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Scholars’ Spotlight: Mathilde Farnabe

Mathilde Farnabe
Mathilde Farnabe

Continuing the series profiling this year’s Music Scholars. This week, saxophonist Mathilde Farnabe.


My name is Mathilde and I am currently doing my Masters Degree in Psychology here at Kent Uni. I came from France in September 2011, so a lot of my music experience  relates to my years in France.

I started taking music lessons when I was six because my dad always wanted me and my sister to play an instrument, as he is a guitarist. The following year I could choose to start an instrument so I went to have a look in different classes to see what I wanted to do.

For some reasons, saxophone attracted my attention and I started right away. For about ten years I was working with the same teacher, Jean-Henri Roan and I do owe a lot of my progress to his very committed and serious work with me. We worked on a lot of different classical, romantic or baroque pieces which to this day are still my favourites. I developed a lot of musical skills listening to him play and understanding what was written and how to interpret it.

In 2006 he brought me to a competition called “Concours National du Jeune Musicien” where I achieved my best performance and won a soprano saxophone, which was a great encouragement and reward for my work. I also took part in music camps every summer for four years, in the “’Académie Internationale d’Eté : Musique au Pays de l’Affiche ” in which I had the chance to play in amazing quartets and concert bands, as well as what stays my preferred formation to this day: a sax ensemble. I met a lot of different people in these summer camps and in particular my teacher’s teacher: Patrick Saltel. I was then encouraged to take lessons with him instead, which taught me a lot. I joined his concert band, saxophone ensemble and even orchestra where I was playing the oboe part with my soprano.

It was very sad when I had to leave  everything behind in September 2011 to come and study in England. However I am now very pleased to be part of the music players and moreover scholars at the University of Kent, and I am very much enjoying the Big Band and Concert Band concerts and rehearsals in this new magnificent building. I have also started playing with a saxophone quartet which sounds great!

Mathilde Farnabe

See all the other features in this series here.

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