Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine

ILEANA RUHEMANN – GUEST SOLOIST AT THE JERSEY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA’S SPRING CONCERT

Saturday 6 April 2024 – Les Quennevais School Concert Hall – 7.30pm

This will the farewell concert of the orchestra’s principal conductor, Hilary Davan Wetton, and is titled ‘Variations’.  The Orchestra will be led by Martin Smith and will be joined by guest soloist from the UK, Ileana Ruhemann, who will be playing Fauré’s Fantasy for Flute and Orchestra and Chaminade’s Flute Concertino.

Ileana has been principal flute with the BBC Concert Orchestra for over 30 years.  She combines this with a solo career and playing as guest principal flute with other UK orchestras.  Teaching is another passion and, whilst in Jersey, Ileana will give a Flute Masterclass to students of Grade 5 standard and above as part of the JSO Education initiative.

She was born of German and Romanian parents, was educated at the Purcell School and studied the flute with Judith Pearce. She became Principal Flute of the National Youth Orchestra and won an instrumental exhibition at Cambridge University, where she read Music. On graduating, she won the only place open to foreign flautists at the Paris Conservatoire in 1983 and studied there with Alain Marion and Raymond Guiot. She was also awarded scholarships by the French Government, Munster Trust, Martin Fund, and Ian Fleming Charitable Trust. She has played Principal Flute in all of the major London orchestras and opera houses and in most of the orchestras in the UK, and has made many appearances as a concerto soloist on the South Bank and at St John’s Smith Square.

Ileana was appointed Principal Flute of the BBC Concert Orchestra in 1989, a job she loves and appreciates for the variety of the music and versatility of the players. She has combined this position with a career as a soloist and chamber musician, winning the prestigious National Federation of Music Societies’ Award for young concert artists in 1986. This led to partnerships with Julius Drake (piano) and Richard Hand (guitar) with whom she gave solo recitals throughout the country. Her Wigmore Hall debut followed in 1988 with a first solo recording of French music for flute and piano entitled PARIS. She was selected for Yehudi Menuhin’s Live Music Now scheme and in 1989, was chosen to appear in the Park Lane Group Young Artists Series . She was also invited to adjudicate the televised final stages of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Competition.

Ileana has frequently given solo recitals for BBC Radio 2 and 3, and has been a member of 3 leading chamber ensembles, JEUX, CAPRICORN and GEMINI with whom she has toured extensively, recorded for Hyperion and Divine Art Recordings, and broadcast both in this country and abroad. She has also played with Endymion and the Schubert Ensemble.

She has had works written for her by composers ranging from Stanley Black to John Taverner. She also works in the studio, recording soundtracks for film and TV, and enjoys taking part in outreach and educational projects.

Her flute is a Webb and Wessel, handmade UK instrument made for her in 1988. It is particularly light because of its stainless-steel mechanism and unusual black keys.

Hilary Davan Wetton’s tenure as Principal Conductor of the JSO ends with this concert.  He has chosen, as the title suggests, a varied programme of both familiar and less familiar works.  Best known will be Edward Elgar’s Enigma Variations marking the 90th anniversary of the composer’s death.  The concert will also feature Brahms’ Variations on a Theme by Haydn.

Tickets for the Concert are available via the JSO website at jso.org.je, which provides a direct link to TicketSource.  Tickets are £28.00 and £10 for 18s or under + the TicketSource booking fee. The ticket price includes a glass of wine or soft drink in the interval.

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