Q&A with APO Principal Oboe, Bede Hanley

Where are you from?
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, in Canada.  A small city with a good arts scene - and a wonderful oboe teacher, Mark Rogers.

How long have you been a musician in the Auckland Philharmonia Orchestra?
Ten years, time flies!

What is your musical background? Have you always wanted to be a musician?
My mom and brother both played instruments - there was a lot of music in our house.  I played with every band and orchestra I could when I was growing up and, yes, I always knew I would be a musician.

Can you play any other instrument, besides the oboe?
I can play all the members of the oboe family; the oboe, oboe d'amore, English horn or cor Anglais and the bass oboe.  I even tried a musette once, it's a small, curious sounding oboe.

Do you have any favourite memories of your time working as an APO musician?
So, so many!  We have such brilliant musicians in the APO.  My colleagues in the woodwind section are especially outstanding, they inspire and move me every day.  Respighi, Puccini and Strauss with our Music Director, Giordano Bellincampi.  The audience response to our world premier of Gary Kulesha's Concerto for Oboe and Orchestra last november was unforgettable.

What are you or (were you) most looking forward to in the APO’s 2021 season?
Beethoven's opera, Fidelio, with Maestro Bellincampi.  Playing Floristan's aria Gott, welch Dunkel hier with Simon O'Neill was a thrill.

What are your interests outside of music?
My dog, Annie.

What makes you happiest?
Swimming in the ocean, hiking mountains, sitzprobe rehearsals: when we rehearse opera with the singers, before the pressure of performing.

What might surprise people to know about you?
I lived on a remote farm without electricity or plumbing until I was nine years old.

Quickfire! What is your favourite-at-the-moment...?

Book:  Anything by Barbara Kingsolver.

Movie:  The Legend of Baron To'a.  It's bad, but also good.

TV Show:  Why, Fantastic Fungi, of course.  Oh, that's actually a documentary.

Food:  Vegan Palak Paneer.  Check out Rainbow Plant Life on Youtube - she's really great.

Song:  Umm, I play music all day - I really don't listen to much music.  I guess that might surprise people to know about me, too.

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