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5th Week HT24 Newsletter - Ella Machtynger

Each week, the OUMS newsletter features an interview with someone who positively contributes to the Oxford music scene. This week, we sat down with singer and flautist Ella Machtynger to ask her about her time in the Somerville Choir, working on the Alternative Canon Project and more!


Ella Machtynger

Singer and Flautist


Tell us a bit about yourself.

Hello! I’m a first-year music student at Trinity who sings with Somerville College Choir and loves all things arts. While I would call myself first and foremost a singer, I do also (occasionally) play the flute and have loved diving into the vast music scene at Ox from evensong and contemplation to Jazz, wind quintet and other ensemble work. 


What are you currently working on?

I’m currently enjoying working on RETUNE which promises to be the highlight of Hilary Term '24. For those who don’t already know, the Alternative Canon Project and Faculty of Music are collaborating to present a festival happening from the 25th of February to the 8th of March filled with events promoting the wonderfully diverse aspects of music that the canon has previously excluded (hence alternative canon). As someone who is passionate about women in music and diversity in music as a whole, it has been so exciting to work on gathering events from Ethel Smyth’s Mass in D to a Hindustani Classical recital, a panel discussion on diverse programming with leading figures in the music sphere, lecture recitals and much more. I do hope anyone reading will come along! 


What has been your favourite musical experience at Oxford so far?

While I am a first year, this is my second year at Ox and one of my favourite moments from last year was playing with my lovely wind quintet (the Beachies - named after Amy Beach, of course). I couldn’t not include Somerville College Choir’s incredible tour to India over the Christmas vac too; it was absolutely phenomenal.


Where do you envision yourself heading in the future?

Admittedly, working in the field of music has always been a dream of mine and I feel incredibly lucky to study such a wonderful subject at university; however, I’ve always been an avid lover of all arts (gallery hopping and reading fiction filling the majority of my free time) and have started to envision the possibility of working more broadly in the arts sector in the future, whatever that may look like.


Could you provide us with a music recommendation?

My go to recommendation would always have to be some Finzi. the Aurora Orchestra have recorded the most sublime album ‘Introit: The Music of Gerald Finzi’ (perfect for a good cry if you ask me…).




I've also been loving the music of Elsa Barraine lately, she is a particular interest of mine as a phenomenal character and unique musical voice that I think should definitely be more widely known! Her Second Symphony is well worth a listen. 


To find out more about the OUMS newsletter and our interviews, email Christopher at secretary@oums.co.uk.


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