Elizabeth Koch awarded AM

FLUTE teacher Elizabeth Koch said it was exciting to be recognised with an Order of Australia for her services to music — for the second time.

“It’s an honour,” Koch said of receiving the AM in today’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

“I received an OAM exactly 10 years ago. I feel it’s all too much.”

Ms Koch, renowned flautist and head of classical performance and woodwind at Elder Conservatorium, received the award for her contribution to music education and performance, and her involvement in professional associations.

Born in Peterborough, in the state’s Mid North, she attended high school in Adelaide before enrolling to study the piano at Elder Conservatorium.

But fate intervened when a flute lecturer heard her playing a flute for fun in a University of Adelaide common room.

“He walked in and said that sounds good, there’s a spare one in the office,” Ms Koch said. Within three years she was playing flute in the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra, a job she held for 27 years.

“I had a great career in the ASO, and taught alongside that, but was very lucky to be offered a fulltime position at the university, because teaching is my first love,” she said.

“It’s great working with students, stretching their abilities, seeing where they can go.”

During her long and lively career Koch has received important teaching awards and mentored myriad students.

She also found time to organise music festivals and camps, advise orchestras and ensembles, and stage her own concerts.

Directorships included the 2007 Sydney Flute Festival and 2009 Australian Flute Festival, as well as her own Elizabeth Koch Flute Summer Schools.

She curated the University of Adelaide’s 2014 Bach Festival, and was president of the SA Music Teachers’ Association, and Flute Society.

She recently joined Adelaide Youth Orchestra’s board, following nine years heading the State Music Camp.

“I’ll never forget those years — the development from the Monday morning to the Friday night concert was incredible,” she said.

Many young flautists have studied abroad with her help, participating in masterclasses with some of the top teachers and players in Europe.

“I’m planning another trip next year, taking a group of students overseas to introduce them to different conservatoires,” she said.

Former students have won positions with orchestras and ensembles including the ASO and Queensland Symphony.

— Louise Nunn

Originally published at: https://www.adelaidenow.com.au/news/south-australia/2016-south-australian-queens-birthday-honours/news-story/9b371d0ef99b20f396779c3a06f01f94