Renate Sokolovska

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Tell us a little bit about yourself and your life. Not necessarily music-related!

Hello! I’m a London-based Scotland-loving Siberian-Latvian flautist. This won’t be the first time I’ve been up Ben Nevis with my flute, and it certainly won’t be the last! I’ve just finished a masters at RCM surrounded by all sorts of musical adventures from Glastonbury with Floating Points to Buckingham Palace with Maxim Vengarov. But when not making music, I’m at my happiest floating down a river in a canoe or cycling towards an ice-cold aperol spritz!

How did you first get into music?

I have to thank my family for that! From my choir-conductor grandmother to my rock-bassist/preacher father and pianist mother, as well as my wonderful musical brothers. We even toured Scandinavia together several years running as a family troupe!

What made you decide that music would be an important part of your life?

Honestly, there wasn’t ever a moment when a decision was made! I could simply never imagine spending my life doing anything else.

What has been your musical highlight so far?

I’m still glowing from playing The Rite of Spring last year at The Royal Festival Hall with The Britten-Pears Orchestra, conducted by the incredible Marin Alsop.

Who are your favourite composers/artists/musicians?

Stravinsky and Prokofiev have always been my guys, but my most memorable recent concert experiences have been the Aurora Orchestra’s stunning Ligeti extravaganza with Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and the amazing Jack Quartet doing Brian Ferneyhough and Julian Anderson. Last but not least though, I can’t not mention Erykah Badu, Jonie Mitchell, Rothko and Iris Apfel.

What do you anticipate for the Nevis Ensemble?

I am so excited about bringing a blast of wonderful music into people’s lives when they might not necessarily be expecting it. Most of all though, I can’t wait to see the looks on the faces of those who happen to climb Ben Nevis the same day as us and find an orchestral performance in full swing when they reach the top!