Q & A With Anna Petersen, oboe player, NAC Orchestra
Q1. When did you begin playing the oboe and why this instrument?
I started playing the oboe when I was 9 years old. My parents were both music teachers, so I was constantly surrounded by musical instruments at home, and informally studied piano and flute from a young age. I heard Peter and Wolf when I was 9 and instantly fell in love with the oboe. I thought "I want to play THAT one because it's different!"
Q2. What do you love the most about being a part of the NAC Orchestra and being on stage?
I have always loved being a performer. I feel like I am the best version of myself when the adrenaline is pumping during a live performance. However, what I love the most about being part of the NAC Orchestra specifically is the way this orchestra respects one another. Everyone plays at such a high level, AND they are genuinely kind people. I feel so lucky to go to work every day in this dream orchestra.
Q3. What is the story behind your yoga practice and becoming a yoga teacher?
I started practicing yoga in the fall of 2015. Admittedly, I went to my first class because I was attracted to yoga as a method of fitness. However, I quickly realized that while the physical benefits are a wonderful side effect, the majority of the benefits happen inside, both emotionally and spiritually. I decided to complete my international yoga teacher training in Bali during the summer of 2017 to deepen my own practice. It was during my training that I discovered a passion for teaching yoga, and I am now teaching part time in Ottawa. For me, there's no turning back from this way of life.
Q4. How does yoga influence your performance on stage?
Yoga has opened my eyes to a whole way of approaching life, especially on stage. Prior to yoga, it was easy to get bogged down from crippling perfectionism and thoughts about things out of my control. Of course this is an on-going project, but I feel the fundamental concepts of yoga keep me grounded, centered, and aware under stress. Additionally, the mobility and strength I have cultivated through yoga has helped my body remain safe from injury while playing.
Q5. If you would have picked a completely different career, what would it be?
If I were to pick a career besides being a musician or a yoga teacher, I imagine I would be a therapist or counselor. I am fascinated by the human experience; the emotions, the patterns, and the connection. I absolutely love people and truly hearing what they have to say. Finding a way to relate to others in an open and authentic way gives me so much energy.
Q6. What is your favorite Ottawa spot to relax and unwind and why?
I am passionate about summer patio beers, so you can usually find me anywhere with craft beer and a patio! I am still a Wisconsin girl at heart!