FLUTE Member Of The Week
June 21 to 27, 1999
When I was in elementary school, I wanted to be an astronomer, an inventor, a writer and a flute player. Now, at 33, my job can be described as being a 'professional inventor', writing and editing books and papers constitutes a major part of my work, and I try to play the flute in my spare time. I guess I flunked the astronomer part! It's a pity that besides work, being on the board of a Dutch society for women engineers, and spending time with my boyfriend (not necessarily in order of importance), the time I have available for music is very limited.

I am an engineer by profession, having received my MSc in Electrical Engineering from Eindhoven University of Technology. I've specialized in biomedical engineering, and I did a PhD at the same university, on the topic of monitoring brain electrical activity in patients undergoing anesthesia. After a postdoc position for 15 months at the University of Florida in Gainesville I've returned to the Netherlands almost two years ago, to do research in blood pressure monitoring in Amsterdam.

I started playing recorder when I was 9, and switched to flute a year later. I've also played saxophone for a couple of years, and I had a try on playing oboe for six months, but in the end I always came back to the flute. I've played in various wind and symphonic bands, and I am very proud to have played twice in the Dutch Student Orchestra, an orchestra consisting of non-music students from all over the country. Flute auditions for this orchestra are notorious, with 30 to 40 people auditioning for only 3 or 4 spots, but to my surprise I made it twice! And it was a wonderful experience, being fulltime in an orchestra for a month, playing in all the major halls in Netherlands.

I also enjoy playing chamber music with the Edison Quintet, a woodwind quintet that I helped founding ten years ago. Occasionally I also play together with a pianist/harpsichordist, and I'm still planning to take up baroque flute for a while. I experimented with a borrowed Rottenburgh copy for two months last summer, and I immediately loved the sound and feel of the instrument. I regret not having more time for playing and performing, but I know from experience that I go through periods of studying and (re-)building of skills, alternated with periods of just enjoying performing and playing in ensembles.

Nicole de Beer

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