John Franklin


How long have you been a member of the BPO?
I have been in the BPO 40 years this year and have been principal flute for about 34 years.

What inspired you to take up your instrument?
I played recorder first like many wind players and my first chance of an instrument at school was the trombone which my mother didn’t want in the house. The next available instrument was the flute and the rest is history.

How did you come to join the orchestra?
In 1968 whilst still playing in the Midland Youth Orchestra I was asked by Margery Elliot who was principal flute of the BPO at the time if I would do piccolo in Delius “Paris, song of a great city.” Again the rest is history.

Most treasured occasion with the BPO?
Probably the Birmingham University performance of Mahler 8 in 1984. Or possibly the recent performance of Mahler 2.

Any moments you’d rather forget?
I can’t really think of any moment I would rather forget. Maybe playing to about 8 people in Hereford some time ago.

Favourite composer?
Favourite composer is probably Mahler.

Least favourite composer?
Haven’t really got a least favourite, or maybe Webern, because I can’t quite see the point in his music.

Work(s) you’d like to play before you die?
I still haven’t played Death and Transfiguration, and there’s still lots of Mahler and Strauss I would like to play. One regret is though I have sung in quite a lot of grand opera I have not played much of it.

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