Dr. Bridget Rennie-Salonen PhD LBME LRSM PGDip BA

Dr Bridget Rennie-Salonen, flautist, lecturer, and practitioner and researcher in Performing Arts Health, is Postdoctoral Fellow at the Department of Music at Stellenbosch University (SU). She is also Part-time Senior Lecturer and Head of Woodwinds, lecturing in flute, Baroque traverso, woodwind pedagogy, repertoire studies and orchestral studies, directing wind ensembles, and supervising research. She is highly sought after as a flute pedagogue, and many of her former students have excelled in competitions and in overseas studies, won scholarships for study abroad, and now occupy key performance, entrepreneurial, and educational positions in the South African (SA) music sector. Bridget serves on the committee of the Forum for Instrumental and Vocal Teaching of the International Society for Music Education (ISME).

Bridget’s PhD (Music) from the University of the Free State (utilising Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis) focused on musicians’ occupational health curriculum content, implementation, and assessment. As a Licensed Body Mapping Educator and holding certificates in the Essentials of Performing Arts Medicine and in Functional Movement Anatomy, she is particularly 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 is Chairperson of the steering committee of the SA Performing Arts Health Association and is core member of the international Musicians’ Health Literacy Consortium, researching musicians’ health education and health literacy.

A well-known performer in multiple genres, Bridget has appeared as soloist with several SA orchestras. As the Solo Principal Flute of the Cape Town Philharmonic Orchestra for many years, 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. As a freelancer, Bridget is the principal flute of the Cape Town Festival Orchestra, regular guest principal with the Free State Symphony Orchestra, and Baroque traverso flautist with Cape Town Baroque.

Performance Reviews

“Die leidende fluitpart het Rennie-Salonen egter kans gegee om haar begaafdheid te toon. Sy het presisie, beheer, en stilistiese akkuraatheid indrukwekkend toegepas. Terselfdertyd het sy in die siel van die musiek gedelf en dit meesleurend in die vernuftige tweede beweging vertolk. In die kadenzas kon hul musikale samespel na waarde geskat word”.

“Last Wednesday’s concert was Salonen’s first performance of her newly acquired Baroque flute, and I was delighted that they both made a second appearance in this concert! The blend of soft rounded sounds and deep rich woody mezzo register was expertly navigated by nimble fingers, and gave a Yin to the harder harpsichord’s Yang. I could hear very much more of this!”

“Haar dramatiese voordrag van Voice of the Whale (George Crumb, 1971) het die gehoor tot stilte gebring met ’n soms onpeilbare tegniek wat fluit, stem en tong kombineer om ’n oseaan van oerklanke te skep. Dawerende applous was haar beloning. Ietwat meer tradisioneel was Bridget se vertolking van Poco Adagio (CPE Bach), en die hartgebroke Syrinx (Claude Debussy), terwyl haar weergawe van Winter Spirits (Katherine Hoover) ’n gewaardeerde terugkeer tot meer ‘oorspronklike’ klanke gemaak het. Die fluit in sy oorspronklike vorm is immers tienduisende jaar oud, en dis toepaslik dat iemand van Bridget Rennie-Salonen se formaat dit in haar aanbieding vier.”

“In an impeccable performance of Mozart’s “Flute Concerto No.1” Bridget Rennie-Salonen convincingly proved her reputation as one of the country’s finest flautists. Easily mastering the rich variety of figurative patterns she was equally impressive in a dynamic control that covered the entire range of her instrument. It was however the perfect phrasing and sheer beauty of tone that made listening to her playing such a special and great pleasure. Thus both the lyrical lines of the “Adagio” and the floating lightness of the Rondo Finale came to rank as the truly “Magic” highlights of yesterday’s concert.”

“Local flautist Bridget Rennie delivered the flute solo with stylish flair. She is a fine musician, and it showed in beautifully shaped phrasing and a fine sense of ensemble. Technically, her fingerwork is exemplary and her breath control ensures intact lines and subtle tonal variation. Pretoria-based harpist Gaylen-Rose Sales proved a fine collaborator, delivering the silvery harp contribution with largely impeccable security.”
“The soloist, in turn, impressed with carefully controlled phrasing, always staying true to the light texture required of the work and maintaining a beautiful tone throughout.”

“Sondagmiddag se konsert was ‘n kosbare kleinood. …’n Grasieuse, fyn genuanseerde vertolking het voorts oor die waarderende gehoor gespel. Tydens die cadenza van die eerste beweging, was haar subtiele rubatos sprekend van musikale wasdom. Die Adagio non troppo is voorts swewend en met net die nodigste sweempie vibrato vertolk. ‘n Speelse dog doelgerigte Rondo het die Fluitkonsert sprankelend afgesluit. Rennie Salonen het hier deurgaans uitstekende klankbeheer oor al die fluitregisters gehandhaaf in tegnies veeleisende lopies wat met gemak en akkuraatheid bemeester is.”

“’n Pragtige cadenza het die vermoё om ‘n musiekstuk in iets besonders te verander. As dit uitgevoer word deur ‘n intelligente musikus wat berekend dink oor elke not, is dit dikwels dié deel van die werk wat jou ná die tyd bybly. Donderdagaand het die solis saam met die barok-ensemble Camerata Tinta Barocca, die fluit-speler Bridget Rennie Salonen, die gehoor in vervoering gehad met twee pragtige cadenzas wat sy gespeel het in Stamitz se Konsert vir Fluit in D majeur op.29. ..met Rennie Salonen se boeiende spel het ‘n mens jou gou deur Stamitz se opgeruimde musiek laat verswelg. Die fluitsolis se kadenza aan de einde van die eerste en tweede beweging het geïmponeer. Puik intonasie, goeie frasering en ‘n besonderse aanvoeling van dinamiek het verseker dat ‘n mens, wel, aan haar lippe gehang het.”
“The famous cadenza with the assistance of flautist Rennie, was a memorable lesson in vocal drama” Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor.
“The artistic strength of both players lies in their sense of phrasing. Put them together and beautiful nuances emerge in the musical line. A careful attention to dynamics, providing interplay of shadow and light was evident, despite the acoustics of St Georges Cathedral favouring the flute rather than the guitar.”
“Rennie’s performance of the Flute Concerto in G had an easy grace and charm about it, belying the technical difficulties of the work. Korsten kept the orchestra carfully balanced to her advantage – indeed one could not wish for a better backing than he gave in these circumstances. In the final movement careful phrasing and articulation kept the rondo cheerfully dancing and full of interest.”
“Flautist Rennie impressed first of all with her crisp fingering and clear tonguing. The lasting impression was that of an impeccable, disciplined technique.”
“The other Vivaldi concerto, the C Major for Piccolo, was a radiant success. This was due in part to the panache of soloist Bridget Rennie, whose piccolo trilled sweetly through the three movements in a bright, light rendition of great clarity; but credit must also go to the Cape Town baroque Ensemble for the quality of their accompaniment.”

“Die piccolo-speelster Bridget Rennie het haar by die groep aangesluit vir ‘n baie goeie uitvoering van die gewildeV ivaldi Konsert in C-Majeur vir Piccolo. Rennie se betroubare tegniek het onder meer verseker dat goeie asembeheer haar in staat gestel het om besonder lang frases te maak, wat sy goed afgerond het.”

“Vivaldi’s Concerto in C Major for Piccolo was performed with grace and fluidity. Rennie made really beautiful sounds with this potentially very shrill instrument. …as she delivered it with assurance and some remarkable breath control.”