Preparing for the spotlight: Principal Flute Aralee Dorough on Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2

Preparing for the spotlight: Principal Flute Aralee Dorough on Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2

Principal Flute Aralee Dorough will be featured during this weekend’s Scheherazade concert when she performs Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2 with the Orchestra. She also has a unique connection to this performance. She wrote in on Wednesday to tell us about it, so read on to learn more and hear her for yourself April 8-10!
Prinicpal Flute Aralee Dorough
Tomorrow I will finally get to meet distinguished guest conductor Rafael Fruhbeck de Burgos, whose name I have know for many years. We’ll be meeting to talk through the particulars of my Mozart concerto before we rehearse with the orchestra, and also to do an interview for KUHF’s Front Row.


One question I like to ask our guest artists when I have the chance is, “Where do you call home?” Born in Spain and holding posts in far flung places like  Vienna, Berlin, Tokyo and Denmark, a conductor like Fruhbeck de Burgos, whose schedule has him traveling all over the world, will have an interesting answer to that.


I’ve had done a bit of traveling myself, but ever since grad school, I’ve lived in Houston. My first job was with the Houston Symphony, and my second job is with the Houston Symphony! One could say I grew up right here in this orchestra. It’s a special honor for me to be asked to solo with the orchestra this weekend. No one knows better than me that the Houston Symphony is absolutely fantastic at accompanying soloists. They–(usually “we”)–are so sensitive and responsive, they can turn on a dime. Also, Mozart is a specialty of the orchestra. So I plan to enjoy every minute I’m up there!


I’ve been working hard these past weeks to prepare. The skills needed for a Mozart concerto include some different ones than I use when I am seated in the orchestra, one being that I have to stand up to play! Probably sounds silly to most people, but the bio mechanics are so different that I can actually notice a difference in my sound based on how I am standing, and even what shoes, if any, I am wearing. (That’s why I have decided to ditch my slender heels  in favor of some Dansko shoes with my elegant dress. Don’t laugh–it’s for YOUR listening pleasure!) I’ve also composed my own cadenzas from the piece. “Cadenza”  is related to the word “cadence”, which in music means the harmonic completion point. Classical composers often inserted a moment of delay right before this concluding point, a place where everything stops and the performer can fill in, perhaps show off, alone. In Mozart’s time, what to play in this solo break was left up to the performer, the performer might even improvise as jazz artists do today. I’ll be playing something I’ve worked out ahead of time, but in the spirit of an extemporaneous riff.


To purchase tickets and hear Aralee’s performance of Mozart’s Flute Concerto No. 2, as well as Scheherazade and Mozart’s Serenade No. 6, click here!


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