BRIDGET RENNIE-SALONEN

Dr Bridget Rennie-Salonen, flautist, and practitioner and researcher in Performing Arts Health, is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Africa Open Institute for Music Research and Innovation, Stellenbosch University. She is chair of the steering committee of the South African Performing Arts Health Association and is a core member of an international research collaboration, the Musicians’ Health Literacy Consortium, on musicians’ health education and health literacy. Bridget’s PhD focused on musicians’ occupational health curriculum content, implementation, and assessment. The methodology was Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. She is interested in the field of somatics and the interaction of the psychological, physical, and artistic aspects in performing artists, from preventative, therapeutic, and performance optimisation perspectives.

Bridget lectures part-time at Stellenbosch University and the University of Cape Town. She is highly sought after as a flute teacher, and many of her students have excelled in competitions and in overseas studies, won scholarships for study abroad, and now teach and perform, several occupying positions in South African orchestras. A very well-known performer in multiple genres, Bridget has appeared as soloist with several South African orchestras. As the Solo Principal Flute of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, she was the recipient of the prestigious Ben & Faye Carklin Award for Artistic Excellence. Recent awards include Fiesta, Silver Ovation, Fanie Beetge Academic Prize, and Oppenheimer Memorial Trust awards. Bridget is the principal flute of the Cape Town Festival Orchestra, permanent guest principal with the Free State Symphony Orchestra, and Baroque traverso flautist with the Camerata Tinta Barocca.

PERFORMANCE CAREER

Bridget Rennie Salonen’s studies at UCT and abroad equipped her with multiple qualifications and honours. She is highly regarded in the SA classical arena as a solo, chamber and freelance flautist. As the former Solo Principal Flute of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, Bridget was the recipient of the prestigious Ben & Faye Carklin Award for Artistic Excellence. Regarded as one of South Africa’s finest flautists, Bridget has performed as soloist with the Capab Orchestra, the Cape Town Symphony Orchestra, the Cape Town Baroque Ensemble, the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra, the Camerata Tinta Barocca, the Cape Philharmonic, the Stellenbosch Camerata and the Eastern Cape Philharmonic.

She is part of several chamber groups; ‘Trio With a Twist’ with Janine Neethling and Lizzie Rennie, the Duo ‘Zomari’, with guitarist James Grace, the Camerata Tinta Barocca, the Cavatina Quartet (flute and strings), the ‘Gabriel Duo’ with harpist Gaylen Sales and also ‘The Little Winds’ wind quintet. Bridget has also collaborated with many other top musicians, such as Albie van Schalkwyk, Janelle Visagie, Magdaleen Minnaar, Jose Dias, Tertia Visser-Downie, Francois du Toit, Hendrik Hofmeyr, Quentin Crida, Marian Lewin and Peter Martens, to name but a few.

Bridget is also an experienced studio session musician and has contributed to numerous recordings of a wide variety of genres, amongst others Lloyd-Webber’s ‘Cats’, Neethling/Opperman’s ‘Tree Aan’, Lizzie Rennie’s score for ‘Material’ and Grant McLachlan’s scores for ‘Ocean Odyssey’, ‘Cosmic Africa’ and ‘Faith like Potatoes’.

Bridget has a vast orchestral experience of over twenty years. She worked full time initially in an opera and ballet orchestra, then in a predominantly symphony orchestra. Now active as a freelance flautist, she is also the Principal Flute of the Cape Town Pops Orchestra. Bridget displays astounding musical versatility in any music genre, whether on stage or in studio. She is equally at home playing in a Symphony Orchestra concert hall as she is featured in ‘Skouspel’ at Sun City’s Superbowl, or playing a concerto in Kruger National Park at ‘Baroque in the Bush’.