Get to Know...Amy Likar
Q&A with Amy…
What about new music for flute appeals to you?
I enjoy working with composers and bringing new works to life. I've always liked music history and the stories of composers and performers collaborating. We are making history when we bring new works to life.
Who is/are your favorite new music composer(s) and why?
At the moment my favorite new music composer is Martin Rokeach. And my favorite new piece of music is the Concerto for Piccolo and Orchestra he wrote for me last year. I premiered it with the Oakland Symphony in March to critical acclaim in the San Francisco Chronicle and I'm getting ready to perform it again in about 6 weeks and it looks likely I'll get to play it again next fall.
Describe your musical background and activities.
I did my Bachelor's in Music Education and Flute performance at Kent State studying with Martha Aarons. I did my Master's and Doctorate at The Ohio State University with Katherine Borst Jones. I've been a freelance musician and teaching artist in the San Francisco Bay Area for 17 years and I'm a member of the Oakland Symphony. I'm also an Alexander Technique teacher and teach the Andover Educator's Body Mapping Course, "What Every Musician Needs to Know about the Body." I also direct the training program for Andover Educators. So my musical life is a wonderful mix of coaching and mentoring professional musicians, teaching and mentoring for the Oakland Symphony's Music for Excellence program and performing with several groups in the Bay Area and beyond. I feel very lucky to live a musical life.
I'm a Powell Artist and play a vintage Powell, serial number 1816. In addition to the original Powell head, I have a Lafin headjoint I most often perform on. I also have a wooden head by Vincent Bernoulin. I play a Keefe piccolo and Yamaha alto flute. I have a Baroque flute made by Martin Wenner.
When did you join FNMC and what attracted you to our organization?
I joined FNMC when Elizabeth Robinson asked me. She had been a student at the Summer flute Masterclasses I teach on and when she described it to me I thought it sounded like a wonderful group and one that provides an important service for composers and performers. I've discovered wonderful new pieces by being involved.
I'm excited to be premiering Bekah Simm's a relic of adolescent heat with my colleagues Cathy Allen Aird and Miles Graber this coming Saturday, September 17, 2016. The premiere is part of a house concert benefit for the Oakland Symphony.
What advice can you give to flutists about approaching new music in practice?
My advice to flutists approaching new music is to dedicate part of your morning warm up to Robert Dick's Tone Development Through Extended Techniques book. If you spend time integrating the playing and singing, whisper tones, multiphonics, harmonics, into your regular practice they are less daunting when seen in a new piece.
Then make sure you practice the piece withOUT the extended technique and make sure you get how the composer is using meter and rhythm to create a flow for the piece and then integrate the extended techniques as you are comfortable with them but remember that you want the extended technique to fit into the phrasing of the work.
More About Amy…
Amy Likar, flute and piccolo, is a member of the Oakland East Bay Symphony and teaches for their Music For Excellence (MUSE) program. As a freelance musician, she has performed with numerous groups throughout the Bay Area of California. She performs in the Alcyone Ensemble with flutist Rena Urso-Trapani and Ciel, Aer et Vens with soprano Jenni Cook and pianist Miles Graber. She has premiered works by Martin Rokeach, Zhou Long, Steven Hofer, Daniel David Feinsmith, Michael Stephens, Anthony McDonald, and Polly Moller.
She holds Master of Music and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Ohio State University and a Bachelor’s in Music Education and Flute Performance from Kent State University. Her flute teachers include Martha Aarons, Katherine Borst Jones, Randy Hester, Peter Lloyd and Tim Day. In 1991-92, Ms. Likar taught high school English in Swaziland, Southern Africa.
As a licensed Andover Educator, Ms. Likar has presented “What Every Musician Needs to Know About the Body” at the University of New Hampshire, the Guildhall School of Music and Drama in London, England, Cal Summer Arts, Holy Names University, Columbus State University (GA), Clayton State University, St. Olaf College, the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and other venues across the country and Europe. Ms. Likar has presented the work at multiple conferences including National Flute Association Conventions, Performing Arts Medicine Association Symposiums and the Music Teachers National Association Tri-Conference.
She is the Director of Training for Andover Educators and served as their President for 7 years during their formation as a non profit for continuing education and professional development for musicians.
Ms. Likar has studied the Alexander Technique for over 20 years and received her teaching certification and training from the Alexander Training Institute of San Francisco, studying with Frank Ottiwell, Robert Britton, Larry Ball, Rome Earle, Simone Biase and John Coffin. She has also studied the Alexander Technique and Body Mapping over the past 20 years with Barbara Conable. She is a member of the American Society of the Alexander Technique (M.AmSAT).
Ms. Likar maintains an active studio and coaches young students to professionals. She works with singers and instrumentalists who are motivated and eager to experience more freedom and ease physically and musically.
Learn more about Amy on her website: www.amylikar.com