Beatriz Macias went to Finland for work but stayed for love. She founded the Tampere Flute Fest, the only annual flute international festival in Finland. Having carved a career for herself as principal flutist of orchestras in the USA and Europe, she shares insights gained from her dual professions as flutist and singer, an American living in Finland, and now as artistic director, inspires others with her vision and passion.
WHAT EDUCATION HAVE YOU COMPLETED AND WHAT DID YOU GAIN FROM THOSE EXPERIENCES?
I was very lucky to begin my orchestral training early on in my career. I was first chair at the 5A TMEA for 3 consecutive years and Principal Flutist of the Baytown Symphony Orchestra and the
Virtuosi Chamber Orchestra in Texas during my high school years. Upon high school graduation, I moved to Boston to pursue my Bachelor’s Degree with Boston Symphony Orchestra flutist Geralyn Coticone and at the age of 21 moved to Europe, where I still live and work. Since the Fall of 2016, I have been working and living in Finland. Currently, I am the Artistic Director of the Tampere Flute Fest, the only annual international flute festival in Finland.
Having studied both in the USA and in Europe has given me a great advantage as a player and leader of a non-profit organization. As an instrumentalist, it has given me the ability to adapt and be flexible in the orchestra. As a result, I have worked as Principal Flutists in recognized orchestras in Europe, USA, Mexico and Asia. As Artistic Director, my previous experiences have equipped me as working with different personalities in the orchestra is always a challenge on its own.
WHAT DOES MUSIC MEAN TO YOU? AND WHAT IS A UNIQUE STORY YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH THE AUDIENCE?
For me music means communication. Through our instruments, we are able to communicate what we think and feel. Music has the power to touch lives in ways words do not. Words touch the intellect, but music touches the soul.
I think my unique story is my entire journey from Texas to Finland. I never thought I would end up living in a country so far away from home and having attained everything I set my mind to do when I was a child. I have worked with some of the best orchestras in the world, held a permanent Principal Flute position, worked with amazing conductors and musicians, lived in different countries (Mexico, USA, Belgium, The Netherlands, Germany, Finland) and now have the opportunity to share these great experiences and help other ambitious flutists obtain their dream as Artistic Director of a festival.
WHAT OBSTACLES HAVE YOU OVERCOME TO GET WHERE YOU ARE TODAY, BOTH PROFESSIONALLY AND PERSONALLY?
Often people think that talent alone gets you to where you are. However, this is an incorrect assumption. Achieving your goals comes with much determination and sacrifice. During the course of my career, I’ve had to make several difficult decisions, one of them being, leaving home, my parents, and my friends. Now that I’m in my 30s I realize that although my career is important, other things are more important. You are not defined by what you do and family won’t always be there.
WHAT CAREER SUCCESSES ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF HAVING ACCOMPLISHED? AND WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?
Achieving a successful career in Europe as a Mexican-American flutist is one of the accomplishments I am most proud of. Another is founding the Tampere Flute Fest in Finland. I owe my resilience to my father, who taught me never to give up! My current goals are to continue doing what I do best and to share my music with others through concerts, both as a flutist and singer, as well as encourage and support a new generation of young talented flutist through the TFF.
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