With a ravishing tone, a natural musicality and great interpretative intuition, Patricia Creighton is currently Principal Flautist with Symphony Nova Scotia, a position she has held successfully since the orchestra's inception in 1983. Since then she has played over 3,000 orchestral concerts and over 1,000 chamber and solo concerts, spanning the past 35 years.
As a chamber and orchestral artist, she has shared the stage with such distinguished artists as Julius Baker, Robert Cram, Victor Yampolsky, Robert Uchida, Isaac Stern, Maureen Forrester, William Tritt, Steven Dann, Fred Sherry, Malcolm Lowe, Erica Goodman, Anton Kuerti, Peter Allen, Jeanne Lamon, Georg Tintner, Simon Streatfeild, Mario Bernardi, Grant Llewelyn, Denise Djokic, Rene Fleming, Bernhard Gueller, James Ennes, Andrew Armstrong and many others.
She is a regular guest artist with the Scotia Festival of Music and many Nova Scotian concert series. She has performed across Canada and has guested in the United States, Germany, Yugoslavia, Switzerland, Czechoslovakia, and Mexico.
Patty's repertoire spans from baroque to modern in solo, concerto, chamber, and orchestral literature. Patty has been featured with the Vancouver Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, Symphony New Brunswick, Scotia Festival Orchestr, and many times with Symphony Nova Scotia.
She has premiered several flute and piano works composed by pianist and composer, Peter Allen.
Abraxas, her 1st compact disc with pianist Peter Allen, produced by CBC, includes twentieth-century flute and piano repertoire.
Her 2nd CD, The Transcontinental, represents musical snapshots of different countries.
Her 3rd disc is a completely improvised disc with flute, percussion, and didgerido called The Twelve Celtic Winds, depicting the various characteristics of the winds that the ancient Celts studied in order to carry out their daily living.
Patty’s 4th disc, Melodies of Love, is a disc of beautiful melodies the world loves with her Nova Brilliante duo partner, harpist Karen Rokos. This disc was nominated for Best Classical Album for both the East Coast Music Awards (ECMAs) and the Music Nova Scotia Awards.
Her 5th disc, called Wind Song, was a live CBC broadcast performance with pianist Peter Allen and includes works by J.S. Bach, Poulenc, Prokofiev, Debussy, Colgrass, and Bartok. Wind Song was nominated for the 2009 ECMA Best Classical Album. Her discs can be bought through CDBaby and iTunes.
Born in Kitchener, Ontario, she won prizes at an early age in the Kiwanis Music Festival – the Ontario Top Prize, the Guelph Spring Festival Competition, and the CBC Du Maurier Search for the Stars. She received a Bachelor of Music at the University of Toronto, where she studied with Nora Shulman and Jeanne Baxtresser. During and following university studies, Patty attended the Banff Centre for the Arts and won her first audition to become Principal Flutist of Symphony Nova Scotia the year she graduated from university in 1984.
During her first year in Halifax, Patty won a B-Grant from the Canada Council to pursue further studies in Banff. She has also attended the Johannesen International School of Music and individual master classes and/or lessons with Jean-Pierre Rampal, James Galway, Marcel Moyse and Louis Moyse, Robert Aitken, Robert Cram, William Bennett, Jeanne Baxtresser, and Julius Baker. She had private flute lessons for over 10 years with Louis Moyse. Two years of that time was spent exclusively in Brattleboro, Vermont with the Grand Master.
Aside from a busy performing schedule, Ms. Creighton now shares her love and knowledge of music by teaching flute at Dalhousie University’s Fountain School of the Performing Arts.
A glowing review of one of Patricia Creighton's performances is available here.
Creighton has been heard over the years regularly on CBC National and Regional Radio.
Q&A WITH PATTY
Why did you begin playing the flute?
I was always transfixed by the sound as a youngster and the flute looked like a wonderfully beautiful jewel to me, flashing and glittering….
Why do you play the flute?
I play my instrument because it fulfills an inexplicable part of my soul, it takes me out of the mundane and ordinary, and because it is a great practice which always reflects the inner state of my psyche. It keeps me honest about myself, and it is extremely challenging. To be the master of a musical instrument is probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my entire life. That being said, it is my muse, and It allows me to express my deepest, most complex emotions in a non-verbal way and share that with those who happen to be listening.
How did you get interested in classical music?
My father absolutely loved classical music so I grew up listening to many of his recordings. My mother was a very accomplished pianist and piano teacher, and as a young child, I would crawl under her grand piano and fall asleep to the sounds of Chopin, Mendelssohn, Mozart, Bach, Beethoven....
Scheherazade by Rimsky-Korsakov was a pivotal piece for me, one of the first that made me become interested in classical music, and then of course, the orchestral music of Bach, Mozart, Brahms, and many more composers.
What are your outside interests?
Swimming, long walks with friends, meditation,, gazing at the night sky, painting with acrylics and water-colour, puzzles and games like the New York Times Crossword, the weekend Sudoku, jig-saw puzzles, super-scrabble, Yatsi, card games including crazy-8's, poker, SNAP, Fish. WAR
Then there is photography and making movies.
What’s something someone would be surprised to hear about you?
I hate crowds.
What’s your favourite indulgence?
Dark chocolate and cooking for friends.
What do you do to relax?
Breathe deeply, meditate, practice flute, swim, walk, play tennis, lie under a tree, read a book, imagine and dream.
Dreaming is the ocean of the imagination.
And, of course, then there is Netflix.....