Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Inspiring Forces - Leone Buyse

The 2013 NFA Convention may seem far away in terms of time, but we are busy preparing already.  We always enjoy meeting flute students, teachers, performers, and of course, many of the great "giants" in our field.  As we prepare for this year's convention, we thought it fitting to take a look back with Powell Artist Leone Buyse.  Ms. Buyse was the recipient of the 2010 NFA Lifetime Achievement award, and in this excerpt from her acceptance speech, we learn more about those who have inspired her -- which in turn continues to inspire us... 

Leone Buyse - NFA Limetime Achievement Award Acceptance Speech (Except)
Anaheim - August 14, 2010

Leone Buyse
Who have been some of the most strongly influential forces on my landscape?  My teachers, of course.  I owe and immeasurable debt of gratitude to David Berman, Joseph Mariano, Michel Debost, Jean-Pierre Rampal, Marcel Moyse, and Gaston Crunelle.   And I owe a tremendous amount to my students. I am absolutely convinced that they are largely responsible for making me the person I have become, and that they will play a vital role in my personal evolution during the years ahead.  The legendary French pedagogue Nadia Boulanger said

The teacher is but the humus in the soil.  It is the product that counts. The more you teach, the more you keep in contact with life and its positive results. All things considered, I wonder if the teacher is not the real student and the beneficiary.

I couldn’t agree more, and remain thankful daily for the privilege of teaching.

Another extremely influential force in my life is Fenwick, and I am so delighted to be receiving this honor with such a close friend. Everyone knows that we were students of Joseph Mariano at Eastman during the same era and colleagues for a decade in the Boston Symphony. Together we performed and recorded chamber music, organized the Greater Boston Flute Association in preparation for the 1993 NFA convention, videotaped interviews with Mariano at his Cape Cod home, and organized Mariano’s 90th birthday celebration and Dallas NFA tribute in 2001—perhaps our best collaboration ever! And I might add that Fenwick played Bach – beautifully – just before I walked down the aisle to marry Michael 23 years ago.   But what you might not realize is how much I’ve learned from Fenwick.

When Fenwick was building his home near Tanglewood  25 years ago I worked a bit at the construction site and learned how to lay a vapor barrier. When we played together in the orchestra I observed how the best second flutist imaginable consistently supported his colleagues.  In professional meetings and social situations I learned from Fenwick the value of speaking only when it’s appropriate, and then choosing only the words necessary to make one’s point.  And from Fenwick I’ve learned the importance of accepting and dealing gracefully with life’s challenges. Thank you, Fenwick.

Our former NFA president Kathy Borst Jones has influenced and inspired me through the decades by her unswerving commitment to both the NFA and her students. Throughout her current health challenge she has remained a major inspiration to all who know her, and I would like to share with you a paragraph she wrote in the spring. Her words serve as a powerful mantra to me, daily.

Carpe Diem.  Live in the moment.  Appreciate the little things. Throw away the bad and the stuff you can’t change.  Do work on the things you can change, and don’t wait until tomorrow. Each and every day is a unique gift and can never be repeated. Laugh. Cry. Be merry. Say you love someone.  Tell people what they mean to you, now. Don’t wait.

Touching words -- truly.  Thank you, Leone, for sharing this with us!  For the complete transcript of this speech, visit

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.