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Woodwinds course inspired to take risks in playing



Clarinetist Stefani Feldman from Los Angeles, California is one of the participants of the first ever Sibelius Summer Academy woodwind course. After studying with Yehuda Gilad at the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music, Feldman has been living in Norway for four years. As a Fulbright Scholarship recipient, she received her Masters degree at the Norwegian Academy of Music under Björn Nyman and has been working in various orchestras since then. She will also be attending Verbier this year to play in the Festival Orchestra. 

- I’ve always been fascinated by the Nordic style of playing, and that’s what attracted me to Norway in the first place. I found the Sibelius Summer Academy online and noticed the faculty – I’ve heard a lot about the great teaching qualities of Mr. Mäki, Mr. Palermo and Mr. Sundqvist. I also wanted to meet new people. The music world is quite internationally integrated, and I also wanted to get to know my future colleagues.

Feldman has found the Sibelius Summer Academy woodwind course very rewarding. She feels she has gained a lot of inspiration and experienced the teachers and her peers wonderful to play and work with. She would encourage anyone interested in meeting new people and new teachers and anyone keen on improving their playing to participate in the Sibelius Summer Academy courses in the future.

- It has been very rewarding! I feel even more aligned with my artistic self now. We learned to convey our thoughts and feelings into musical gestures that can be understood. We have been encouraged to be intimate and introspective in our playing – to take more risks! 

She’s also been satisfied with all the practical arrangements related to the course.

- I’d say that this course has been extremely well organized. And I’ve also been pleasantly surprised by the variety the program has offered – from the daily concert programmes to the masterclasses and even pilates! As a Fulbright recipient, I learned that the individual, the community, and the whole world benefits from international exchange, and I find it necessary for development and improvement. Attending this course has been a great experience. Just listening to others can change our paradigm, and an open mind is invaluable to any musician.