August 2006 Convention
Pittsburgh, PA

Gen-X Concert: A Performer’s View

August 12, 2006

For the fast past few years at the convention, a Gen-X concert has showcased up-and-coming or successful young Gen-Xers. This year’s program featured Julietta Currenton, the 2005 winner of the NFA Young Artist Competition; Natalie Debikey, piccoloist of the Buffalo Philharmonic; the new assistant principal flutist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Marisela Sager; and myself.

Marisela Sager

Marisela Sager

I was told that I was “the weird one,” because I actually sat in and listened to the others play before it was my turn. While this is unsettling for some, I enjoy it, as it sets the mood for me. Flute—oh yeah, I can do this is what I am thinking. It was enjoyable for me to listen to the other performers on this program, for both the playing and the repertoire were delightful to hear.

Currenton performed the Slovakian Children’s Songs by Paul Schoenfield, a new work she and pianist Collette Valentine handled with strength and conviction. Debikey and pianist Linda Mark played the lovely Arthur Foote Three Pieces, which is not performed as often as one would think. Sager finished the recital playing three standard but very different works from our repertoire.

Nicole Esposito

Nicole Esposito

First was the Telemann Sonata in A major, accompanied by her cellist husband, Daniel Pereira, before moving on to the Eldin Burton Sonatina. The Berio Sequenza was the final piece on the program, which was a fitting celebration of the composer’s life, as he died earlier this summer.

The piece I played was Honami for solo flute by the Dutch flutist/composer Wil Offermans. I have always liked playing this work, as I enjoy performing contemporary music very much. I prepared this piece to play from memory to better communicate with the audience. Well, we all know that one stays very busy at a flute convention, and this year was no different for me. I was barely able to touch my flute until a few hours before the performance. I decided to take the music onstage with me, but to place the stand as low as possible; however, I admit to sneaking a peak at it once or twice as I performed. It is usually somewhat nerve racking to perform in a room full of flutists. However, NFA audiences are always wonderfully supportive. I look forward to the opportunity to do this again at future NFA conventions.

—Nicole Esposito