Hidden from small

Olivia Staton - Behind the Scenes

March 07, 2019

Each month in the Orchestra’s Playbill, we feature one musician in a question-and-answer segment. Below is that feature in its entirety.

Where were you born? Sacramento, California.

What piece of music could you play over and over again? Any of Brahms’s symphonies. Also the flute melody in Sibelius’s Valse triste, it’s such a short piece but something about it is so magical!

What is your most treasured possession? My flute.

What’s your favorite Philadelphia restaurant? Parc and Little Nonna’s.

Tell us about your instrument. I play on a Yamaha flute and headjoint. I absolutely love it!

What’s in your instrument case? Swab, polishing cloth, cigarette paper, ear plugs, a Barenreiter pencil from one of my Juilliard professors that says “your next performance is worth it,” and the number I drew for the final round of the audition I took for my position here.

If you could ask one composer one question what would it be? I guess I would ask Brahms why he didn’t write any chamber music with flute!

What piece of music never fails to move you? Any of the Schubert or Mahler art songs.

When did you join the Orchestra? September 2018.

Do you play any other instruments? Piano.

What’s your favorite type of food? Italian and Japanese (I grew up in both countries).

What books are on your nightstand? Hard copy or e-reader? I’m currently reading a hard copy of Moby Dick. I was inspired to read it after we performed the suite from Jake Heggie’s opera in November.

Do you speak any other languages? I spoke Italian when I lived in Italy growing up and I’m working on getting it back.

Do you follow any blogs? I follow several sailing blogs.

Do you have any hobbies? Ballet, yoga, skiing, hiking, and geography.

Do you have a favorite movie? No.

Is there a piece of music that isn’t in the standard orchestral repertoire that should be? Not an orchestral work, but Frank Martin’s Four Sonnets to Cassandra is an absolutely incredible chamber piece for flute, strings, and mezzo-soprano. Martin sets four sonnets by the French poet Pierre de Ronsard. Ronsard evokes Petrarch and earlier styles of the Italian Renaissance in his poetry, and so does Martin in his setting.

What’s the last recording you purchased? CD or download? I downloaded Fauré and Strauss violin sonatas with Itzhak Perlman and Emanuel Ax.

When was the first time you heard The Philadelphia Orchestra? The first time I heard the Orchestra live was in the fall of 2012 in Carnegie Hall.

Other than Verizon Hall, where is your favorite place to perform? Carnegie Hall!