photo by Christian Colberg
Principal Flutist of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra since 1988, Emily Skala received her Bachelor of Music with Honors from the Eastman School of Music in 1983. Within five years of graduation, she was already affiliated with six major American orchestras: the Rochester Philharmonic, the San Diego Symphony, the North Carolina Symphony, the Pittsburgh Symphony, the Minnesota Orchestra, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Skala regularly appears as a soloist and recitalist in the Mid-Atlantic and Mid-West regions, has performed at the National Flute Associations’ Annual Conventions, and has performed at many of the world’s most prestigious music festivals, Osaka, Edinburgh, Aspen, Hollywood Bowl, Wolf Trap, and Great Woods. Ms. Skala joined the faculty of the Peabody Institute of Music of Johns Hopkins University in 1989, and in 1991, she was awarded the Jean Frederic Perenoud Prize at the Second Vienna International Competition.
As a performer, Emily Skala has been described by critics as imaginative and extraordinarily talented, possessing a lyrical eloquence of phrase and a beautiful, powerful sound in a class by itself, as well as having a brilliant technique and a virtuoso’s confidence; “a genuine charmer with unimpeachable musical taste
Her debut CD, “Voices Through Time”, music for flute and piano by Brahms and Schubert, was released in May of 2002 by Summit Records, with Grammy-winning producer Adam Abeshouse, and internationally acclaimed pianist, Norman Krieger. A July 2002 Flute Network review had this to say about the performances:
“Skala's performance of the Schubert Variations by itself would be worth investing in the recording...The Brahms' sonatas (op.120) are works demanding depth of emotion and absolute control. In this performance, the sonority of the clarinet is not missed and the flawless technique Skala brings to these works makes them sound full and complete. Her playing on the Schubert is a revelation...The brilliance of her playing, both in blazing technique and in interpretation is dazzling in all respects. Every note is done just so, with great rhythm and flawless intonation regardless of the speed or wideness of leap. Most impressive, however, is her utter command of color and nuance. Each phase has clarity of direction and purpose with boundless richness of expression. Pianist Krieger is her match in the difficult accompaniment-which often is played as if it were written as piano versus-the-flute instead of as the kind of balanced and convincing performance found with this duo. From the dark and somber opening to the triumphal ending, this recording represents the best in contemporary flute performance.”
She can also be heard on many of the BSO’s recordings under David Zinman’s direction on the Telarc, Sony, Decca/Argo and RCA labels.