Two friends, two flutes, one Festival of Chichester....

Elizabeth Walker (left) and Sarah Murphy
Elizabeth Walker (left) and Sarah Murphy

Elizabeth Walker returns to her home city with life-long friend and fellow flautist Sarah Murphy for this year’s Festival of Chichester.

The two, who met at the Royal College of Music, will be joined by Sally Halsey on piano to offer an evening of music for music for two flutes at The Richmond Room, Edes House, West Street, Chichester on Wednesday, June 28 at 7.30pm.

Elizabeth now splits her time between Somerset and London, but Chichester remains a place full of happy memories.

“I was a pupil at Bishop Luffa school from 1978-1985, at that time also performing in the West Sussex Youth Orchestra, the local operatic society, and up at the Festival Theatre in Shakespeare productions such as The Tempest and Twelfth Night. I also performed regularly in the cathedral.

“After leaving school, I moved to London to attend the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, studying flute and recorder, and a post-graduate study in The Hague, Holland.

“I now perform solo flute recitals and in professional orchestras throughout the world in a busy music career that has recently taken me most recently to America, Canada, Switzerland and Holland as well as throughout the British Isles. I have appeared on Radio 3’s In Tune programme with my pianist, and I currently teach at the specialist music school in Wells.”

All after those early musical days in Chichester.

“I went to Southbourne junior school where my mum was headteacher, and I started recorder.”

In fact she wanted to play the oboe, but it was the flute that claimed her: “I took to the flute so fast I ended up going to the Junior Royal College of Music.

“It’s hard to say how I ended up playing the flute when I wanted to play the oboe, but I suppose it was because I was playing the recorder and the recorder and the flute are really, really complementary, and a lot of the repertoire is the same. I think I took to it so quickly because I was already playing the recorder.

“But also the flute is so lovely that really it became an automatic choice for me.

“My programme in Chichester is in Edes House where we will enjoy chatting to the audience with a drink in the interval. I am joined by fellow flautist and lifelong friend, Sarah Murphy and pianist Sally Halsey for a lively and varied concert of operatic and vocal solos and duets arranged for two flutes and piano, including arias from Rigoletto, Haydn’s Creation, a fast and furious rendition of the best bits of Carmen and some new arrangements of Mendelssohn’s exquisite Song without Words and a collection of the most beautiful Richard Strauss songs.”

Tickets £14; seniors and students £10; children £6. www.thenovium.org/boxoffice or call 01243 816525 or 775888.

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