Where are you from? Norwalk, CT
Where did you go to school? Principia College, University of Miami, Manhattan School of Music
Where were you before you joined the DSO? Principal Flute of the Sarasota Opera in Florida and the Michigan Opera Theatre in Detroit.
What compelled you to audition for the DSO? Having subbed with this orchestra for four years, naturally I felt at home here and the orchestra members felt like family. I kept taking many auditions around the country, but when this audition came around I left no stone unturned and prepared in every conceivable way.
Which city do you live in? I live in Detroit, in Lafayette Park.
Do you come from a musical family? Yes, my grandfather was an opera singer and pianist. My mother was naturally very talented on many instruments, but never pursued a career in music. My sister played the violin and was in the local youth orchestra.
What do you do in your spare time? Lately, I’ve kept myself occupied by re-painting my apartment and finding interesting art and mirrors to display. It’s a more modern apartment, so it’s been pretty fun to decorate. In the warmer weather, I spend a lot of time running, biking, and being active.
What kind of musical activities do you enjoy outside of the DSO? I have always loved playing opera, so I’m actually taking one of my weeks off in January to play Guest Principal Flute with Opera Tampa. I love playing chamber music too, so I love performing with New Music Detroit and Detroit Chamber Winds & Strings.
What’s your favorite piece? I might have to say Brahms’ Third Symphony. It’s not necessarily Brahms’ greatest symphony, but it was both my first performance of the piece and my first time performing with the New York Philharmonic, so it holds great nostalgia for me, especially since I was playing 2nd Flute to my teacher, Robert Langevin.
If you had to play another instrument, what would it be and why? I’d probably have to say violin or cello. I love the deep, rich sound of the cello, and having a big sister who played violin always made me want to play it.
Any other interesting facts and stories? My mom used to regularly attend the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra when she was in college and she would tell me specifically how much she enjoyed watching Leonard Slatkin conduct. You can imagine how thrilled she was when she saw me first perform under Leonard Slatkin as a substitute with the DSO, and now, of course, as a member.
Find out more about Amanda on her website, www.amandablaikie.com.