Oslo: A Reflection

One month after returning from Oslo, I thought I'd take some time to reflect on my trip. The first night that I arrived in early January, I sat in my apartment looking at the calendar on my phone and saw that it was day 1/49. I was excited to finally be in Oslo, but 7 weeks was already starting to feel like a very long time... In reality, the weeks absolutely flew by!

 The changing views from my kitchen window

The changing views from my kitchen window

I was out there to study privately with a number of different teachers - primarily soloist Tine Thing Helseth, Brynjar Kolsbergsrud (Oslo Philharmonic) and Roeland Henkens (Den Norske Opera/Ballet). During my 7 week stay, I had a total of 17 trumpet lessons and found each one inspiring. 

There was a lot to process from the many lessons and discussions I had and I was given much food for thought about my future. One lesson I had was with American trumpeter and composer Tony Plog. Tony's advice is to "follow your bliss" - to do what inspires you and makes you happy... "a career will usually follow!" As a new freelancer, I'm enjoying taking on all sorts of opportunities, as I never know what they'll lead to or who I might meet. However Tony's motto has made me more conscious of where I want to invest my energy.

 Sognsvann Lake, Cross-Country Skiing and Oslo Opera House/Fjord

Sognsvann Lake, Cross-Country Skiing and Oslo Opera House/Fjord

I found that I loved the independence and freedom of living in my own apartment. It was about 10 minutes by bus from the centre of Oslo and I enjoyed hosting friends for dinner and exploring many parts of the city. I was fortunate enough to be given access to Oslo's English Church (St Edmund's) where I practised every day and also played in a couple of their services.

A recent United Nations report shows Norway as officially being the happiest place on Earth... and I can totally believe it. Oslo is the most beautiful place I've ever been and I didn't come across one unfriendly Norwegian person during my entire trip. The sunrises and sunsets were picture perfect and the snowy scenes and cityscapes could have been from postcards. I didn't learn much of the language in the end (since almost everyone there speaks impeccable English) but, being blonde, I was very often spoken to in Norwegian!

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I'm so grateful to the Royal Philharmonic Society for supporting me and my trip - both financially and personally. I originally received the Julius Isserlis Award towards studies in Germany but I ended up taking a different route and was supported by the RPS throughout. It's been a perfect example of one door closing and a better one opening, and I couldn't imagine a more wonderful experience than my trip to Oslo.

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