Vanessa Fourla, Bob Cole Conservatory MM candidate with an emphasis in flute performance and Cole Scholar for October 2014, was born in Lamia, a small town located in central Greece.
Vanessa began playing flute with the Lamia Municipal Band when she was 9 years old. The band community became her second family and while travelling with them around Europe and the United States she developed her appreciation for rules and discipline, discovering their occasional rewards were moments of independence.
In high school, Vanessa studied with the flutist Reni Tsalapati who helped familiarize her with classical repertoire and technique. During this time, she won several national competitions and decided to become a professional flutist. She received her Bachelor’s degree in music at the University of Macedonia, located in Thessaloniki, where she specialized in flute under the guidance of Professor Katrin Zenz. Vanessa quickly learned how to work hard with others and handle the pressures of live performance.
After graduating she worked as a flute teacher for three years in music high schools in several cities in Greece. While working with children she discovered many new things about them that she felt, "were no less than spectacular.” However, she wanted to increase her expertise to be able to teach all ages, and to teach from experience. She knew her passion was performance and decided to audition for several universities throughout the United States.
Her former Theory Professor at the University of Macedonia, composer and saxophone performer Athanasios Zervas, was greatly influential in her decision to pursue more education. Additionally, Vanessa matured musically under the guidance of Othonas Gkogkas, an exceptional Greek flutist. As a mentor and friend he inspired her to channel all her energy to the flute, increasing her creativity and self-esteem.
She is excited to be studying with Dr. Barcellona, who she says is, “a great flutist and professor with an amazing personality…and the main reason” she is here. Through his guidance she feels she has increased her musical abilities and enhanced her performance skills.
Vanessa has many opportunities at the BCCM and is currently playing for the University Symphony Orchestra, the Bob Cole Wind Symphony, and is also a member of the highly honored University Wind Quintet.
In her free time, Vanessa enjoys researching and viewing performances to find new interpretations and approaches to pieces. She also says, “I always love travelling around the world either performing or just touring. I strongly believe that every musician has to live his life intensively and then transmit experiences and feelings to the audience through music. I will definitely continue exploring interesting places to be.”