Ruth is prinicipal flautist for the Exeter Symphony Orchestra and has also performed orchestral, chamber, contemporary, jazz and musical theatre in a variety of venues throughout the South West. Highlights with local orchestras have included playing the alto flute in Job by Vaughan Williams and Rite of Spring by Stravinsky, playing piccolo in Symphony of a Thousand by Mahler and playing flute in A Short Ride in a Fast Machine by John Adams.
ESO When did you first take up playing a musical instrument?
RM When I was 5 years old and it was the recorder at school.
ESO Why the flute?
RM My grandfather played the violin but also loved to buy old and unwanted musical instruments. I was about 7 years old when he passed away and we found he had this battered old flute. I loved it despite the fact it really was beyond repair.
ESO If you could pick any job what would it be?
RM I love what I do but as well as studying Music at Cardiff University I also studied English Literature so my other dream job would probably be as a writer.
ESO Why do you like being part of the ESO?
RM I love the repertoire and it's a very friendly orchestra. It's also nice to be able to rehearse and perform in my home city.
ESO How many hours do you practice each week?
RM I practice 7 hours on a bad week and double that on a better one. I do an hour a day of essential technical practice and then will fit in repertoire practice around my day, with rehearsals on top of that. I play as much as I can with my students in lessons. I practice anywhere I can, even toilets on trains!
ESO As a performer what would be your favourite piece to play?
RM That's a really difficult choice, as every time I perform, the music I’m playing becomes my new favourite piece! I think any performance where everyone is fully involved with the event is so thrilling.
ESO What is the piece of music that has special meaning to you?
RM It would have to be Job by Vaughan Williams. It's both beautiful and sad and was one of the first pieces I played with the ESO, my flute teacher was principal flute for the ESO at that time and I know it was also a favourite of hers.
ESO Who has the best 'rehearsal banter'?
RM That would have to be John our French horn player!
ESO Night owl or lark?
RM I'm a bit of both really. I'll sometimes get up early to practice and there is something very satisfying about getting things done before most people are up and about, but I can also end up working late at night doing paperwork.
ESO If you could have 3 wishes what would they be?
RM World Peace, for everyone to have the chance to learn to play a musical instrument, to have a constant supply of chocolate!
ESO Who is your music idol?
RM I don’t like to make people into idols as I think people are even more incredible and inspiring when you remember that they are human and face many of the same challenges that you do. I admire successful musicans who are also mothers such as Marin Alsop (conductor), Tasmin Little (violinist) and Anna Noakes (flute), as I know just how much of a particular type of love and energy they must put into their lives to carve the paths that they do.
ESO Who would play 'you' in the movie of your life?
RM Maybe Winona Ryder. She seems like the right mixture of dark and light for me!
ESO Who would be your dream dinner date?
RM It would be pretty interesting to draw together loads of musicians from across the ages – a mish-mash of cultures, ideas and technologies - and see what everyone makes of it all.
ESO Apart from chocolate what is your guilty pleasure?
RM Barbara Streisand
Ruth is currently rehearsing for the ESO March concert, where she plays flute in the Mozart Concerto for Flute and Harp.