Principal Flute Katherine Bryan

Supported by The David and Anne Smith Chair

When did you join the RSNO?
I joined the RSNO in May 2003.

Where are you from?
I’m originally from Salisbury, Wiltshire.

Where did you study?
I studied at the Julliard School, New York.

What do you enjoy most about being in the RSNO?
Firstly, working with lovely people – the orchestra is a big family, and I really do have the most fabulous flute section imaginable! Not only are they brilliant players but we are great friends and we laugh a LOT. Secondly, it means a lot to me that the orchestra is so important to the culture of Scotland. I love that as an orchestra we all feel very proud to “belong” to this country.

What is your favourite RSNO story?
We were on tour in Germany and went post-concert into a bierkeller. An oompah band was playing the Schnee Waltz, which we are all very familiar with as we play it at Christmas every year. The Orchestra erupted into singing along and dancing, and the Germans couldn’t believe it! Some of the most memorable moments occur when we are away on tour, as tours bring a real sense of comradery. We have had many hilarious ceilidhs in hotel bars over the years!

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not playing with the Orchestra?
Spending time with friends and family is everything to me! My little boy is 16 months and he has totally changed my outlook on everything in my life – being with him makes me happier than I could have ever imagined. Fashion and interior design are also huge passions of mine, both which, of course, involve essential regular shopping!

Do you have any hidden talents?
I’m told I make very good shortbread (I have permanently cold hands which is good for baking, apparently) I also know all the words to most Disney songs, and I’m very good at spending money….. I’m not sure, however, that my husband would say that either of those two things were hidden or talents!

If you could have dinner with anyone (alive or dead) who would it be, and why?
So difficult to chose one, so I’d throw a full on dinner party with lots of champagne and invite: Elizabeth I, Sandy Toksvig, Roger Federer, Woody Allen and my late half brother Michael who I never got to meet.

You’re stranded on a desert island. You’re allowed 3 CDs and 1 book. What would they be, and why?
My book would be a notebook (and pencil) – it might inspire me to write my own book! Albums – well I would answer this differently daily, but today’s answer would be: Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell (to remind me that crying is therapeutic), The Beach Boys Greatest Hits (to remind me of my Dad who use to listen to it all the time when I was little) and the Soundtrack to Forest Gump (to remind me that “Life is like a box of chocolates” – but in this case I probably would know what I was going to get; a hell of a lot of sand…).

Watch Katherine perform Jay Capperauld’s flute concerto ‘Our Gilded Veins’: