flute soloist. It was incredible to have such a famous musician on the same stage with the ESO! It was also fun to chat with him about all things flute at the reception afterwards. Another concert was getting to play every piccolo players dream piece, Shostakovich Symphony #10. The piccolo part is very difficult, rewarding, terrifying and inspiring. Everything you could want in a piece as a musician. Andrew Grams was conducting, and I believe it was his first season as music director of the ESO! I’ll never forget the rush of adrenaline as we got to the end of the piece and also a feeling of pride for being a part of the incredible Elgin Symphony Orchestra.
What are some of your interests, and how are you passing the time?
I love rock climbing, biking and generally being active outdoors. I also love listening to live music of any style during summer evenings with a picnic and a good bottle of wine. Since we’ve had to be more homebound recently due to the pandemic, I’ve been playing a lot of board games with my daughter. The whole family participates in a Skee-Ball tournament we’ve created in our house every Sunday evening. We have a big scoreboard and my daughter makes certificates and prizes for us all.
I’ve also been spending a lot of time experimenting with a multi-frame video app called Acapella. I used it originally to create practice videos for a student flute choir, but I’ve found that it is fun to do just for my own fun and it keeps my flute playing in shape. The ESO flute section did a virtual flute trio using Acapella a few weeks ago! It was so much fun to still be able play with my colleagues even though we couldn’t be together in real time.