Szilvia Pápai studied at the Ferenc Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest. A winner of international chamber music competitions, she was a member of the Budapest Festival Orchestra under Iván Fischer and the Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra conducted by Claudio Abbado. Before joining the Konzerthausorchester, she was a scholarship holder at the Karajan Academy of the Berlin Philharmonic.
The oboe is a very honest instrument. It is not perfect at all: often it is petulant, offended, then again conciliatory, supple. The mechanics, the wood and the mouthpiece are in constant flux. If one is completely honest, it’s an imposition for the player. It is a challenge to come to terms with so many imperfections.
When I spend hours at my table building my reeds, none of them normally turn out well and I can only squeeze some indefinable notes out with the greatest effort. When I’m huffing and puffing until my head is red, I imagine becoming a flutist, a violinist or a harpist. But I am compensated and rewarded for all the work when I sit on the stage in concert and only concentrate on the music. Then I love my instrument and I love to touch people with the sound of my oboe.